Document Type



This paper deals with the Thai government's policy on refugees with a special focus on refugees from Myanmar. It is designed to give suggestions to international human rights NGOs working in the Thai-Myanmar border areas for the protection of the human rights of Myanmarese refugees. Most international human rights NGOs in this region are lobbying for the Thai government to ratify the Refugee Convention or at the very least, take active steps towards the protection of refugees under customary international law.

This paper is, however, concerned by these NGOs’ reliance on the ratification of the Convention as a solution to all the problems associated with refugee protection in the region. It is understandable that establishing a structured legal regime (positive law) is crucial. But, we are also in favor of the adoption of simultaneous measures, which, if successful, in the long-run will create an environment that is conducive to a law that is respected and effectively implemented. This paper concludes that irrespective of when the law on refugee protection is brought into force in Thailand, the recommended non-legal measures will go a long way in setting the stage for the law to be implemented efficiently at some point in the future.

Date of Authorship for this Version

February 2008