ILO on 112

11 08 2013

A reader sends us this from the International Labour Conference, 102nd session, 2013, Application of International Labour Standards 2013 (I), Report of the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations.ilo It is on page 279 of the nearly 1000 page report.

Interesting that the ILO is taking an interest in lese majeste. Apologies for any typos below as we were cutting from a PDF.

Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105) (ratification: 1969)

 Article 1 (a) of the Convention. Penal sanctions involving compulsory labour as a punishment for holding or expressing political views. Criminal Code and the Computer Crimes Act. The Committee notes that section 112 of the Criminal Code states that whoever defames, insults or threatens the King, the Queen, the Heir-apparent or the Regent, shall be punished with imprisonment of three to 15 years. The Committee also notes that sections 14 and 15 of the Computer Crimes Act of 2007 prohibit the use of a computer to commit an offence under the provisions of the Criminal Code concerning national security (including section 112 of the Criminal Code), with a possible sanction of five years imprisonment. Moreover, the Committee notes that, according to the Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, of 4 June 2012, there has been a recent increase in lese majeste cases pursued by the police and the courts. In this regard, the Special Rapporteur urged the Government to hold broad-based public consultations to amend its criminal laws on lese majeste, particularly section 112 of the Criminal Code and the Computer Crimes Act (A/HRC/20/ 17 paragraph 20). The Committee further notes the information in a compilation prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for the Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review that the UN Country Team in Thailand indicated that a number of individuals have received lengthy prison sentences for breaching the lese majeste laws.

In this regard, the Committee recalls that Article 1 (a) of the Convention prohibits the use of forced or compulsory labour, including compulsory prison labour as a punishment for holding or expressing political views or of opposition to the established political, social or economic system. The Committee therefore urges the Govemment to take the necessary measures to repeal or amend section 112 of the Criminal Code and sections 14 and 15 of the Computer Crimes Act, so that persons who peacefully express certain political views camwt be sentenced to a term of imprisonment which involves compulsory labour. The Committee requests the Government to provide information on measures taken ill this regard, in its next report.

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