Call for Implementation of Immigration Order 148/2553: Guidelines on Standards in Immigration Detention Centres

Mekong Migration Network

Advocacy on Arrest, Detention and Deportation


Calling for Implementation of Immigration Order 148/2553:

Guidelines on Standards in Immigration Detention Centres


The Mekong Migration Network (MMN) is a sub-regional network of civil society groups working on labour, women and migration issues in all the countries of the Mekong subregion.

Among the issues that we have been calling for change on are the laws and practices concerning the arrest, detention and deportation of migrants. It is our experience that law enforcement in this area is often carried out with little legal oversight, which may jeopardize the dignity, safety and even lives of migrants, not to mention the rule of law. In order to increase transparency and prevent exploitation and abuses of migrants at the time of arrest, detention and deportation, MMN is committed to make information on relevant Thai law and policy more readily accessible to migrants and the general public.

In this short paper, MMN would like to draw attention to some of the positive aspects of the important, but little known, Guidelines on Standards in Immigration Detention Centres (Immigration Order 148/2553).

A. What is Immigration Order 148/2553: Guidelines on Standards in Immigration Detention Centres?

The Guideline was issued on 19 August 2010 by the Immigration Bureau. The authorities managing immigration detention centres are all supposed to follow these guidelines.

B. What you should know about the Guidelines

Under Section 1 (Admission), authorities must “inform detainees of their rights prescribed in the laws and rule of practices while in the IDC. An interpreter shall be provided if the detainee cannot understand Thai language.

Under Section 16 (Access to Justice), the detaining authorities should allow for visitation by representatives of embassies, consulate or NGOs to provide support to detainee during normal visiting hours or the Commander order.


Under Section 28 (Health treatment), detaining authorities should arrange the referral services including vehicles and staffs for transferring of ill detainees. The ill detainee shall be referred to the hospital or medical serviced such as the Police General Hospital in Bangkok or local hospitals or medical centers in other provinces. The detaining authorities should coordinate with the hospitals or medical centers for an arrangement of special rooms for ill detainees who requires continued care.

Under Section 34 (Visitation), detainees should be able to receive visits from families, relatives, friends, consulate officials, and NGO workers. Detainees also have the rights to request obtaining the lawyers.

Under Section 10 (nutrition/food service), all detainees shall be served three clean and nutritious meals a day and upon request, detainees shall be provided a religious diet.  Family members and relatives who visit detainees can bring reasonable amount of food to detainees.

Knowledge of these parts of the Guidelines may be helpful in the event that you are detained. MMN is currently in the process of developing more comprehensive summary of policies you should know when you are arrested, detained or deported in Thailand.

Burmese Translation (PDF, 64KB)

Khmer translation (PDF, 64 KB)

Thai translation (PDF, 192 KB)