Martyn Day – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Martyn Day on 2016-03-08.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he is making to (a) the UN and (b) his Thailand counterpart on the detention of Pakistani Christians fleeing religious persecution in Thailand despite being UN-registered asylum seekers.

Mr Hugo Swire

We are concerned about the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers in Thailand. We continue to work with the UNHCR in Thailand on a wide range of refugee issues. However, Thailand is not a signatory to the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees. Once any form of legal immigration status expires, refugees and asylum claimants may be deemed to be in Thailand illegally even if they have registered with the UNHCR. Nonetheless, we have pressed the Thai authorities to apply international humanitarian norms and standards when handling these vulnerable groups. We are also working with the Thai authorities to improve conditions of detention.