The Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF), a non-profit organisation that aims to promote human rights, has called on the government to push for tougher laws banning the use of torture.
CrCF director Pornpen Khongkachonkiet said the government must not only introduce these anti-torture laws but also extend support to victims and their families.
Without anti-torture laws, many incidents of torture are treated as non-criminal cases, Ms Pornpen said.
She said that means victims are unable to claim compensation under the Compensation for Damaged Persons in Criminal Cases Act.
Ms Pornpen made the demand at a seminar yesterday to mark the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, which falls today.
The UN holds this day annually for people to speak out against torture and to honour and support victims and their families throughout the world.
In Thailand, the National Human Rights Commission received more than 102 complaints involving torture and abuse between 2007 and 2012, Ms Pornpen said.
Many people who lodged the complaints said their loved ones were tortured while in the custody of state officials, she said. Many of those cases took place in the far South, she added.
Some non-governmental organisations monitoring the situation in the region found that state authorities there are using torture to get confessions from suspects, she said.
She said she has information that authorities beat suspects with hard objects and use electric shocks to force confessions.
Ms Pornpen said the government refuses to accept torture is happening.
"If we do not accept that torture is a crime and requires a proper remedy and compensation, this problem will not be solved," she said.
The government last year submitted a situation report to the UN which will conduct a review next May.
However, NGOs working to promote human rights plan to send a shadow report to Geneva this year.
One of the shadow report writers, CrCF member Preechaya Lertvisedpanya, said the government is amending laws but the changes still do not conform with the international definition of torture. She said the government's efforts are inadequate.
The government should try to prevent torture and should allow lawyers and relatives to visit suspects, she said.
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- Writer: Thanida Tansubhapol