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  • Writer's pictureManushya Foundation

In her own words: Meet Yok- the youngest person charged with lèse-majesté in Thailand

Yok is just one among 20 youth under 18 and other 232 people charged with royal defamation, despite her significant contributions to the advancement of Thailand’s democracy. The government’s prosecution of her is clearly in contradiction with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which Thailand ratified, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which it endorsed.

We would also like to bring to everyone’s attention that Yok is a child, deserving of utmost protection. Her restricted access to education, seemingly as a result of her political expression and legal charges, points to the government’s failure to safeguard her rights as a child. According to Thailand’s 2017 Constitution, the state has a duty to ensure that children receive 12 years of basic education. Further, the right to education for all young people, including pro-democracy activists, is enshrined in Article 13 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), and Article 28 of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). In addition, it is essential to raise that Thailand is neglecting its duty to ensure school discipline is consistent with the child's human dignity, in accordance with Article 28 of the CRC, as evident in Yok’s ongoing campaign against mandatory school uniforms and the reprimand she received from her teachers. We call on Thai public authorities to guarantee Yok’s right to education, promote the students’ freedom to express themselves, bring school discipline in line with international human rights standards, and end all forms of intimidation against activists.



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