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School of Law

Puangrat Patomsirirak


PhD Student


Thesis title

The Legal Aspects of Thailand for Dealing with Thai Emigrant Citizens During Pandemic Emergencies: A Comparative Study with Malaysia and Singapore


Summary of research

This research aims to assess Thailand’s protection regime for Thai nationals abroad during a pandemic. This project involves predominantly the area of migration, citizenship, human rights and the state protection at the time of the novel Covid-19 pandemic which raises the problematic issue of travel ban. While the most of academic writing regarding migration and the Covid-19 infection contributes to the obligation of receiving state in treating its immigrants; refugee and migrant worker. This research employs the perspective of sending state or the state of nationality of emigrant.

Since there is the fact that Thai nationals who are aboard may not afford the state protection from Thailand as his/her state of nationality during pandemic. For example, while the majority of countries repatriated their overseas nationals, Thailand offered no state assistance to its overseas nationals and closed its border to both aliens and citizens. This led to a situation in which the stranded citizens attempting to return home were prosecuted as “illegally returning citizens”. It is reasonable to argue that state must protect the public health security from the spread of infectious disease outside its territory. Nevertheless, it may also argue that the personal state needs to be balanced such duty with protecting the individual rights of his nationals aboard.

This research will utilise the documentary research, combined with an empirical analysis. To understand how Thailand ought to deal with its overseas nationals during a pandemic emergency, the comparative components of the project which examine the protection regime of Malaysia and Singapore for their emigrant citizens will be carried out by using a documentary approach.


Puangrat holds a Bachelor degree in Law with the Second Class Honours and an LLM (International law) from Thammasat University, Thailand. Prior to her doctoral research, she also completed her second LLM (Immigration law) with Merits at the Queen Mary University of London.

Today, Puangrat is a lecturer in law at Thammasat University. Her research topics during 2013-2018 involve the refugees, stateless person and migrant workers in the Southeast Asia region; Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand. Also, she strengthened her legal background in practice as the lawyer who provided legal advocacy for irregular migrants, stateless person in Thailand.


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