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Digital Rights in Thailand:


Thailand will be reviewed by UN Member States on all its human rights record during its Third Universal Periodic Review (UPR) taking place on 10 November 2021 at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva (39th Session of the UPR Working Group).


To tell the truth behind #WhatsHappeningInThailand and to guarantee Recommending States make SMART recommendations that will hold the Thai government accountable on its international human rights obligations and will improve the situation on the ground, Manushya Foundation, local community members of the Thai CSOs Coalition for the UPR and the Thai BHR Network, and partner Civil Society Organizations have prepared UPR Advocacy Factsheets addressing the most challenging human rights issues and providing community-led UPR recommendations to be made to the Thai government.

The UPR Factsheet on Digital Rights in Thailand was prepared by Manushya Foundation on the basis of the joint UPR submission with Access Now, Article 19, and the ASEAN Regional Coalition to #StopDigitalDictatorship.


The UPR Factsheet examines the compliance of Thailand with the recommendations it received during its 2nd UPR cycle in relation to Digital Rights in Thailand. Since the last UPR cycle, netizens are experiencing Thailand’s growing digital dictatorship. The government has rolled out a number of repressive laws and policies over the digital space and abused the laws to curtail the fundamental online rights of its citizen. Online users, including prodemocracy activists and dissidents, face charges and criminal penalties under the Criminal Code and laws broadly criminalizing “cybercrimes” and threats to “national security”, including the 2017 amended Computer Crimes Act (CCA), the State of Emergency to Combat COVID-19 and the 2005 Emergency Decree on Public Administration in Emergency Situation.


This factsheet indicates that the current political and legal developments violate Thailand’s international human rights obligations in the following manner:


  • Crackdown on online freedom of expression under the guise of protecting ‘National Security’ and combating COVID-19- related ‘Fake News’

  • The Rise of Digital Dictatorship over Tech Companies

  • Harassment, Intimidation and Attacks against HRDs, Civil Society Activists (CSA) and Journalists for their Online Activities

  • The Lack of Data Protection in Legal and Institutional Framework

  • State Mass Surveillance and Infringement of Online Privacy

The UPR Factsheet includes community-led UPR recommendations for Recommending States to use when making their UPR recommendations to the Thai government and ensure their recommendations address the needs of local communities on the ground. It is critical for diplomats to make recommendations that are directly coming from communities to improve the human rights situation on the ground; as communities are experts of their issues: they live with the challenges and they also know the solutions they need to advance their human rights.

Learn more about our work with UN Human Rights Mechanisms (Click here)

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