The Thai government ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) in 2008, and the first progress report by the State Party was issued in 2012. This study assesses and identifies gaps in the Government's implementation of the Convention.
Using the Deming Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle as an analytical framework for continuous quality improvement, we reviewed five documents which are: the 2012 State Party report; the list of issues by the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; the 2015 replies to the list of issues by the Thai government; an alternative report produced by Civil Society Organizations (CSOs); and an alternative report produced by the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand. Content analysis is applied to generate the emerging gaps in implementation.
Thailand's main advantage is the evolving legal frameworks operating in compliance with the convention, although further amendment is still needed, including effective law enforcement. Conflicting information between the Government's and alternative reports reflects the shortcomings in the information system that intends to support rigorous monitoring and evaluation. Lacking of concrete measures and outcome indicators on certain articles reflects the State Party's limited understanding of the concept of human rights and participatory approaches and insufficient institutional capacities for effective implementation.
To rectify these implementation gaps, a few actions are suggested. This includes amending the laws which violate the rights of persons with psychosocial disability; reforming governance where the monitoring bodies are truly independent from implementing agencies; strengthening cross-sectoral actions; and improving information systems which facilitate monitoring and evaluation where Disabled People's Organizations and Civil Society Organizations are recognized as true equal partners. Implementation research can provide evidence for further effective implementation.