Thai authorities are prosecuting and harassing child human rights defenders for peacefully exercising their right to protest.
Authorities have sentenced LGBTI campaigner Thanakorn ‘Petch’ Phiraban, are investigating Chan Tonnamphet, an indigenous land rights activist, and are trying ‘Sand’, a youth activist, for protesting when they were under 18 years old.
As a result of speaking at two protests in 2020, when 17-year-old, Thanakorn ‘Petch’ Phiraban was sentenced in November 2022 to between 18 months and three years’ detention in a vocational and training centre for lèse-majesté. In December 2022, Thanakorn also received a suspended two-year sentence and faces additional charges including under the Emergency Decree. After taking part in protests in Bangkok in 2021, 17-year-old activist ‘Sand’ faces criminal proceedings, including under the now-defunct Emergency Decree imposed to control the spread of COVID-19, for peacefully protesting for changes in the government and the release of student protest leaders detained in 2021. Chan Tonnamphet, a Karen indigenous community land rights activist, is under investigation for violating the Emergency Decree after she voiced her community’s concerns about access to their land at a rally in Bangkok in 2022.
They are among 283 children targeted with criminal proceedings.
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