Why It Matters: Thailand’s Royal Thai Police (RTP) clears over 9 million criminal records, significantly impacting citizens’ lives and rights.
What To Watch: The impact of this initiative on Thai society, particularly in terms of job opportunities and social reintegration.
Key Fact: The initiative has successfully restored rights to 9.3 million people out of 13,051,234 with criminal records within a two-year period.
BANGKOK, THAILAND – In a landmark move, the Royal Thai Police (RTP) has cleared over 9 million criminal records, a significant step towards rectifying issues in the criminal record screening process and restoring rights and opportunities to millions of Thai citizens.
This initiative, which has been implemented over a two-year period, has successfully restored rights to 9.3 million people out of the total 13,051,234 with criminal records. The RTP launched a new website today, allowing Thai nationals to check their status and see if they are eligible for clearance of minor offenses.
The criteria for expunging records have been updated in nine areas, including cases with a non-prosecution order, withdrawn cases, legal cancellation of offenses (such as cannabis possession), and individuals who have been acquitted or pardoned. This update is in compliance with Article 29 Paragraph 2 of the 2017 Constitution, which presumes innocence if there is no final judgment.
National Police Chief Torsak Sukvimol highlighted the project’s benefits, particularly for offenses like driving under the influence, which are not considered criminal. He acknowledged that while the project cannot fully solve all issues, it provides individuals with the maximum opportunity to reintegrate into society.
The initiative does not apply to all cases, as noted by Deputy Police Chief Surachate “Big Joke” Hakparn. For instance, it cannot apply to ex-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, currently serving a sentence for abuse of power and malfeasance, due to the severity and duration of his sentence.
This sweeping clearance of criminal records is a significant step for Thailand, offering a fresh start to millions and potentially transforming the landscape of social justice and reintegration in the country.
Source: Coconuts Bangkok