Human Rights in Thailand at Pattaya City Expats Club

Phil Robertson provides one of many examples of the plight of migrants who came to Thailand from Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia. Because many are in Thailand illegally and/or have no influential persons to intercede for them, they are very susceptible to violations of their human rights.

PATTAYA, Thailand – On March 6, 2024, Phil Robertson, Deputy Asia Director for Human Rights Watch, returned to the Pattaya City Expats Club for another informative and interesting presentation on Human Rights. His topic was “Human Rights in Thailand,” focusing on those of foreigners, primarily those from neighboring countries.

Phil shared several stories about migrants who came to Thailand from Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia seeking employment and the harsh environment they’ve had to endure. Some have even lost their lives.

Phil pointed out that around 40% of the migrant workers are here in Thailand illegally, which represents over 4 million workers. He also explained how Thailand used to be a place to flee from other countries, however over the last 10 years or so the policies of the Thai government have changed, making it more difficult for those seeking refuge here in Thailand.

MC Ren Lexander presents the PCEC’s Certificate of Appreciation to Phil Robertson for his insightful presentation about human rights in Thailand.

Phil served as a human rights advocate, engaging with government and UN agency officials, acting as a spokesperson representing the organization’s views, and regularly contributing to national and international media stories on Southeast Asia. He was a strategic campaigner on rights cases and causes, as well as a researcher and writer on topics of human rights, labor rights, refugees, and migration.

Before joining Human Rights Watch in 2009, he had worked for fifteen years in Southeast Asia on human rights, labor rights, protection of migrant workers, and counter-human trafficking efforts with various non-governmental organizations, international and regional trade union federations, and UN agencies.

If you would like more information about Human Rights Watch and the work Phil does, visit for the Pattaya Mail article on Phil’s previous talk to the PCEC on October 28, 2020 entitles Investigate, Expose, Change – Human Rights Watch at Work.

To view the presentations, visit the PCEC’s YouTube Channel at

After Phil’s presentation, MC Ren Lexander brought everyone up to date on upcoming events and then called on George Wilson to conduct the Open Forum portion of the meeting where the audience can ask questions or make comments about Expat living in Thailand, especially Pattaya. To learn more about the PCEC, visit their website at https:/