Sunday, September 16, 2012

Thailand to recognise refugee status for immigrants: HRW

BANGKOK: Human Rights Watch (HRW) says Thailand should consider granting refugee status to more than 1 million people who have fled from Myanmar and are vulnerable to abuse under their current status.

It also suggests the UN's refugee agency be more assertive in certifying that many of those who have left their homeland are genuine asylum-seekers in need of protection.

HRW's refugee programme director Bill Frelick said on Thursday the UN agency has not been exercising its mandate to defend refugees in a country with inadequate refugee laws.

He said Thailand now restricts movement of about 140,000 people who live in border refugee camps and are barred from working.

Thailand has been a host to large numbers of displaced persons from neighboring countries and currently has nine camps for Myanmar refugees.

Associated Press