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Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 29th September 2015.

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Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the risks of those Pakistani refugees who are living without legal status while their asylum claims are being assessed in Bangkok falling victim to trafficking and exploitation.

Photo of Baroness Anelay of St Johns Baroness Anelay of St Johns Minister of State

Thailand is not a signatory to the 1951 UN Convention on refugees and as such those people claiming asylum through the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Thailand have no formal legal status. Once any form of legal immigration status expires they are then deemed to be illegally in the country. Many are detained in Immigration Detention Centres awaiting deportation, or resettlement by the UNHCR should they qualify. Others live a vulnerable life as urban refugees open to trafficking and exploitation.

We continue to work closely with the UNHCR in Thailand on a wide range of refugee issues. We are in contact with UNHCR to support their requests to the Thai government to develop a form of documentation for refugees, including those of Pakistani Christian origin, to assist their legal status in Thailand.

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