The government of Thailand has recently decided to abolish the death penalty for offenders under the age of 18. The reform is part of a key review of certain rules in the criminal law of Thailand following pledges made by the country during its successful candidacy for membership of the United Nations Human Rights Council for the 2010-2013 term. Barbara Lochbihler, chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights in the European Parliament, comments:
“I welcome the decision recently taken by the Thai government to abolish the death penalty for offenders under the age of 18, as well as to reduce life imprisonment for minors to 50 years.
“This reform represents an important step forward in a region where the death penalty is still widely applied. I very much hope that Thailand will implement further measures and will soon be able to play a ‘best practice’ role in Asia, leading towards the complete abolition of the death penalty in the region.
“On 9 October, a study on the ‘Death Penalty in Asia’ will be presented in the Subcommittee on Human Rights of the European Parliament – a timely opportunity for a fruitful discussion, also on how the EU could do better in terms of helping Asia to make the death penalty an atrocity of the past.”