Mr. Ban Ki Moon, UNSG, had a telephone conversation with Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.), Prime Minister, to discuss matters and express concern regarding the situation of illegal migrants
Royal Thai Government: Government News on 17 May 2015,
On 17 May 2015, at 10.00hrs Thailand time, UNSG Mr. Ban Ki Moon had a telephone conversation with Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.), Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, to discuss matters and express concern regarding the situation with the drifting migrants in the Bay of Bengal area. The UNSG mentioned that the number of migrants is expected to increase and that such persons must be treated with human dignity and accorded basic human rights
The Prime Minister also expressed concern over the situation and informed the UNSG that he had instructed for the Thai side to closely monitor the situation, as well as establish a special unit to handle such groups while in Thai territorial waters. So far the Thai authorities, upon discovering a drifting migrant ship, have inspected the condition of the boat, along with the living conditions of the passengers, while inquiring into their intentions so as to provide the appropriate assistance based on humanitarian considerations.
For instance in the latest case, Thai officials had been requested for assistance by the drifting migrants in repairing their vessel and for providing food as well as drinking water, medicine and fuel. The Prime Minister emphasized that the Thai side would do its utmost to provide humanitarian assistance while also inquiring the drifting migrants of their preferred destination. All actions taken by the Thai side will be based on humanitarian considerations and international laws, maritime law and all other international regulations. However, the Prime Minister emphasized that every country must work within their own laws in responding to this situation. The UNSG thanked the Thai government and asked about the special meeting on 29 May about irregular migration in the Bay of Bengal and further commended Thailand for initiating a regional meeting on this important matter. The Prime Minister explained that the Royal Thai Government had always considered the urgency of this matter and that a sustainable solution requires cooperation from every related country and organization, in particular the UN which has a central role in coordinating cooperation. The Prime Minister also asked the UN to give priority to eliminating poverty and support basic development in order to improve the quality of lives for such persons so that they can live with basic rights. The meeting on 29 May will provide an opportunity for the exchange of viewpoints in order to find approaches and conclusions for lasting solutions to this problem in a constructive manner. The meeting will also be a platform for ASEAN to work together in solidarity as a responsible member of the international community. In addition, the Prime Minister also requested the UNSG to enhance understanding among the many organizations to proceed on this matter attentively in building international cooperation to solve this problem based on humanitarian and legal grounds while avoiding any actions that may cause political disputes. The UNSG expressed his support for this approach and expressed a readiness to cooperate in order for the meeting to be successful, while thanking the Prime Minister, the Royal Thai Government and ASEAN.
For more information and updates about Thailand’s policies and actions against trafficking in persons and related issues, visit www.thaianti-humantraffickingaction.org