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Posts Tagged ‘Royal Thai Army Internal Security Operations Command’ (1 found)

World Refugee Day is a Timely Reminder that the Rights of Refugees Must Be Respected

30-jan-2014-TBC-IrrawaddyThe Royal Thai Army’s Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) last week requested, at short notice, to meet with representatives of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and local NGOs to discuss how refugees from Burma currently living in various camps along the Thai-Burma border can be repatriated in the near future.  It is notable, however, that while regional military commanders were present at these meetings, no representatives from the refugee camps themselves or from community-based organizations (CBOs) assisting them were invited.  The obvious and disturbing implication is that a decision on the status of refugees inside Thailand is likely to be made in the very near future with minimal consultation with affected parties.  Moreover, the timing is not just premature and ill-considered, it is bitterly ironic given that last Friday, 20 June, was #WorldRefugeeDay.

We call upon all parties to respect the UN 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, which represents international law as regards the rights of refugees, and is at the very least morally persuasive if not legally binding on the parties concerned.  We also call upon all parties to include representatives of the refugee camps and of CBOs in any future meetings on the status of refugees or their potential repatriation.  Furthermore, we urge all parties to ensure that repatriation of refugees only takes place when circumstances are appropriate, it is genuinely safe to return, all refugees’ rights are guaranteed by the Burma government, and that, most importantly, such repatriation is completely voluntary[…]

June 23, 2014  •  By Burma Partnership  •  Tags: , , , , ,  •  Read more ➤