Debate on Human Rights Commission

26 04 2009

Over the past few years the National Human Rights Commission, led by Saneh Chammarik, had a checkered record.  It took up some very important cases and raised issues that no other group was willing to take on.

It also became hopelessly partisan in the most recent period and continued to operate, investigate and make recommendations even when its legal mandate had expired, damaging its reputation and the very idea of an independent human rights organisation.

Recently, the courts ruled that the Commission had to be reconstituted.

Now there is a debate over the nomination of new commissioners (Prachatai, 24 April 2009). The Commission’s standing needs to be resurrected and it needs to be staunchly independent. There is concern that the current nominees may not be able to demonstrate the independence necessary for this potentially important body.

Update: The AHRC has issued an important statement – as a letter to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva – on the National Human Rights Commission selection process (Prachatai, 26 April 2009: “Senate must give more time for debate on new NHRC”).

Amongst a range of sensible points, it says the: “selection process for a new National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of Thailand is being rushed through in a highly undemocratic manner, without any public consultation or accountability and contrary to the basic principles that the NHRC is supposed to represent. We urge you to delay the selection process to allow more time for discussion and debate, or risk violating international standards on National Human Rights Institutions, which may affect the NHRC’s official status in global forums not to mention undermine its credibility in the eyes of the general public of Thailand.”



One response

15 06 2009
New: Sulak, National Human Rights Commission and the king « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] has raised this issue several times previously (here, here, here, and here). Sulak raises a particular case, that of Parinya Sirisarakarn, who is the […]

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