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Pakistan: Asylum

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL12772, tabled on 14 January 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees about asylum seekers from Pakistani religious minorities who are living illegally in Thailand; when any such discussions were held; and what progress is being made in the resettlement of such asylum seekers.

Answered on

21 January 2019

Our Embassy in Bangkok closely followed the October 2018 detention in Thailand of approximately 100 people, mainly from Pakistan, whom the Thai authorities considered illegal immigrants, and has monitored other recent immigration crackdowns. On 2 November 2018 I spoke to the Thai Ambassador in London to raise our concerns over the detention of foreign nationals, including nationals of Pakistan, in Thailand. Later that month, our Embassy in Bangkok raised the issue with the Ministry of the Interior. We have also repeatedly urged Thailand to sign the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees. We believe that the actions of the Thai authorities are not aimed at any specific group or groups but apply to anyone whom they deem an illegal visa over-stayer. The UNHCR are working closely with the Royal Thai Government over asylum and resettlement issues.