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  • Writer's pictureManushya Foundation

Thailand's false climate solutions violate human rights!

#ClimateJustice After Thailand pretending to be a Business and Human Rights champion with its flawed National Action Plan, it tries to persuade the world about standing up for the environment as well. The reality? While ignoring the root causes of environmental degradation, it deeply hurts already marginalized communities and violates their human rights! Read more & have a look at our amazing new comic!

Do you remember our campaign trying to #SaveSabWaiVillagers from losing their home and being put in extreme poverty? This Isaan community has been targeted by the Government's Forest Reclamation Policy that tried to push them out of their village because of "forest encroachment" of the Sai Thong National Park.

The villagers have lived in the area prior to its declaration as a national park and make their living as small-scale farmers growing cassava, a resilient crop that is actually a fantastic climate mitigation strategy. Instead, the Government presents the community as criminals and does everything possible to evict them from their homes!

#SaveBangloi Unfortunately, there are many more of such communities. People in Thailand and abroad watched in disbelief when a group of 22 indigenous Karen was arrested and detained for returning to their ancestral land in Kaeng Krachan National Park. After they had been evicted, this community waited for years for the Government to fulfill its promises to provide them with adequate compensation, including fertile land they could farm.

During this time, they suffered from poverty and malnutrition as they couldn't farm the land provided by the Government. Some community members then found jobs in cities just to lose them amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Returning to their ancestral land turned out to be the last and only option...

There are stories similar to these from all over Thailand. Too often, the brunt of these unfair forest conservation policies is borne by the most marginalized communities such as indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities. Human Rights Defenders who speak truth to power then face threats and intimidation, or are criminalized by the Government!

#WeAreManushyan - Equal Human Beings

Manushya Foundation has been long calling out Government's false climate solutions that violate human rights. Last year, we also amplified the voices of these communities at the international level! We:

Informed Thailand's 3rd Universal Periodic Review about the most urgent cases in our submission on Land-Related Rights, Forest Conservation Laws and Climate Change Policies.

We created a UPR Factsheet on False Climate Solutions with Bad Forest Conservation Laws to inform diplomats prior to the UPR Review.

We denounced human rights violations and the treatment of marginalized communities regarding false climate solutions in our Joint Civil Society Shadow Report for Thailand's CERD Review.

Our advocacy was able to bring all of these issues to the attention of the international community!

During the UPR Review, Thailand received and accepted 5 recommendations on the environment and climate change mitigation measures. The Government consequently committed itself to integrate rights-based approach in climate mitigation policies and enhance participation of local communities in land conservation and forest management.

Furthermore, after Thailand's CERD Review (examining its compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination), the CERD Committee denounced the negative effect of Thailand's forest conservation laws on ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples. In relation to indigenous peoples, the Committee recommended the Government to ensure that their lands are protected and that their free, prior and informed consent is required as per the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The outcome of the CERD Review is legally binding which means Thailand MUST implement it!

Let's make some noise and denounce the Government's hypocrisy and human rights violations!

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Let us know in the comments: How should the Government better protect the environment while respecting and promoting the human rights of EVERYONE?


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