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  • OPINION

    Time to end the detention of children

    News, Vitit Muntarbhorn, Published on 29/01/2019

    » The beginning of last week witnessed the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Determination of Measures and Approaches Alternative to Detention of Children in Immigration Detention Centres by seven key agencies in Thailand, namely: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Social Development, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Labour and the national police (which deals with immigration).

  • OPINION

    Halting child trafficking remains tricky

    News, Vitit Muntarbhorn, Published on 19/11/2018

    » One of the positive developments in Thailand in recent years has been the governmental commitment to eradicate human trafficking. It has been complemented by a spate of court cases against human traffickers, with some evident successes. Yet, there remains a challenging situation, particularly where children are the victims, compounded by the complexity of a transfrontier situation and the opacity of the vested interests behind the sex market.

  • OPINION

    Human rights and the Asian riddle

    News, Vitit Muntarbhorn, Published on 08/10/2018

    » This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a seminal declaration adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948. This document has spawned several international treaties ("conventions") and it has inspired a vast range of actions worldwide to protect human rights on the basis of equality and non-discrimination.

  • OPINION

    Can Asean deal with international crimes?

    News, Vitit Muntarbhorn, Published on 03/09/2018

    » The issue of accountability for international crimes has come to the fore poignantly with the report of the UN's Independent International Fact-finding Commission on Myanmar. The Commission finds that there are reasonable grounds to believe that genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes have been committed in the country, particularly impacting on the Rohingya community in Rakhine state. Significantly, it calls upon Asean to "develop strategies to ensure accountability for perpetrators of crimes under international law, including through sustained engagement with Myanmar and support for an international justice mechanism".

  • OPINION

    Universal child rights an absolute must

    News, Vitit Muntarbhorn, Published on 25/08/2018

    » One of the most distressing issues today is the predicament of children who end up detained in immigration centres, which often leads to psychological harm. Regrettably, immigration laws in many countries are interpreted as criminal law which gives rise to the detention of those who fail to abide by them, whereas preferably, such laws should be an administrative framework for border management without criminal sanctions.

  • OPINION

    Thai human rights body in state of flux

    News, Vitit Muntarbhorn, Published on 13/08/2018

    » It was the country's people-based 16th constitution (1997) which established Thailand's National Human Rights Commission. The expectation was that the commission would act as a promoter and protector of human rights, with due regard for universal standards, complementing the constitution and national laws. It would also be a check and balance mechanism, especially where the traditional pillars of the state might not be fulfilling their tasks or impinge on human rights.

  • OPINION

    Charter intricacies and electoral delicacies

    News, Vitit Muntarbhorn, Published on 28/07/2018

    » Thailand has witnessed 20 constitutions since 1932. The most recent, the 20th, came into effect last year, after an interim constitution, the 19th, which emerged as a result of a coup d'etat in 2014.

  • OPINION

    Same sex civil unions: off to a good start

    News, Vitit Muntarbhorn, Published on 12/07/2018

    » The momentum towards the passage of a law in Thailand to register same sex civil unions is most heartening and needs our fullest support. This is especially because it will legitimise mutual love and friendship without discrimination and without distinction.

  • OPINION

    UN group highlights nexus of duties

    News, Vitit Muntarbhorn, Published on 10/04/2018

    » At the end of their well-received visit to Thailand, the UN Working Group (WG) on Business and Human Rights issued a useful and constructive statement. As with any visit by a human rights body, the WG's findings indicate both a positive side and another side that needs improvement.

  • OPINION

    SDGs require balanced power ties

    News, Vitit Muntarbhorn, Published on 19/03/2018

    » One of the heartening aspects of international relations in recent years was the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a global framework for action in 2015. The aim is to attain 17 goals in the fifteen year period by 2030. There has been a great "buy-in" in that states have committed to these goals without exception.

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