The committee discussed a broad range of human-rights issues on a three-day visit to Thailand that ended on Wednesday, including labour rights, the fisheries sector, migrant workers’ rights, issues related to human trafficking and the upcoming election. Coup-related human-rights failures since 2014 and several rights issues related to the fisheries sectors had led to a suspension of diplomatic relations that lasted until last December, when the junta promised to hold an election. UK PM Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron also agreed to meet with junta leader Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha on recent visits to London and Paris. The contact was hailed by junta supporters as evidence that Prayut, having promised an election for early 2019, had garnered acceptance by the free world. But the human rights subcommittee chairman Pier Antonio Panzeri repeatedly stressed in press conference before leaving Thailand that full restoration of ties depends on further progress. Thailand must first meet prerequisites, including organising a free and fair election based on recognised international standards, he said. At repeated meetings with Thai authorities, the delegation had repeatedly stressed the importance of the election as a fundamental pre-requisite for the resumption of bilateral relations, including any development of… Read full this story
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