#NoNPOBill: The Government must withdraw the draft NPO Bill NOW!
#NoNPOBill ✊ The Government must withdraw the draft NPO Bill NOW!
1000 people presented demands of Thai civil society to the Government yet another time today. A protest that started at the UN Headquarters and marched to the Government House met with a government representative, Anucha Nakasai, Minister of the PM Office. A coalition of civil society organisations, grassroots groups and activists presented him with a letter, demanding the Government to:
1. Immediately repeal the resolution of the Cabinet that approves in principle the draft NPO bill that violates human dignity and ceases all proposals of laws that control the freedom of association of the people
2. Sign a written agreement not to push forward the draft NPO bill
3. Ensure that no one is the target of harassment, arbitrary arrest, or charges for exercising their fundamental rights to assembly and peaceful protest
📍 The abusive bill was originally approved by the Government on 24 February 2021 and requires all Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs) to be registered with the Ministry of Interior. NPOs’ actions must comply with the rules prescribed by the law and administered by the Ministry of Interior. If the draft passes into law, it will be detrimental to the development of all non-profit organizations whether INGOs, grassroots communities or small local civil society organizations and NGOs.
Read our analysis of the devastating impacts of the Bill on civil society here.
The approval of the Bill sparked a mass-scale opposition from Thai civil society that has since united and been fighting against it. Manushya Foundation has joined dozens of other organizations, calling for its withdrawal in a series of joint letters and statements on 17 June 2021, 27 December 2021, and most recently on 12 May 2022 in a letter to the US President Joseph R. Biden and the Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken.
The NPO Bill does not have a place in a democratic society and its adoption would only contribute to the shrinking civic space we have been witnessing in Thailand in recent years. Manushya Foundation has been raising this issue, as well as the fact that the bill itself is not compliant with International Human Rights Law standards, on various occasions. Most importantly, we lobbied for this issue to be included in Thailand's 3rd Universal Periodic Review, a UN-backed review assessing the human rights situation in the country.
We presented our UPR Factsheet on Civic Space in Thailand to the international community and informed the UN about the dangers of the NPO Bill. In November 2021, the international community spoke clearly: in its current form, the NPO Bill is a danger to Thai civil society and democracy. Thailand consequently received 9 recommendations from foreign governments. 8 of them calling for a revision of the NPO Bill were accepted by Thailand in March 2022, however, the Government only 'noted' (effectively meaning 'refused') the remaining recommendation calling for a withdrawal of the Bill.
Manushya Foundation will continue to fight against the deeply flawed NPO Bill until the Government can ensure that civil society in Thailand can operate freely and that our rights to freedom of assembly, association, and expression are respected!
#WeAreManushyan - Equal Human Beings
👉 Read our analysis of the devastating impacts of the Bill on civil society here.
👉 Read our UPR Factsheet on Civic Space
👉 Sign the petition against the NPO Bill here no.npobill.org/stop-npo/
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Resources used for the design
(1) The Active, 'ค้านจนกว่าจะถอนร่าง พ.ร.บ.การดำเนินกิจกรรมขององค์กรไม่แสวงหากำไร', (23 May 2022), available at: https://theactive.net/news/socialmovement-20220523/
(2) Prachatai English https://twitter.com/prachatai_en/status/1528909219088703488