The objectives of research study are 1) to study the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand B.E. 2560 and the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China (1982) under the concept of Constitutionalism as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and 2) to study the current situations of human rights and liberties in Thailand and China, along with the two countries’ Constitutions and UDHR . This is a qualitative study with data collection and document analysis. Findings of the study are described below.
The Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand B.E. 2560 stipulates that Thailand is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy. The making process and provisions of the Constitution conform to four principles of Constitutionalism: 1) social contract 2) supreme law 3) separation of powers and 4) rule of law. Meanwhile, the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China (1982) states that China is a socialist state. The drafting process and provisions of the Constitution comply with only two principles of Constitutionalism, supreme law and rule of law. Regarding to rights and liberties listed in the two Constitutions and UDHR, the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand B.E. 2560 includes all 30 articles of UDHR as mostly shown in Chapter III Rights and Liberties of the Thai People and also in other chapters, including Chapter I General Provisions, Chapter IV Duties of the Thai People, Chapter V Duties of the State and Chapter VI Directive Principles of State Policies. The Constitution of the People’s Republic of China (1982) complies with 27 articles of UDHR as mainly seen in Chapter I General Principles and also in Chapter II The Fundamental Rights and Duties of Citizens and Chapter III The Structure of the State. As above, provisions related to civil rights and liberties in the democratic Constitution are greater than ones of the socialist Constitution.
The situation of human rights in Thailand has generally improved; moreover, the national reform plan and amendments to existing laws are underway to enhance rights and liberties of the people. However, there are some concern issues, especially challenges to community rights in natural resources and environmental management, violent situations in the southern border provinces, human trafficking, restrictions on freedom of expression and social movements. In China, restrictions on individual rights and liberties are apparent, such as religious discrimination, ethnic suppression and obstruction of civil society.
The research study concludes that both democratic and socialist Constitutions protect fundamental rights and liberties of citizens; nonetheless, law enforcement are ineffective and people as well as government officials lack of knowledge and understanding towards rights and liberties. Thus, recommendations made as a result of this study are as follows; 1) to enact new laws or amend existing laws in compliance with the current situation and human rights treaties in order to transform constitutional provisions into actions 2) to promote knowledge and understanding of human rights and liberties in the society and 3) to monitor and evaluate the 4th National Human Rights Plan (B.E 2562–2566) for better implementation and more efficient protection of people’s rights and liberties.