National Constitutional provisions – Thailand
The constitution is the fundamental law of the country, reflecting the underlying and unifying values of society. It spells out the basic rights of each person; it serves as a framework for all other laws and policies, and cannot be easily changed. However, it can be changed and updated through a democratic process, and it is important to keep it alive, by popularising and using it, and by campaigning for its reform or amendment if necessary. Below we have picked out what we see as some of the most relevant articles, but please be encouraged to seek and read your constitution in its entirety.
The state is the central actor in any claim to the right to education: it is the prime duty-bearer and the prime implementer; it is the guarantor; and it is the state´s signature vis-à-vis the international norms and standards which binds it to respect, protect and fulfil the right to education. The state must therefore be judged or challenged on its central text on the right to education, whether this be the constitution, the laws or the policies.
The Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand 2007
Part 8 Rights and Liberties in Education
. A person shall enjoy an equal right to receive education for the duration of not less than twelve years which shall be provided by State thoroughly, up to the quality, and without charge.
The indigent, disabled or handicapped, or destitute person shall enjoy an equal right under paragraph one and shall be supported by State to receive equal education with other persons.
The education and training provided by professional or private organisation, alternative education of the public, self-directed learning and lifelong learning shall get appropriate protection and promotion from State.
A person shall enjoy an academic freedom.
Education and training, learning and teaching, research and disseminating of research according to academic principles shall be protected; provided that it is not contrary to his civic duties or good morals.
Children and youth shall enjoy the right to survive and to receive physical, mental and intellectual development potentially in suitable environment with due regard to their participation.
Children, youth, women and family members shall have the right to be protected by State against violence and unfair treatment and shall have the right to medical treatment or rehabilitation upon the occurrence thereof.
An interference and imposition of rights of children, youth and family members shall not be made except by virtue of the law specially enacted for the maintenance of family institution or utmost benefit of such person.
Children and youth with no guardian shall have the right to receive appropriate care and education from the State.
Duties of the Thai People
Every person shall have a duty to serve in armed forces, render assistance in providing public calamity prevention and rehabilitation, pay taxes, render assistance to the official service, receive education and training, protect, preserve and pass on the national arts and culture and local wisdom and conserve natural resources and the environment as provided by law.
Part 4 Religions, Social, Public Health, Education and Culture Policies
.The State shall act in compliance with the social, public health, education and culture policies as follows:
(1) protecting and developing child and youth, promoting childhood nourishment and education, promoting the equality between women and men, creating, reinforcing and developing family integrity and the strength of communities, as well as providing aids and welfare to the elderly, the indigent, the disabled or handicapped and the destitute person for their better quality of life and ability to become self-reliance;
(3) developing quality and standard in providing education at all levels and forms to be in line with economic and social changes, preparing the national education plan and the law for national education development, providing development of quality of teachers and educational personnel to meet the current changing in the present day world, and instilling awareness of being Thais, disciplines, common interests and a democratic regime of government with the King as Head of the State to learners;
(4) promoting and supporting the delegation of powers to the local governments, communities, religious organisations and private sector with a view to provide and participate in educational management for the development of educational quality standard equally and to be in line with the fundamental State policy;
(5) encouraging and supporting the making of researches in various disciplines of arts and sciences and disseminating all research results funded by the State;
(6) encouraging and instilling the right awareness of national unity and learning, and instilling and making known of arts, tradition and culture of the nation as well as good value and local wisdom.
The human dignity, right, liberty and equality of the people shall be protected.
The Thai people, irrespective of their origins, sexes or religions, shall enjoy equal protection under this Constitution.
The Constitution is the supreme law of State. The provisions of any law, rule or regulation, which are contrary to or inconsistent with this Constitution, shall be unenforceable.
All persons are equal before the law and shall enjoy equal protection under the law.
Men and women shall enjoy equal rights.
Unjust discrimination against a person on the grounds of the difference in origin, race, language, sex, age, disability, physical or health condition, personal status, economic or social standing, religious belief, education or constitutionally political view, shall not be permitted.
Measures determined by the State in order to eliminate obstacle to or to promote persons’ ability to exercise their rights and liberties as other persons shall not be deemed as unjust discrimination under paragraph three..
Persons assembling as to be a community, local community or traditional local community shall have the right to conserve or restore their customs, local wisdom, arts or good culture of their community and of the nation and participate in the management, maintenance and exploitation of natural resources, the environment and biological diversity in a balanced and sustainable fashion.
HUMAN RIGHTS INSTRUMENTS
The State shall promote friendly relations with other countries and adopt the principle of non-discrimination and shall comply with human rights conventions in which Thailand is a party thereto as well as international obligations concluded with other countries and international organisations.
HUMAN RIGHTS INSTITUTIONS
There shall be three Ombudsmen who shall be appointed by the King with the advice of the Senate from the persons recognised and respected by the public, with knowledge and experience in the administration of State affairs, enterprises or activities of common interests of the public and with apparent integrity……
Section 244. The Ombudsmen have the powers and duties as follows:
(1) to consider and inquire into the complaint for fact-findings in the following cases:
(a) failure to perform in compliance with the law or performance beyond powers and duties as provided by law of a government official, an official or employee of a government agency, State agency, State enterprise or local government organisation;
(b) performance of or omission to perform duties of a government official, an official or employee of a government agency, State agency, State enterprise or local government organisation, which unjustly causes injuries to the complainant or the public whether such act is lawful or not;
(c) investigation any omission to perform duties or unlawful performance of duties of the Constitutional organisation or agencies in the administration of justice, except the trial and adjudication of the Courts;
(d) other cases as provided by law;
(2) to conduct the proceeding in relation to ethics of persons holding political positions and State officials under section 279 paragraph three and section 280;
(3) to monitor, evaluate and prepare recommendations on the compliance with the Constitution including considerations for amendment of the Constitution as deemed necessary;
(4) to report the result of its investigation and performance together with comments to the Council of Ministers, the House of Representatives and the Senate annually. Such report shall be published in the Government Gazette and disclosed to the public.
In exercising of powers and duties under (1) (a), (b) and (c), the Ombudsmen shall proceed where there is a complaint thereon, provided that the Ombudsmen is of the opinion that such act causes injuries to the public or it is necessary to protect public interests and, in such case, the Ombudsmen may consider and conduct investigation irrespective of a complaint.
The National Human Rights Commission
The National Human Rights Commission consists of a President and six other members appointed, by the King with the advice of the Senate, from the persons having apparent knowledge and experiences in the protection of rights and liberties of the people with due regard to the participation of representatives from private organisations in the field of human rights.
The President of the Senate shall countersign the Royal Command appointing the President and members of the National Human Rights Commission.
The qualifications, prohibitions, selection, election, removal and determination of the remuneration of members of the National Human Rights Commission shall be as provided by law.
The members of the National Human Rights Commission shall hold office for a term of six years as from the date of their appointment by the King and shall serve for only one term.
The provisions of section 204 paragraph three, section 206, section 207 and section 209 (2) shall apply mutatis mutandis, provided that the composition of the Selective Committee shall be in accordance with section 243.
There shall be the Office of the National Human Rights Commission being an agency having autonomy in its personnel administration, budget and other activities as provided by law.
The National Human Rights Commission has the powers and duties as follows:
(1) to examine and report the commission or omission of acts which violate human rights or which do not comply with obligations under international treaties to which Thailand is a party, and propose appropriate remedial measures to the person or agency committing or omitting such acts for taking action. In the case where it appears that no action has been taken as proposed, the Commission shall report to the National Assembly for further proceeding;
(2) to submit the case together with opinions to the Constitutional Court in the case where the Commission agrees with the complainant that the provisions of any law are detrimental to human rights and beg the question of the constitutionality as provided by the organic law on rules and procedure of the Constitutional Court;
(3) to submit the case together with opinions to the Administrative Courts in the case where the Commission agrees with the complainant that any rule, order or administrative act is detrimental to human rights and begs the question of the constitutionality and legality as provided by the law on establishment of Administrative Courts and Administrative Court Procedure;
(4) to bring the case to the Courts of Justice for the injured person upon request of such person if it deems appropriate for the resolution of human rights violation problem as a whole as provided by law;
(5) to propose to the National Assembly and the Council of Ministers policies and recommendations with regard to the revision of laws, rules or regulations for the promotion and protection of human rights;
(6) to promote education, researches and the dissemination of knowledge on human rights;
(7) to promote co-operation and co-ordination among government agencies, private organisations and other organisations in the field of human rights;
(8) to prepare an annual report for the appraisal of situations in the sphere of human rights in the country and submit it to the National Assembly;
(9) other powers and duties as provided by law.
In the performance of duties of the National Human Rights Commission, regard shall be had to interests of the country and the public.
The National Human Rights Commission has the power to demand relevant documents or evidence from any person or summon any person to give statements of fact including other powers for the purpose of performing its duties as provided by law.