Columnnist

Vitit Muntarbhorn

Professor of law at Chulalongkorn University

Professor Vitit Muntarbhorn teaches at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok.  He has helped the UN in a variety of  positions and is currently a member of a UN Human Rights Commission of  Inquiry.  This article is derived from his speech at the recent Conference on Asean Traversing 2015:  Challenges of  Development, Democratisation, Human Rights and Peace, organised by Mahidol University, Bangkok.

Vitit Muntarbhorn
2 Jun 2020

Perils of 'national security' in virus era

National security -- coupled with public health -- has been invoked in many countries to justify actions to curb the spread of Covid-19. It has led to a variety of actions, including curfews, lockdown, quarantine and other measures to stem the tide of the novel coronavirus disease. This is, therefore, not only the right time to validate its use, but also to recalibrate its scope and application, in order to ensure and maintain a sense of reasonableness and equilibrium.

2 Jun 2020 1
Perils of 'national security' in virus era
26 May 2020

Covid-19 curbs must heed rights

One of the key developments globally and in Thailand, in regard to measures taken to counter the spread of Covid-19, is the ascendancy of executive power and its implications for human rights.

26 May 2020 17
7 Jan 2020

Protecting migrants, refugees in our age of conflict

There are about 270 million international migrants today who cross borders in search of new vistas. Many such as "expatriates" do well. However, many, particularly those who are pushed out of their homes, are caught in a trap of dislocation, dispossession and coercion, often due to armed conflicts, discrimination and violence. The number of forced migrants now stands at about 70 million people globally -- some 30 million who cross borders as "refugees" and some 40 million forced to move in their country of origin as "internally displaced persons".

7 Jan 2020
12 Dec 2019

Challenges to human rights in Asia

Cooperation between Europe and Asia offers much-needed opportunities to strengthen human rights education.

12 Dec 2019 9
Challenges to human rights in Asia
8 Nov 2019

Law, legitimacy and human rights in cyberspace

Challenges facing human rights in our brave new cyberworld invite reflection on how the law can be of assistance. Yet, the law also needs to respond to social values of what is acceptable and legitimate -- especially from the angle of democracy, sustainable development and aspirations of peace.

8 Nov 2019
Law, legitimacy and human rights in cyberspace
6 Jun 2019

Asean watchdog needs substantive protection role

The Asean Intergovernmental Commission On Human Rights (AICHR) is 10 years old this year. How has it fared so far? In its work, it is the promotion-oriented aspect rather than the protection-based dimension which has prevailed to date and, with that ambivalence, the performance of AICHR leaves much to be desired.

6 Jun 2019 3
Asean watchdog needs substantive protection role
29 Jan 2019

Immigrant children

Thai adoption of an MoU against detaining children of migrants and refugees is only an initial step, and needs to be enhanced by other international standards.

29 Jan 2019
Immigrant children
19 Nov 2018

The trafficking fight

One of the positive developments of recent years has been the government's commitment to eradicate human trafficking.

19 Nov 2018 4
The trafficking fight
8 Oct 2018

The Asian riddle

Armed conflict and violence, including gender-based violence, wreak havoc in parts of Asia, while the Syrian war is catastrophic for millions.

8 Oct 2018
The Asian riddle
3 Sep 2018

Myanmar's accountability

Asean countries might consider individually extending their jurisdiction to cover international crimes such as genocide within the region.

3 Sep 2018 6
Myanmar's accountability