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Indigenous Peoples' 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 Indigenous Peoples' Rights in Thailand was prepared by Manushya Foundation, the Network of Indigenous Peoples in Thailand (NIPT), the Indigenous Women's Network of Thailand (IWNT), and the Inter Mountain Peoples Education and Culture in Thailand Association (IMPECT).


The UPR Factsheet examines the compliance of Thailand with the recommendations it received during its 2nd UPR cycle in relation to Indigenous Peoples in Thailand. During its 2nd UPR Cycle, Thailand received one recommendation directly addressing indigenous peoples’ rights from Sierra Leone, calling on Thailand to ‘Ratify the ILO Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (No. 169)’. The recommendation was noted and not implemented.


This factsheet indicates that Indigenous Peoples in Thailand face severe challenges in accessing their human rights, in the following manner: 


  • Constitutional & domestic legal gaps result in limited protection of indigenous peoples’ rights

  • Indigenous peoples face barriers to citizenship, which restricts their enjoyment and exercise of all other human rights and fundamental freedoms and increases their risks and vulnerabilities of exploitation and discrimination

  • There is a widespread misconception that indigenous peoples engage in drug trade and threaten national security and the environment, which contributes to their discrimination and rights violations

  • Indigenous human rights defenders are subject to government surveillance and face reprisals and insecurity

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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