As seems appropriate in the current circumstances of military dictatorship and its disdain for human rights, the UN Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights, has seen a downgrading of Thailand’s National Human Rights Commission.
The downgrading is entirely appropriate given the politicization and partisanship shown by the NHRC under the failed “leadership” of Amara Pongsapich. Longtime readers will know that PPT has little time for the National Human Rights Commission or Amara. Her lack of knowledge, lack of courage and pandering to royalist regimes has made the organization a joke. Being responsible for human rights should never be a joke, but Amara made the NHRC a joke, biased and an organization that was useless on human rights but serviceable for royalists, rightists and the military.
The statement below is posted by the OHCHR Southeast Asia Office:
The National Human Rights Commission of Thailand (NHRCT) has been downgraded from full membership to observer status after being reviewed by the International Coordinating Committee (ICC) – an international body that reviews and assesses performances of national human rights institutions (NHRIs) worldwide.
In an October 2014 review, the ICC expressed concerns about the selection process for commissioners, lack of functional immunity and independence, and the failure to address human rights issues in a timely manner especially in the context of military rule in Thailand. The ICC gave the NHRCT 12 months to provide further information on measures taken to address the concerns. Last November, it recommended the downgrade to “B” status after establishing that the recommendations had not been fully implemented.
“Independent NHRIs play a critical role in promoting and protecting human rights” said Laurent Meillan, acting regional representative of the OHCHR. “Our office will work with the NHRCT, Government, CSOs and academics to support the implementation of the recommendations. This will strengthen the status and protection mandate of the Commission in line with the Paris Principles.”
The ICC’s Sub Committee on Accreditation (SCA) report of the November 2015 session has now been adopted and the results are public.
During a meeting with new NHRCT commissioners last December, OHCHR discussed the recommendation of the SCA and we offered our full support to help implement the recommendations.
As Thailand prepares a new Constitution, we urge the drafting committee to use this opportunity to take on board the SCA’s recommendations to ensure the NHRCT regains its “A” status.
A” status institutions demonstrate compliance with the Paris Principles. They can participate fully in the international and regional work and meetings of national institutions, as voting members, and they can hold office in the Bureau of the International Coordinating Committee or any sub-committee the Bureau establishes. They are also able to participate in sessions of the Human Rights Council and take the floor under any agenda item, submit documentation and take up separate seating.
“B” status institutions may participate as observers in the international and regional work and meetings of the national human rights institutions. They cannot vote or hold office with the Bureau or its sub-committees. They are not given NHRIs badges, nor may they take the floor under agenda items and submit documentation to the Human Rights Council.
“C” status institutions have no rights or privileges with the ICC or in the United Nations rights forums. They may, at the invention of the Chair of the Bureau, attend meetings of the ICC.