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Thailand: Refugees

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 14th March 2016.

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Photo of Lord Hylton Lord Hylton Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they plan to discuss with the UNHCR the number of refugees now in detention in Thailand in unhealthy conditions and what can be done to speed up their release; and whether they plan to make representations to the government of Thailand on the detention of women and children, including pregnant women, and early release of all sick detainees.

Photo of Baroness Anelay of St Johns Baroness Anelay of St Johns Minister of State, The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

We continue to work with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Thailand on a wide range of refugee issues. From our conversations with them we understand that the time taken to assess asylum applications in Thailand depends on the circumstances of each case. It can vary from a few months to a couple of years.

We are concerned about the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers in Thailand. Although Thailand is not a signatory to the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees, we have pressed the Thai authorities to apply international humanitarian norms and standards when handling these vulnerable groups. We are also working with the Thai authorities to improve conditions of detention.

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