The bill to revamp Thailand’s human rights commission would seriously weaken the agency and should be substantially revised, Human Rights Watch said today. The Thai junta-appointed National Legislative Assembly unanimously approved the draft law on the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand on August 17, 2017. The bill must be vetted by the Constitution Drafting Committee and the Human Rights Commission itself before a final national assembly vote within 25 days.
The United Nations, diplomatic representatives, and international and Thai nongovernmental organizations have expressed grave concerns about the proposed changes to the commission.
“More than ever, Thailand needs an independent and committed human rights commission willing to stand up to the rampant abuses being committed by the military junta,” said Brad Adams, Asia director. “Instead, the National Legislative Assembly has rubber-stamped a draft law that will weaken the rights commission, take away its independence, and turn it into a government mouthpiece.”
Although the proposed law contains some positive elements, overall it will harm the commission’s functions and performance, and its selections process and qualifications.