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Parliamentary questions
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15 November 2018
Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini
Question reference: E-004463/2018

Thailand is not a signatory to the 1951 United Nations (UN) Refugee Convention and there is no domestic legislation related to the protection of refugees or the processing of requests for asylum. In the absence of a national system, UN High Commissioner for Refugees conducts refugee status determination and facilitates the resettlement of persons recognised as refugees.

The EU Delegation to Thailand has engaged actively with civil society regarding the arrest of the Cambodian and Vietnamese asylum-seekers on 28 August 2018. In a dedicated outreach to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the EU Delegation also sought information on the case from the Thai authorities and expressed concern regarding the arrest, detention and/or separation of children from their parents. The EU recalled Thailand's obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, in particular Articles 3 (best interest of the child as primary consideration) and 9 (avoiding separation of children from their parents) and asked the authorities to avoid both the separation of children from their parents and the detention of children in Immigration Detention Centres (IDCs).

Subsequent to the EU's outreach and according to the latest information received, four breastfeeding mothers have been reunited with their children in shelters operated by the Thai Ministry of Social Development and Human Security (MSDHS). The remaining cases involving detained children are currently being assessed by the Department of Children and Youth of the MSDHS on a case by case basis. For the time being, the children appear to have a choice between either staying with their mothers in an IDC or staying separately at a shelter. The EU will remain actively seized on the matter and continue to engage the Thai authorities as required.

Last updated: 15 November 2018Legal notice