Officially today, May 15, the Thai Government prohibits the shackling of prisoners with serious offenses.
The shackling of inmates in prisons has been a practiced in Thailand for over a century.
According to officers in charge of prison management, the new regulation will help improve living conditions of inmates. However the prisoners will continue to be bound when appearing courts to prevent escape and violence.
This is a step forward in human rights for Thailand. Practices that violate basic needs of prisoners, in respect to the value of life, must be abolished.
Non-governmental organisations (NGO) should have access to prisons to enable more social programs for prisoners. Programs aiming to prepare inmates for their release and integration into society must be given priority.
The Government must set an accountable system of monitoring and catering to the basic needs of prisoners, especially in areas of emotional therapy, drug abuse and health care.