UPR Info Asia to cooperate with the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand in strengthening its capacities in view of Thailand’s Second UPR

On 1 February 2016, UPR Info Asia officially launched its cooperation with the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand (NHRCT), which will pursue to ensure the effective engagement of the Commissioners and NHRCT staff in Thailand’s 2nd UPR.  In addition, the partnership will seek to facilitate the dialogue between Thai civil society and the government during the implementation phase. UPR Info Asia Regional Representative, Ms. Emilie Pradichit, met with the Chairperson of the NHRCT, Mr. What Tingsamitr, together with 3 Commissioners, Mrs. Angkhana Neelapaijit, Mrs. Tuenjai Deetes and Mr. Chartchai Suthiklom, to discuss the modalities of the cooperation and to present the activities undertaken by UPR Info Asia to support the effective participation of all UPR stakeholders in Thailand’s 2nd UPR. Likewise, Ms. Pradichit provided some entry points to the NHRCT to further support Thai civil society. Reciprocally, Commissioner Angkhana Neelapaijit explained the key role she played throughout Thailand 1st UPR Cycle, in her capacity as one of the human rights leaders in the country.
 
In the light of the current downgrading to “B” category attributed to the NHRCT by the ICC in November 2015, the NHRCT expressed its concerns about the controversial and non-independent selection of the Commissioners. Members of the NHRCT also showed their concern regarding the public doubt on the efficiency of this institution to protect and promote human rights and to provide a remedy to human rights violations in the country. The NHRCT also highlighted the lack of knowledge and appropriate skills of NHRCT staff and other related agencies with regard to the UPR process and the need for them to engage in UPR Info Asia’s strategy for Thailand.
 
Members of the NHRCT further acknowledged UPR Info’s expert role and work in strengthening CSOs' capacities and in facilitating their engagement in countries such as Kenya, Mongolia, Myanmar and Nepal, which has contributed to strengthening the UPR process and transforming the way CSOs engage with governments. The NHRCT praised the expertise of UPR Info, which will be instrumental in supporting Thailand’s 2nd UPR cycle and contributing to building the capacities of the NHRCT. Commissioner Angkhana Neelapaijit will be facilitating the coordination with UPR Info Asia, with whom she has been working closely in exchanging knowledge and expertise and organizing diplomatic dialogues on the human rights situation in Thailand.
 
During the meeting, UPR Info Asia and the NHRCT agreed upon activities to be undertaken throughout Thailand’s 2nd UPR: a CSOs Coalition Building Workshop (February 2016), the development of UPR advocacy factsheets and diplomatic dialogues (March 2016), and other activities aiming at facilitating dialogues between CSOs and the government for the UPR implementation phase, including follow-up on recommendations and development of a National Action Plan.
 
The Notes of the cooperation meeting between UPR Info Asia and the NHRCT are available on Thai language here