Photo: Martin Usborne

Thailand

Priority Issues

  • Freedom of Expression
  • Labor Rights
  • LGBTI Rights
  • Resource Rights and Corporate Accountability

Began Program: 2008

The past decade has seen a steady erosion of human rights protections in Thailand. A cycle of protests and military coups have created instability and uncertainty in the country. Most recently in May 2014, military leaders declared martial law and seized power in a bloodless coup. Since then, the military has placed severe restrictions on freedom of assembly and expression, legitimized extensive use of arbitrary detention, and activated military courts to bring dissidents to trial. The junta continues its crackdown on those exercising their fundamental rights and freedoms and has made no genuine progress toward restoring democratic rule.

By continuing to provide unrestricted funds, supporting strategic litigation on various human rights issues and justice for victims in the conflict-ridden southern border provinces, and strengthening resource rights activism across the country, the Fund aims to respond to dynamic needs and opportunities within the Thai human rights movement at this critical moment when support for human rights is at an historic low.

Our Strategy

Fund support enables grassroots groups to press for accountability and advance protections against human rights violations and abuses using a combination of community organizing, research and advocacy, and strategic litigation. This has generated groundbreaking jurisprudence to help the country realize its rights – including a major legal victory that held a private company and the government responsible for restoring a contaminated a creek that ethnic minority villagers depended on for their livelihood, a landmark occupational health case that held a weaving company liable for working conditions that led to workers contracting a serious lung disease, a milestone case that secured damages and compensation for a migrant worker child who was tortured and abused by employers at seasonal farm, and a legal victory resulting in a mining company paying damages and an injunction against further mining activities in the South.