- Prime Minister for Thailand Prayut Chan-o-cha
The problems of Pakistani Christians seeking asylum in Thailand stem partly from the fact that Thailand has not signed United Nations Convention on Human Rights 1951 (UNCHR) regarding the status of asylum seekers and refugees or the 1967 UN protocol.
All refugees and asylum seekers in Thailand, including Pakistani Christians, are therefore considered to be illegal immigrants and risk deportation if caught. 400 Pakistani Christian refugees, including children, were arrested in Bangkok in March 2015.
Some were Christian converts who had fled Pakistan following threats of death, with hopes of being granted asylum or a chance to settle in other countries via the UNCHR. Others were long standing Christians who are often deemed to be untouchables due to a National Curriculum that demonizes, caricatures and even goes as far as labelling Christians as spies for the west. Some escaped their cities being burned down, others escaped charges under Pakistan's draconian blasphemy laws which are a tool to eradicate Christians from your neighbourhood or settle scores against Christians in Pakistan. Soem simply had enough of their homeland after their church, or Christian community was attacked in a terrorist bomb or gun attack.
Several of those arrested had UNCHR interviews scheduled and refugee determination status, but as this does not carry any weight with Thai authorities, deportation or removal to a detention centre is likely.
Along with refugees from other countries, and despite the risks, many Pakistani Christians live illegally in the back streets of Bangkok, Thailand's capital. They have no work, no rights, and no security and are exploited excessively. Their children have no schooling.
The Jesuits and other local Christians have helped them as much as they are able but their resources are limited. The Jesuits, who have been working with refugees for 11 years, admit that their help is only a drop in the ocean. The female refugees cower indoors, afraid to go out onto the streets even to shop for food as they fear being attacked or taken to prison.
Bangkok is a tourist magnet for thousands but, there is a darker side to the city, which the tourists never see. Even those who are recognised as refugees by the UNCHR, receive neither financial help nor a right of asylum from the Thai authorities. At the end of 2014 there were 10,000 refugees in Bangkok compared with just 2,000 in 2012. The majority of theses refugees are Pakistani Christians who are the new number one enemy of the state despite being innocent seekers of safe refuge. It is thought that Thailand fears granting asylum to refugees will result in a deluge of claimants.
We the undersigned call on the Royal Thai Authority to:
Permit asylum to frightened Pakistani Christians in Thailand allow a Boris style amnesty to those who have been there for 3 years or above.
To Allow asylum seekers and refugees legal rights to work in Thailand were their skills sets can bolster your existing economy
To stop arresting UNHCR registered asylum seekesr and refugees especially as approved refugees will only be in your nation for a short term
To provide free schooling to beleaguered and frightened asylum children.
To allow free medical aid to frightened asylum seekers and refugees.
To stop all arrests of mothers and children.
The Asylum is a right in Thailand too! petition to Prime Minister for Thailand Prayut Chan-o-cha was written by Wilson Chowdhry and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.