We recognise that the digital sphere is quickly emerging as one of the key spaces in which human rights are
Manushya Foundation works towards the promotion and protection of online freedom of expression and online
privacy. To ensure local communities and local journalists are not subject to governments’ attempts to control
the digital world, resulting in silencing human rights defenders, censorship, and defamation charges, we
encourage governments to align their national legislation and policies with international human rights standards.
Similarly, we lobby the ICT sector to uphold digital rights and resist states’ pressure to control the internet. We
encourage private companies to comply with the UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights – in
particular, Pillar 2 – related to the corporate responsibility to respect human rights and exercise human rights
Our strategy on Digital Rights has two objectives:
1. Upholding Digital Rights - online freedom and data privacy - by advocating for national legal frameworks and business activities to comply with international human rights standards and the UNGPs;
2. Enhancing Digital Literacy by raising awareness and building capacity of Netizens in Asia to navigate the digital world safely.
In Thailand, to realise our first objective, we are advocating for a Cybersecurity Bill which would respect online freedom and data privacy of Thai netizens, according to international human rights standards, while effectively tackling cyberattacks and cyber-threats. For that purpose, Manushya Foundation in collaboration with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Bangkok has launched a project to analyse the process of development, implementation and monitoring of the Cybersecurity Bill drafted by the Royal Thai Government (RTG). The project aims at providing recommendations and good practices, to inform a study on “The Cybersecurity Bill in Thailand: Challenges, Opportunities and Recommendations to uphold online freedom”; and to monitor the implementation of the Bill through the creation of an Experts Advisory Group (EAG). We hope the study would be utilised as a blueprint guide for the Thai government and private companies to uphold digital rights in the implementation of the Cybersecurity Bill.
To realise our second objective, we are partnering with Internews on a Digital Literacy project, aimed at creating a network of Digital Literacy Trainers to increase the digital literacy of the broader Thai netizen community. During multi-day workshops, we have focused on three main areas: knowledge on digital risks and threats, digital tools, and training ability. With the information and skills obtained through these workshops, and Manushya’s ongoing mentoring and technical support, these Digital Literacy Trainers have been able to pass this knowledge on to many other members of their communities.
In Phase 1 (April 2018 -- October 2018) of this project we trained 15 Regional Trainers, who directly trained 153 end-users (Thai netizens), including journalists, human rights defenders, activists, NGO workers, students, and academics.
We are currently in Phase 2 of the project (December 2018 -- February 2020), during which we are further building the capacity of 25 additional digital literacy trainers who would reach up to 125 end-users. While we enhance skills of trainers to be able to train end-users, we most importantly aim to create a strong network of Thai Netizens who are aware of the cyber-threats they may encounter and how to effectively navigate a secure digital world. From this, we hope to lay the groundwork for a sustainable network, able to continue raising awareness and building capacity of digital literacy across Thailand.