I recently posted that I emailed the UNHCR in Thailand, to ask them to give attention to Pakistani Christian Assylum Seekers there. I explained their situation, that they are in hiding, arrested, and detained regularly and are without means to support their families. I asked them to help obtain work permits/visa’s for them. With the New Director of the UNHCR who recently made a statement about Turkey allowing work visa’s to refugees and asylum seekers there. He said “to work is dignity.” Here is the response that I received from Thailand. Keep in mind that they knew that I already had the information they sent. This will not discourage me. I’m calling on all to pray for the Royal Government of Thailand, for God to soften their hearts, and for God to work through the UN for basic human rights to be addressed especially in Thailand. I will email representatives for our government also. We must remain vigilant and pray. Sign petitions, email the UN, email your representatives. Be their Voice.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
We have just witnessed what prayer, unity and vigilance will accomplish with the return of Americans held in Iran. Here is the email I received from Thailand:
Many thanks for your interest in and concern for refugees and asylum seekers.
Unfortunately, there is currently no national legal framework in place for the specific protection of “urban” refugees and asylum seekers in Thailand, in contrast to the situation of Myanmar refugees along the Thai/Myanmar border. Nor has Thailand acceded to the 1951 Refugee Convention and/or the 1967 Protocol thereto. As such, UNHCR documentation by way of a Refugee or Asylum Seeker Certificate is not officially recognized by the Royal Thai Government (RTG) and, regrettably, provides no official protection for them. This means in practice and in principle that all urban refugees and asylum seekers, irrespective of nationality, may be treated as “illegal aliens” in Thailand notwithstanding their status with UNHCR, and are subject to arrest and detention at any point in time for illegal entry and illegal stay if they do not have a valid visa issued by the RTG pursuant to their Immigration Act. This applies, equally to access to work permits, which is the prerogative of the RTG and, currently, there is no specific provision for access to work permits for persons of concern to UNHCR solely on the basis of their status with UNHCR.
Regrettably, this situation is not unique to Thailand as some States, even those who are party the 1951 Refugee Convention, restrict work rights of asylum seekers, and in some case even recognized refugees. UNHCR continues to advocate for ever increasing protection for refugees and asylum seekers, including work rights as well as other economic, social and cultural rights, both globally and in Thailand.
Again, we very much appreciate you concern for and efforts on behalf of refugees and asylum seekers.
UNHCR Representation in Thailand
From: Bangkok, Thailand THABA F2F FUNDRAISING
Sent: Tuesday, January 26, 2016 9:16
Related: “Hopeless” Cries From Thailand