Promoting Human Rights Education in the Southern Border Provinces

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BANGKOK, – The Southern Border Provinces Administrative Center (SBPAC) has organized training to provide knowledge about human rights for officials operating in the southern border provinces.

The training took place recently in Songkhla province. Attending the training were more than 100 army personnel, police officers, and civilians. These officials have worked jointly to handle the southern situation.

SBPAC Secretary-General Panu Uthairat said that SBPAC is responsible for promoting human rights and that the Government attaches great importance to human rights in conducting operations in the deep South. The training in human rights education and awareness-raising provided officials with knowledge and information about Thailand’s international human rights obligations, especially the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Mr. Panu explained that currently Thailand has become a state party to seven out of nine key international treaties on human rights. The seven treaties include the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economics, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment Punishment, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Thailand is also in the process of joining the remaining two treaties, which include the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance and the Convention on the Protection of the Rights of Migrants Workers and Member of their Families.

The country is now implementing the Third National Human Rights Plan, 2014-2018. Concerning the issue of individuals affected by violent situations, the plan consists of a number of operational measures. For instance, these measures seek to constantly promote public participation in the tackling problems in the southern border provinces, ensure access to justice for all parties, and place an emphasis on bringing about reconciliation and improving the southern situation.

Mr. Panu said that SBPAC has launched proactive campaigns in the country and abroad to create better understanding about unrest in the deep South. He pointed out that efforts to protect human rights are considered a significant step toward ensuring justice and building lasting peace in the southern border provinces.

Over the past years, the Thai government has developed administrative systems for the promotion and protection of people’s rights and liberties. All security practices, ranging from arrest and interrogation to treatment of suspected persons, have been very much improved in line with human rights principles.

Regarding the southern situation, alternative dispute resolution has been promoted, while members of local communities have also been encouraged to take part in easing conflicts and solving problems in their respective areas.