Thailand

Not Available

Immigration detainees

2019

241

Detained asylum seekers

2020

200

Detained children

2017

960

New asylum applications

2019

96,755

Refugees

2021

Overview

(February 2016) Thailand hosts more than four million migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees. Officials have broad discretionary powers to place non-citizens in detention and there is no detention time limit. Severe overcrowding is endemic at detention facilities and conditions are reportedly abysmal, including for the thousands of foreign children who are detained annually.

Types of facilities used for migration-related detention
Administrative Ad Hoc Criminal Unknown

09 August 2021

Overcrowded Cell in Bangkok Immigration Detention Centre in January 2020, (J. Lovelock,
Overcrowded Cell in Bangkok Immigration Detention Centre in January 2020, (J. Lovelock, "Pandemic Spreads in Thailand's Immigration Detention Centres," UCANews, 24 March 2021, https://www.ucanews.com/news/pandemic-spreads-in-thailands-immigration-detention-centers/91864#)

In March 2021, a number of immigrants became infected while detained by Thailand’s Immigration Bureau, including 77 migrant workers held at detention centres in Bangkok’s Bang Khen and Lak Si districts. Most of the detainees were Burmese, Laotian and Cambodian nationals. The Bangkok Post reported that based on data from the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) “almost 300 foreign immigrants at the Immigration Bureau's detention centres in Suan Phlu and Bang Khen have contracted COVID-19.” A CCSA spokesperson said that “98 out of 1,888 foreign immigrants at the immigration detention centres tested positive from March 11 to Saturday (March 20).” As a result, “The detention centres had stopped accepting new detainees,” and, according to the Commissioner-General of the Royal Thai Police, “the infected detainees would be transferred to the field hospital for treatment by physicians and nurses from the Police General Hospital.”

According to UCANews, the main reason why the number of migrant workers infected with COVID-19 increased dramatically in March was due to immigration detention centres’ poor conditions and overcrowdedness. There was inadequate sanitation and hygiene at the facilities, which enabled the virus to spread quickly. UCANews also reported that “many rights advocates have been calling on the Thai immigration authorities to improve conditions at immigration detention centers.” These groups pressured the government to release some detainees to reduce virus exposure. In response, the Thai authorities have promised to improve the conditions of immigration detention centers. One observer, however, suggested that “Once the public outrage [of the infection in the detention centres] in the wake of such publicity dies down ... things return to business as usual.”


11 June 2020

Rohingya Refugees Sit Behind Bars at a Police Station in Satun Province, Thailand, (AP Photo,
Rohingya Refugees Sit Behind Bars at a Police Station in Satun Province, Thailand, (AP Photo, "Thailand: Let UN Refugee Agency Screen Rohingya," 21 May 2020, https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/05/21/thailand-let-un-refugee-agency-screen-rohingya)

In mid-May, the governor of the Tak Province in Thailand issued a warning about the movement of Muslims from Myanmar and Bangladesh entering Thailand, stating that this posed a purported Covid-19-related threat. The announcement stated: “Tak is a province bordering the country of Myanmar that has movements of [migrant] workers, and also the COVID-19 pandemic in Myanmar and Bangladesh is still happening, and patients are still being found. Muslim people from both countries are expected to move to Tak Province.”

The announcement coincided with stepped up efforts in Tak Province to arrest undocumented migrants and refugees. Between 7 May and 1 June, Thai security arrested 35 Rohingya, including six women and 16 children, in the town Mae Sot in Tak Province, at the border of Thailand and Myanmar. They were being held at Tak Immigration Office in Thailand. Thai authorities have denied that the detainees are ethnic Rohingya, instead alleging they are “Myanmar Muslims.” However, the human rights organization Fortify Rights claims to have verified that the 35 people are Rohingya from Myanmar, and had previously travelled overland for approximately one to three months from Rakhine State and camps in Cox’s Bazar before arriving in the country. At least four Rohingya reportedly died en route. Reportedly, brokers collected payments of 500,000 to 900,000 Myanmar Kyat (about US$350 to US$645) for transportation to Malaysia and required some to provide further payments upon arrival in Malaysia.

Human Rights Watch estimates that approximately 200 Rohingya are being held in immigration detention and other facilities across Thailand. In May, it called on the Thai government to allow the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) unhindered access to Rohingya from Myanmar to determine whether they qualify for refugee status. Fortify Rights have called on the Thai government to protect Rohingya refugees from forced return and indefinite detention, and to screen them to determine if they are survivors of trafficking.

On 8 May, Human Rights Watch reported that at least 65 (out of 115) detainees in Thailand’s Songkhla immigration detention center – including 18 ethnic Rohingya women and children – had tested positive for Covid-19. At least 18 of these detainees are refugees who have been detained since 2015. Officials traced the infection cluster to an immigration officer who worked at Sadao border checkpoint and visited the center, who later tested positive for the virus. Songkhla governor Jaruwat Kliangklao said that the infected detainees would be treated until fully recovered before being deported to their respective countries. He said that the detention facility would be turned into a field hospital for the purpose of providing medical treatment to infected detainees.


05 May 2020

Immigration Detainees Stand Behind Bars at an Immigration Detention Centre in Bangkok, (Romeo Gacad, AFP, Getty Images,
Immigration Detainees Stand Behind Bars at an Immigration Detention Centre in Bangkok, (Romeo Gacad, AFP, Getty Images, "Thailand's Outbreak Spike Exposes Conditions in Migration Detention Centre," Thai Enquirer, 30 April 2020, https://www.thaienquirer.com/12519/thailands-outbreak-spike-exposes-conditions-in-migrant-detention-centre/)

As of 4 May 2020, Thailand had recorded 2,987 cases of Covid-19 and 54 deaths related to the disease. Among those with the infection are immigration detainees. On 25 April, 42 detainees in the Sadoa Immigration Detention Centre tested positive. The Immigration Police Chief told the press that 73 migrant detainees (out of a total 115) still had to be tested, including children.

Thailand’s 22 detention centres house “illegal immigrants,” a category that ranges from visitors who have overstayed a 90-day tourist visa, to asylum seekers and refugees. Amnesty International reported that official regulations allow for cell sizes to be a minimum of 1.19 meters per person. According to the NGO Fortify Right, “detention centres were meant for people to stay for 15 days, and then leave. But in Thailand, you can stay there for years, and it’s not designed for that.”

The Global Detention Project previously reported that the length of stay for detainees in Thailand ranges from 3 days to 12 years, with asylum seekers and refugees having been detained for periods of over two years. Several reports of lengthy detention periods originate from Bangkok’s Detention Centre: Suan Phlu. The centre is reported to have the highest number of detainees in the country. While NGOs and detainees maintain that there are over one thousand detainees in the centre, the government has refused to publish official statistics.

A former detainee in Suan Phlu stated that the centre “was so crowded, some of us slept standing up, or in turns. If you turn your legs, you will lose your space.” In addition, detainees have revealed that they are separated by gender and perceived ethnicity: “room 8 for the black people, Room 11 for the brown people.” Certain measures have been put in place to remedy this, including the expansion of Sadao detention centre with a new building and the relocation of certain detainees from the Suan Phlu centre.

While officials maintain that they are conducting widespread testing in detention facilities, other healthcare provisions are limited. Former detainees have said that there is only one nurse in Suan Phlu detention centre. On 25 April, the government stated that detainees, mostly from Myanmar and others from Vietnam, Cambodia and Malaysia, would receive proper treatment in accordance with humanitarian standards.


23 April 2020

A group of civil society organisations issued an open letter on 15 April to the Department of Corrections urging the release of certain categories of prisoners and immigration detainees to address overcrowding. The letter requests that prisoners over the age of 60; sick prisoners; prisoners awaiting trial; prisoners sentenced to terms of up to two years; prisoners detained for immigration offences and pregnant women be prioritised for release.

The same day that the open letter was issued, the Thai Department of Corrections suspended jail sentences for more than 8,000 inmates nationwide to ease overcrowding in prisons during the Covid-19 crisis. The Director-General of the Department of Corrections said that he has sped up the process of granting suspended sentences or cutting the prison term for qualified inmates, including those facing minor offences and/or exhibiting good behaviour. However, no similar measures were announced as regards immigration detainees.

According to advocates in the country that are members of the International Detention Coalition, immigration detention centres remain crowded and detainees at risk of infection, and that authorities have started shifting detainees to different facilities to assist social distancing. The IOM reports that it has been distributing information, education and communication materials in immigration detention centres to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The Border Consortium (TBC) released a statement on 2 April 2020 on the impact of Covid-19 on refugees and conflict-affected communities in the country. TBC stated that the 90,000 refugees from Myanmar in the country have become even more marginalised in camps along the Thailand border and that “restrictions on movement in and out of the camps have eroded refugees’ limited opportunities for informal income, making them solely dependent on humanitarian assistance for their essential needs.” Although no Covid-19 cases have been confirmed in the camps, TBC, the Committee for Coordination of Services to Displaced Persons, and UNHCR are coordinating a Covid-19 outbreak response.

TBC is undertaking a series of measures, including:

- Working with suppliers and vendors to ensure a three-month stockpile of rice, tinned fish, cooking oil and charcoal is available in all camps
- Undertaking public awareness campaigns about washing hands thoroughly, maintaining social distance, and other preventative communications have been disseminated in local languages
- Distributing personal protective equipment including face masks, hand gloves, thermometers and handwashing facilities to community health workers.


06 April 2020

Fears of the uncontrolled spread of Covid-19 in Buriam Prison led to protests within the facility, 29 March 2020 (https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/03/coronavirus-rumour-sparks-prison-riot-thailand-buriram-200329111845599.html)
Fears of the uncontrolled spread of Covid-19 in Buriam Prison led to protests within the facility, 29 March 2020 (https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/03/coronavirus-rumour-sparks-prison-riot-thailand-buriram-200329111845599.html)

Despite severe overcrowding characterising Thailand’s immigration detention facilities, the GDP has been unable to find any reports indicating that authorities have taken steps to protect, or release, immigration detainees.

While the country has drafted measures which remove the need for foreign tourists, stuck in the country due to airline cancellations, to apply for visa extensions, migrant workers in the country must continue to regularly report to immigration authorities. New legislation, meanwhile, requires foreigners entering the country to show medical certificates stating that they have tested negative for Covid-19, as well as evidence of health insurance coverage. Those arriving without such paperwork risk detention and deportation.

All visits to prisons have been suspended from 18 to 31 March 2020. Families can bring money and food to prisoners but may not enter the premises. On 29 March 2020, fears of the virus’s uncontrolled spread within prisons prompted inmates held in Buriram Prison to protest their confinement. During the ensuing violence, several persons escaped.


Last updated: February 2016

Thailand Immigration Detention Profile

    Thailand is an important destination for migrant workers and asylum seekers from across the Greater Mekong Delta region as well other parts of Asia. Like many of its neighbours, Thailand is not a signatory to the Refugee Convention and does not have a formal asylum framework in place. Asylum seekers and refugees are generally treated as unauthorized immigrants, charged with crimes, and sent to detention centres. Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution in Myanmar are particularly vulnerable to arrest and detention as are Christian asylum seekers from Pakistan.[1]

    Thailand hosts approximately four million international migrants, an estimated 1.5 million of whom are undocumented.[2] Approximately 80 percent of the migrants and asylum seekers in the country are from Myanmar while the remaining 20 percent come mainly from Laos and Cambodia. The country has undertaken various regularization and registration operations since the early 2000s within the framework of bilateral labour agreements with Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar. Nearly 1.6 million irregular migrants (including dependents) were registered during a four-month period in 2014.[3]

    Despite these regularization exercises, both documented and undocumented migrant workers and asylum seekers remain at risk of arrest, detention, and deportation, as advocacy groups like the Mekong Migration Network have documented.[4] Migration policies in Thailand often lead to confusion and migrant workers live under the constant threat of deportation.[5] This is due to several factors, including dependency on a single employer, costly and complicated bureaucratic procedures, restrictions on freedom movement, as well as police corruption and collusion with traffickers.[6]

    Some 110,000 Myanmar refugees have been allowed to stay in nine camps on the Thai-Myanmar border by executive discretion. There is also an unverified number of refugees and asylum seekers from dozens of other countries, who reside outside camps.[7] There are often long delays in processing asylum claims, which for those living outside official refugee camps can mean extended periods in immigration detention while awaiting resettlement.[8]

    Thailand’s treatment of Rohingyas has been widely condemned. In 2013, after the Myanmar government refused to accept Rohingyas being deported from Thailand, journalists uncovered a secret Thai Royal Police policy called “option two,” which was reportedly designed “to remove Rohingya refugees from Thailand's immigration detention centres and deliver them to human traffickers waiting at sea.”[9] Reporters interviewed Rohingyas who had been sold to human traffickers by immigration officials and quoted official sources who said that of the two thousand Rohingyas held in Thai detention centres as of early October 2013 only 154 Rohingyas remained in detention some two months later.[10] Since these initial reports were published there have numerous reports by Human Rights Watch (HRW) and others documenting mass graves at camps run by migrant traffickers in Thailand.[11]

    More recently, in early 2016, there were numerous reports concering the mistreatment of Christian asylum seekers from Pakistan. A January 2016 article in the Christian Post reported that a 30-year-old Pakistiani Christian woman died in Thai police custody on "Christmas Eve after she was arrested and prevented from taking much needed medications." The article cited a British Pakistani Christian Association that claimed Thai authorities had launched "a crackdown against Pakistani Christians who've overstayed their visas in Thailand." A February 2016 BBC report stated that those arrested in the raids were being charged with "illegal immigration, fined 4,000 Baht (£90), and then sent to Bangkok's Immigration Detention Centre."

    The Immigration Act, B.E. 2522 (1979), provides police officers and immigration officials broad discretionary powers to detain foreigners. The law does not set a maximum length of time that a person can remain in administrative immigration detention.

    The Immigration Act also criminalizes unauthorized stay, which is punishable by up to two years imprisonment. The Ministry of Justice’s Department of Corrections is responsible for monitoring prison and detention facility conditions, however its mandate does not include administrative detainees. The Immigration Police Bureau of the Royal Thai Police administers the country’s approximately 15 dedicated immigration detention centres (IDCs), which are spread out across Thailand’s land borders and along the Andaman Sea and Gulf of Thailand.[12] The detention centres are not subject to many of the regulations that govern the regular prison system. As a result, both the procedures and conditions of immigration detention can vary greatly.[13]

    The costs of deportation are to be covered by the person being deported, a policy that the Global Detention Project has found common in other countries as well (for example, in Lebanon and Egypt). In addition, as in Australia,[14] immigration detainees in Thailand have to pay for the cost of detention, leading to an increased likelihood of lengthy or indefinite detention.[15] Human rights groups have emphasized that this is a discriminatory practice that contravenes international human rights norms and standards.[16]

    Although there are no official statistics on the numbers of people placed in immigration detention, human rights groups have attempted to document the prevalence of certain practices, like the detention of children. According to HRW, “approximately 100 children per year are detained on a long-term basis (that is, for a period of longer than one month). Meanwhile, at least 4,000 children are thought to move through the immigration detention system each year for shorter periods (days or weeks).”[17]

    In 2012, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child reminded Thailand that children should only be deprived of liberty as a last resort and for as short a time as possible. The committee also underscored that when children are detained they must be confined separately from adults and in “a safe, child sensitive environment” that enables regular contact with their families.” The committee urged Thailand to “Promote alternative measures to detention such as diversion, probation, counselling, community service or suspended sentences, wherever possible.”[18]

    According to a 2014 Amnesty International report, official regulations in Thailand allow for cell sizes in detention centres to be a minimum of 1.19 metres per person,  “which does not allow detainees to lie down to sleep.”[19] HRW has also reported on the abysmal conditions in detention centres, “including severe overcrowding, putrid sanitation, and an atmosphere of violence.” Detainees have repeatedly complained of overcrowding and extremely poor hygiene. In 2013, journalists found 276 male Rohingyas detained in two small “cages” meant to hold no more than 15 people at the Phang Nga detention centre on the coast of the Strait of Malacca.[20] At the time, Thai authorities acknowledged that they were “aware of the overcrowding issue at the existing immigration facilities” and that alternative arrangements were being made. According to the journalists, the head of Thailand’s parliamentary Border Affairs Committee commented that “The conditions you have seen would even be difficult for animals.”

    International agencies and organisations have been given access to immigration detention centres (IDCs), including the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), which carried out “The first immunization programme for Myanmar Muslims from Rakhine State and Bangladeshis in all IDCs and Shelters” in October 2015. According to an IOM report, “Myanmar Muslims from Rakhine State in Phang-Nga IDC conducted two series of hunger strikes to express their frustration at their period of detention.”[21] Human Rights Watch has asked IOM to provide more reports immigration detention in Thailand and urged UNHCR officials to “intervene promptly to seek the immediate release of refugees and asylum seekers when they are arrested.”[22]

     

    [1] United Nations High Commissionner for Refugees. 2015 UNHCR country operations profile – Thailand. http://www.unhcr.org/pages/49e489646.html; BBC, "The Christians held in Thailand after fleeing Pakistan," 26 February 2016, http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-35654804. 

    [2] Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, United Nations, International Migration 2015 Wallchart, http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/publications/http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/publications/migration/migration-wallchart-2013.shtml, United Nations, 20135.

    [3] International Labour Organization (ILO). Review of the effectiveness of the MOUs in managing labour migration between Thailand and neighbouring countries. Tripartite Action to Protect the Rights of Migrant Workers within and from the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS TRIANGLE project). Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. 2015. http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---asia/---ro-bangkok/documents/publication/wcms_356542.pdf

    [4] Mekong Migration Network, Website, "Arrest, Detention, and Deportation," http://www.mekongmigration.org/?page_id=126.

    [5] International Labour Organization (ILO). Review of the effectiveness of the MOUs in managing labour migration between Thailand and neighbouring countries. Tripartite Action to Protect the Rights of Migrant Workers within and from the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS TRIANGLE project). Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. 2015. http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---asia/---ro-bangkok/documents/publication/wcms_356542.pdf

    [6] International Labour Organization (ILO). Review of the effectiveness of the MOUs in managing labour migration between Thailand and neighbouring countries. Tripartite Action to Protect the Rights of Migrant Workers within and from the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS TRIANGLE project). Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. 2015. http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---asia/---ro-bangkok/documents/publication/wcms_356542.pdf

    [7] United Nations High Commissionner for Refugees. UNHCR's new biometrics system helps verify 110,000 Myanmar refugees in Thailand. 30 June 2015. http://www.unhcr.org/55926d646.html

    [8] United Nations High Commissionner for Refugees. 2015 UNHCR country operations profile – Thailand. http://www.unhcr.org/pages/49e489646.html

    [9] Jason Szep and Andrew R.C. Marshall. Special Report - Thailand secretly dumps Myanmar refugees into trafficking rings. Reuters. 5 December 2013. http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/12/05/uk-thailand-rohingya-special-report-idUKBRE9B400920131205

    [10] Jason Szep and Andrew R.C. Marshall. Special Report - Thailand secretly dumps Myanmar refugees into trafficking rings. Reuters. 5 December 2013. http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/12/05/uk-thailand-rohingya-special-report-idUKBRE9B400920131205

    [11] Human Rights Watch, “Thailand: Mass Graves of Rohingya Found in Trafficking Camp,” 1 May 2015, https://www.hrw.org/news/2015/05/01/thailand-mass-graves-rohingya-found-trafficking-camp.

    [12] Mekong Migration Network. Arrest, Detention and Deportation. Map of IDCs. 2012. http://mekongmigration.org/add/?page_id=33

    [13] United States Department of State. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2014. http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/#wrapper

    [14] Beyderwellen & Company. Removal from Australia. http://www.beyderwellen.com/immigration-practice-areas/unlawful.htm

    [15] Immigration Act, B.E. 2522 (enacted on 24 February 1979, amended in 1992) Sections 54 and 55. Thailand Law Forum. http://www.thailawforum.com/database1/immigration-law-mejesty.html

    [16] Human Rights Watch. Two Years With No Moon Immigration Detention of Children in Thailand. 1 September 2014. https://www.hrw.org/report/2014/09/01/two-years-no-moon/immigration-detention-children-thailand

    [17] Human Rights Watch. Two Years With No Moon Immigration Detention of Children in Thailand. 1 September 2014. https://www.hrw.org/report/2014/09/01/two-years-no-moon/immigration-detention-children-thailand

    [18] Committee on the Rights of the Child. Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 44 of the Convention. Concluding observations: Thailand. CRC/C/THA/CO/3-4. 17 February 2012. http://uhri.ohchr.org/document/index/976dcd33-b7f5-4d94-b473-cb4c07d99275

    [19] Amnesty International, “Thailand: submission to the United Nations Committee against Torture,” 52nd Session, 28 April – 23 may 2014, ASA 39/003/2014.

    [20] Sparks, John. The plight of Burma's Rohingya Muslims in a Thai Camp. World News Blog. Channel 4. 31 May 2013. http://blogs.channel4.com/world-news-blog/the-plight-of-burmas-rohingya-muslims-in-a-thai-camp/24226

    [21] International Organisation for Migration, “Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea Crisis - Situation Report October 2015.”

    [22] Human Rights Watch. Two Years With No Moon Immigration Detention of Children in Thailand. 1 September 2014. https://www.hrw.org/report/2014/09/01/two-years-no-moon/immigration-detention-children-thailand

    ENFORCEMENT DATA

    Total Migration Detainees: Flow + Stock (year)
    Not Available
    2019
    Number of Asylum Seekers Placed in Immigration Detention (Year)
    241
    2020
    200
    2015
    Number of Women Placed in Immigration Detention (year)
    46
    2020
    Total Number of Children Placed in Immigration Detention (Year)
    200
    2017
    4,000
    2014
    Number of immigration offices
    88
    2020
    Number of Dedicated Immigration Detention Centres
    14
    2012
    Criminal Prison Population (Year)
    358,369
    2020
    291,794
    2017
    296,577
    2014
    200,280
    2010
    168,656
    2007
    167,142
    2004
    250,903
    2001
    164,451
    1998
    111,028
    1995
    73,309
    1992
    Percentage of Foreign Prisoners (Year)
    4.4
    2019
    4.6
    2016
    Prison Population Rate (per 100,000 of National Population)
    516
    2020
    431
    2017
    290
    2010
    249
    2007
    253
    2004
    393
    2001
    267
    1998
    186
    1995
    126
    1992

    POPULATION DATA

    Population (Year)
    69,800,000
    2020
    67,401,000
    2014
    International Migrants (Year)
    3,635,085
    2019
    3,913,300
    2015
    4,000,000
    2014
    3,721,700
    2013
    International Migrants as Percentage of Population (Year)
    5.8
    2015
    5.6
    2013
    Estimated Undocumented Population (Year)
    1,400,000 (1500000)
    2014
    Refugees (Year)
    96,755
    2021
    97,556
    2019
    102,245
    2018
    104,615
    2017
    106,426
    2016
    110,372
    2015
    136,499
    2014
    130,328
    2014
    84,479
    2012
    Ratio of Refugees Per 1000 Inhabitants (Year)
    1.56
    2016
    1.92
    2014
    1.27
    2012
    1.3
    2011
    New Asylum Applications (Year)
    960
    2019
    2,585
    2016
    3,109
    2012
    12,958
    2011
    Refugee Recognition Rate (Year)
    66.4
    2014
    Stateless Persons (Year)
    480,695
    2020
    478,843
    2018
    486,440
    2017
    487,741
    2016
    506,197
    2014
    506,197
    2012

    SOCIO-ECONOMIC DATA & POLLS

    Gross Domestic Product per Capita (in USD)
    7,189
    2020
    5,977
    2014
    5,779
    2013
    5,480
    2012
    Remittances to the Country
    8,000
    2020
    5,655
    2014
    3,994
    2011
    Remittances From the Country
    7,897
    2020
    2,397
    2010
    Unemployment Rate
    1
    2021
    2014
    2009
    Net Official Development Assistance (ODA) (in Millions USD)
    136.43
    2021
    351.2
    2014
    Human Development Index Ranking (UNDP)
    79 (High)
    2021
    93 (High)
    2015
    89 (High)
    2014
    103 (Medium)
    2012
    World Bank Rule of Law Index
    50 (-0.7)
    2012
    49 (-1.1)
    2011
    49 (-0.7)
    2010

    B. Attitudes and Perceptions

    MIGRATION-RELATED DETENTION

    Does the Country Detain People for Migration, Asylum, or Citizenship Reasons?
    Yes

    LEGAL & REGULATORY FRAMEWORK

    Do Migration Detainees Have Constitutional Guarantees?
    (Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand (Interim), Buddhist Era 2557 (2014) assented to by King Bhumibol Adulyadej in June 2014. To be submitted to a referendum in 2015.) 2014 2014
    2014 2015
    Yes (Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand B.E. 2560; Section 28 and 29; Buddhist Era 2560) 2017
    2017
    Detention-Related Legislation
    Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, B. E. 2551 (2008) (2008) 2008
    2008
    Immigration Act, B.E. 2522 (1979) (1979) 1979
    1979
    Additional Legislation
    Criminal Procedure Code of Thailand B.E. 2477 - 1934 2008
    Regulation of the Office of the Prime Minister on the Screening of Aliens who Enter into the Kingdom and are Unable to Return to the Country of Origin B.E. 2562 (2019)
    2019
    Regulations, Standards, Guidelines
    Immigration Order 148/2553 (18 August 2010) on Standards in Immigration Detention Centres (2010)
    2010
    Immigration Order 21/2545 on Regulations and Measures Regarding the Receiving and Detention of an Alleged Offender or a Detainee

    GROUNDS FOR MIGRATION-RELATED DETENTION

    Immigration-Status-Related Grounds
    Detention to prevent unauthorised entry at the border
    2015
    Detention to effect removal
    2015
    Detention for unauthorised entry or stay
    2015
    Criminal Penalties for Immigration-Related Violations
    Yes (Yes)
    2015
    Grounds for Criminal Immigration-Related Incarceration / Maximum Length of Incarceration
    Unauthorised stay (730)
    2015
    Children & Other Vulnerable Groups
    Victims of trafficking (Provided)
    2015
    Asylum seekers (Not mentioned) Yes
    2015
    Refugees (Not mentioned) Yes
    2015
    Accompanied minors (Provided) Yes
    2014
    Unaccompanied minors (Provided) Yes
    2014
    Stateless persons (Not mentioned) Yes
    2014

    LENGTH OF MIGRATION-RELATED DETENTION

    Maximum Length of Administrative Immigration Detention
    No Limit: Yes
    2015
    Maximum Length of Detention of Asylum-Seekers
    No Limit: Yes
    2013
    Recorded Length of Immigration Detention
    Number of Days: 4380
    2014
    Maximum Length in Custody Prior to Detention Order
    Number of Days: 7
    2015

    MIGRATION-RELATED DETENTION INSTITUTIONS

    Custodial Authorities
    "Competent Officials" including from Immigration Bureau, Royal Thai Police and National Security Officials (Ministry of Interior) Interior or Home Affairs
    2015
    The Immigration Bureau of the Royal Thai Police (Interior Ministry) Interior or Home Affairs
    2014
    Immigration Bureau of the Royal Thai Police (Interior Ministry) Interior or Home Affairs
    2014
    The Immigration Bureau of the Royal Thai Police (Interior Ministry) Interior or Home Affairs
    2013
    "Competent Officials" including from Immigration Bureau, Royal Thai Police and National Security Officials (Interior Ministry) Interior or Home Affairs
    2013
    Immigration Bureau of the Royal Thai Police (Interior Ministry) Interior or Home Affairs
    2013
    The Immigration Bureau of the Royal Thai Police (Interior Ministry) Interior or Home Affairs
    2012
    Immigration Bureau (Ministry of Interior) Interior or Home Affairs
    2007
    Immigration Bureau (Ministry of Interior) Interior or Home Affairs
    2006
    Immigration Bureau (Ministry of Interior) Interior or Home Affairs
    2005
    Immigration Bureau (Ministry of Interior) Interior or Home Affairs
    2004
    Detention Facility Management
    Immigration Bureau, reporting to Royal Thai Police (Governmental)
    2013
    Sub-Division 3, Investigation Division Immigration Bureau (Governmental)
    2013
    Sub-Division 3, Investigation Division Immigration Bureau (Governmental)
    2012
    Ministry of Interior/Immigration Police Bureau (Governmental)
    2007
    Ministry of Interior/Immigration Police Bureau (Governmental)
    2006
    Ministry of Interior/Immigration Police Bureau (Governmental)
    2005
    Ministry of Interior/Immigration Police Bureau (Governmental)
    2004
    Ministry of Interior / Immigration Police Bureau (Governmental)
    2004

    PROCEDURAL STANDARDS & SAFEGUARDS

    Procedural Standards
    Access to asylum procedures (No)
    2015
    Information to detainees (Yes)
    2013
    Access to consular assistance (Yes) No
    2013
    Independent review of detention (No) No
    2013
    Complaints mechanism regarding detention conditions (Yes)
    2013
    Access to free interpretation services (No) No
    2013
    Types of Non-Custodial Measures (ATDs) Provided in Law
    Supervised release and/or reporting (Yes) infrequently
    2015
    Release on bail (Yes) infrequently
    2015

    DETENTION MONITORS

    Official Name of NHRI
    Office of the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand
    2021
    Types of Authorised Detention Monitoring Institutions
    UNHCR (International or Regional Bodies (IRBs))
    2015
    Jesuit Refugee Service Thailand (Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO))
    2015
    Is the NHRI Recognised as Independent by the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions?
    Yes
    2021
    Does NHRI Visit Immigration Detention Centres?
    Yes
    2018
    Does NHRI Receive Complaints?
    Yes
    2021
    Does NHRI Release Reports on Immigration Detention?
    No
    2021
    Do NGOs publish reports on immigration detention?
    Yes
    2021
    Names of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) that Carry Out Detention Monitoring Visits
    Yes
    2015
    NGO Immigration Detention Monitoring Reports
    Joint Submission Universal Periodic Review of Thailand, Thailand Cycle 3, 39th Sessions
    [NEW] Is There A National Human Rights Institution (NHRI)?
    Yes (Office of the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand) Yes Yes Yes No

    TRANSPARENCY

    READMISSION/RETURN/EXTRADITION AGREEMENTS

    Bilateral/Multilateral Readmission Agreements
    Myanmar (2009)
    2009
    Cambodia (2003)
    2003

    COVID-19

    HEALTH CARE

    COVID-19 DATA

    Has the country Temporarily Ceased or Restricted Issuing Detention Orders?
    No
    2020
    Has the Country Adopted These Pandemic-Related Measures for People in Immigration Detention?
    Yes
    2020
    Have cases of COVID-19 been reported in immigration detention facilities or any other places used for immigration detention purposes?
    Yes
    2021
    Has the Country Ceased or Restricted Deportations/Removals During any Period After the Onset of the Pandemic?
    No
    2020
    Have Officials Blamed Migrants, Asylum Seekers, or Refugees for the Spread of COVID-19?
    Yes
    2020
    Has the Country Commenced a National Vaccination Campaign?
    Yes
    2021

    INTERNATIONAL TREATIES

    International Treaties Ratified
    Ratification Year
    Observation Date
    OP CRC Communications Procedure
    2012
    2012
    CRPD, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
    2008
    2008
    CAT, Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
    2007
    2007
    ICERD, International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
    2003
    2003
    ICESCR, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
    1999
    1999
    VCCR, Vienna Convention on Consular Relations
    1999
    1999
    ICCPR, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
    1996
    1996
    CRC, Convention on the Rights of the Child
    1992
    1992
    CEDAW, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
    1985
    1985
    Ratio of relevant international treaties ratified
    Ratio: 15/19
    Individual Complaints Procedures
    Acceptance Year
    CRC, [Third] Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child establishing a communications procedure, 2011 2012
    2012
    CEDAW, Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, 1999 2000
    2000
    Ratio of Complaints Procedures Accepted
    Observation Date
    2/7
    2/7
    Relevant Recommendations Issued by Treaty Bodies
    Recommendation Year
    Observation Date
    Human Rights Committee § 30. The State party should: (a) Refrain from detaining refugees, asylum seekers and migrants and implement alternatives to detention, including before deportation. In cases where the individual is detained, the State party should ensure that the detention is based on individual circumstances that are reasonable, necessary and proportionate, and that the cases are reassessed over time. There should also be effective access to judicial review; (b) Ensure that children are not deprived of liberty except as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time, taking into account their best interests as a primary concern, and that they are segregated from adult detainees who are not their family members; (c) Ensure that the living conditions in immigration detention centres are in compliance with the Covenant. 2016
    2016
    2018
    Committee on the Rights of the Child §71"the Committee recommends that the State party treat the asylum-seekers and refugees according to their status and do not subject them to detention or deportations to a country where their lives might be in danger. In this regard, the Committee encourages the State party to seek technical assistance from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The Committee also recommends that the State party ratify the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol and establish a national legal and institutional framework for protection of refugees." § 80 [...] (a) Raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility to an internationally acceptable age and in no circumstances below the age of 12 years; (b) Ensure that children deprived of liberty are held in detention only as a last resort and for as short a time as possible and that their detention is carried out in compliance with the law; (c) Ensure that children are detained separately from adults as recommended by the Working Group under the universal periodic review, that they have a safe, child sensitive environment and that they maintain regular contact with their families; (d)Promote alternative measures to detention such as diversion, probation, counselling, community service or suspended sentences, wherever possible;" 2012
    2012
    2012

    NON-TREATY-BASED INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS MECHANISMS

    Visits by Special Procedures of the UN Human Rights Council
    Year of Visit
    Observation Date
    Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially in women and children 2011
    2011
    2012
    Relevant Recommendations by UN Special Procedures
    Recommendation Year
    Observation Date
    Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially in women and children "72. [...] corruption in law enforcement, particularly at the provincial and local levels, is deep rooted and has diluted the efficacy of Government policies and programmes in combating human trafficking. As a result, many trafficked persons are not properly identified, leading to cases of wanton arrest, detention and deportation throughout the country [...] §74 [---] The Special Rapporteur has serious concerns that the stay in the shelters amounts to detention and, in addition to infringing fundamental human rights relating to freedom of movement and protection from arbitrary detention, presents a risk to the well-being of trafficked persons [...] §77(p) "ensure that raids and rescue operations are victim-centred and do not cause any discriminatory impact on victims and those who are not victims of trafficking. upon being rescued, trafficked persons should be provided with information about their rights and appropriate counsel ling in a language they understand. further more , in accordance with the a nti-trafficking in persons act, victims should not be criminalized or penalized, including through detention for status-related offences such as violations of immigration laws and other crimes that directly result from their situations as trafficked persons ; 2012
    2012
    2012
    Relevant Recommendations from the UN Universal Periodic Review
    Observation Date
    Yes 2016
    2017
    Yes 2011

    REGIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS MECHANISMS

    Regional Legal Instruments
    Year of Ratification (Treaty) / Transposed (Directive) / Adoption (Regulation)
    Observation Date
    ASEAN CATPWC Convention Against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children 2016
    2016
    2017

    GOVERNANCE SYSTEM

    Legal Tradition(s)
    Civil law
    Federal or Centralised Governing System
    Centralized system
    2015
    Centralised or Decentralised Immigration Authority
    Centralized immigration authority
    2015

    DETENTION COSTS

    OUTSOURCING

    FOREIGN SOURCES OF FUNDING FOR DETENTION OPERATIONS