Columnnist

Vitit Muntarbhorn

Professor of law at Chulalongkorn University

Vitit Muntarbhorn is professor emeritus at the Law Faculty, Chulalongkorn University. He has helped the UN in a various positions, including as UN Special Rapporteur, UN Independent Expert and member of UN Commissions of Inquiry on human rights.

Vitit Muntarbhorn
5 Oct 2022

Stepping stones for Asean's rights body

In 2009, Asean established a long-awaited regional human rights body in the form of the Asean Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR). This commission has now undertaken a self-assessment of its work in recent years, and it covers some of the innovative measures identified below. Complementary to AICHR, there also came into being the Asean Commission on the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) and other sectoral bodies.

5 Oct 2022 5
Stepping stones for Asean's rights body
15 Sep 2022

How to invigorate multilateralism

Multilateralism, embodied in the United Nations (UN) as the world’s primary body for fostering international relations and international law among all countries, has been the mainstay of global history since the World War II.

15 Sep 2022 8
How to invigorate multilateralism
1 Sep 2022

Beating scams, trafficking no easy task

This region has been in the news in recent weeks in regard to online scams and human trafficking, compounded by other forms of exploitation such as forced labour and forced criminality.

1 Sep 2022 10
Beating scams, trafficking no easy task
4 Aug 2022

Calling Thai domestic abuse to account

Developing societies (including Thailand) have enjoyed the presence of extended families, in contrast with the smaller unit of nuclear families. This broader coverage, encompassing not only the parents and children but also grandparents and other dependants, has offered a social safety net to support family members. Yet, that extended unit has now been disintegrating for some time, compounded by the stress due to Covid-19. What then are the areas needing more attention to tackle the changing scenario?

4 Aug 2022 12
Calling Thai domestic abuse to account
13 Jul 2022

A new direction for UN in Thailand?

Thailand is proudly a hub for United Nations (UN) agencies and programmes, and this adds weight to its leverage in international relations. Inevitably, the UN presence has to address key issues of sustainable development, human rights, democracy and peace. A key question is thus whether a viable balance is being struck between national practices and international aspirations.

13 Jul 2022 8
A new direction for UN in Thailand?
24 Jun 2022

Guarding privacy amid digitalisation

The issue of privacy, especially in terms of the protection of personal data linked to a person's identity, has come to the fore this month due to the coming into force of Thailand's Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA). It applies to both public and private entities that keep or process personal data concerning other people and it establishes safeguards to protect people's privacy.

24 Jun 2022 2
Guarding privacy amid digitalisation
6 Jun 2022

Disappearances bill nears final vote

A recent seminar on May 24 hosted by the Ministry of Justice together with international organisations highlighted various stepping stones in the struggle against torture and enforced disappearances in Thailand. There was detailed discussion of the draft national law on the issue. There was also analysis of Thailand's most recent report on its implementation of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment (CAT), which was an eye-opener for the public.

6 Jun 2022 12
Disappearances bill nears final vote
18 May 2022

Remembering Bloody May 1992

This month commemorates the 30-year anniversary of the Bloody May events in 1992 that witnessed extensive violence against street demonstrators and the subsequent fall of the military-linked government that had come to power due to the 1991 coup. What then are some of the lessons to remember, resonating from the past to the present and the future?

18 May 2022 21
Remembering Bloody May 1992
4 May 2022

Making change via K-Pop and Thai-Y

K-Pop and artistic ripples through films and other forms of entertainment from South Korea have been conquering the world in recent years, as part of soft power and smart power.

4 May 2022 16
Making change via K-Pop and Thai-Y
20 Apr 2022

UN General Assembly must assert itself

The recent vote in the UN General Assembly (GA) suspending Russia from the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), due to its conduct in Ukraine, in early April 2022 is a rare instance of the GA asserting its powers with binding force. Generally, only the UN Security Council (SC) can adopt measures; these are exemplified by sanctions adopted by the SC periodically against errant states, non-government armed groups and individuals. Is there then room for a more assertive GA, especially when the SC is dysfunctional?

20 Apr 2022 19
UN General Assembly must assert itself