18 October, 2020

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD), together with the undersigned organisations, express our solidarity with the peaceful Thai protesters for participatory democracy in the country.  We are extremely concerned about the government authorities’ excessive and disproportionate use of force and violence against the protesters, especially against women human rights defenders and student activists as they exercise their constitutional right to freedom of assembly.   

The protests started across Thailand in February when a constitutional court banned the opposition political party.  Soon after, the emergency decree on the COVID-19 pandemic saw the curbing of mass mobilisations. University and school students resumed protesting across the country since 18th July, considered to be the largest protests after the coup in 2014, demanding democratic reform of the country.  These peaceful protests  were met with further suppression of peoples’ democratic voices and dissents, leading to judicial harassment and arrests of women human rights defenders and student protesters. As of October 2020, at least 167 protesters were arrested and have been charged with sedition or violation of the continually extended COVID-19 emergency decree. At least five protesters were arrested without charges while high school and university students were also questioned by police for participating in protests.  Watchdog organisation iLaw reported at least 78 incidents of intimidation against protest sympathisers

On 15 October Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-ocha declared a state of emergency in Bangkok, following which riot police used immense and uncalled for force, including  chemical laced water from water cannons against unarmed and peaceful protesters. The protests that gathered tens of thousands of people have been led by young women leaders and women human rights defenders. Issues brought to the fore have expanded to include gender equality and women’s human rights highlighting patriarchal oppression manifested in abortion laws, taxes on menstrual products and even sexist gender norms in schools. The protesters plan to continue peaceful assembly despite arrests and crackdown

The state of emergency declaration was not necessary as the protest, which was peaceful, does not meet the conditions stipulated in Section 11 of the Emergency Decree on Public Administration in Emergency Situation B.E. 2548; while the use of force and the state of emergency declaration itself were intended to crackdown on democracy protesters.  UN agencies and human rights experts including the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association expressed concern and are closely monitoring the situation.

We strongly urge the government of Thailand to:

  1. Immediately repeal the state of emergency and restore participatory democracy in the country. 
  2. Stop the attacks against and criminalisation of peaceful protesters and immediately refrain from any use of force and violence against them.
  3. Release all who have been arrested during the peaceful protests including young high school students, university students and Women Human Rights Defenders.
  4. Ensure a democratic space and process especially for young leaders for a more equal, gender-just and democratic future for all Thai people. 
  5. Fulfil human rights obligations as a responsible UN member state that ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), and achieve the rights of all persons, including young people and children, to participation, peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, including in peaceful protest. 


Organisational Sign-ons
1 Anakbayan Makati International Philippines
2 Girl Be Heard International USA
3 CNS (Citizen News Service) International India
4 GenDev Centre for Research and Innovation LLP International India
5 International Movement for Advancement of Education Culture Social & Economic Development (IMAECSED) International India
6 International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW AP) International Malaysia
7 JASS (Just Associates) International Global
8 MIGRANTE International International Philippines
9 Water Justice and Gender International Global
10 Women Engage for a Common Future (WECF) International International Netherlands
11 Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA International Australia
12 Women Engage for a Common Future (WECF) International Netherlands
13 Women’s Major Group International Global
14 Urban Poor Resource Center of the Philippines Grassroot/National Philippines
15 Asia Development Alliance Regional Cambodia
16 Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development Regional Thailand
17 Asia Pacific Network of Environment Defenders Regional Asia Pacific
18 Asia Pacific Research Network Regional Philippines
19 Association for the Rights of Children in Southeast Asia Regional Philippines
20 Bhawani Shanker Kusum Regional India
21 Friends of Latin America Regional United States
22 Kurawal Foundation Regional Indonesia
23 PO”Otifa” Regional Tajikistan
24 RIGHTS Foundation Regional Indonesia
25 Sanklapa Darchula Nepal(Sankalpa) Regional Nepal
26 Tamilnadu Pondicherry Fisherpeople Federation Regional India
27 WoMin African Alliance Regional South Africa
28 A Legacy of Equality Leadership and Organizing Grassroot/National US
29 Aaprabasi Mahila Kamdar Samuha Nepal Grassroot/National Nepal
30 All Women’s Action Society Grassroot/National Malaysia
31 AMIHAN National Federation of Peasant Women – Philippines Grassroot/National PHILIPPINES
32 Asha Parivar Grassroot/National India
33 Association For Promotion Sustainable Development Grassroot/National India
34 Astitva Samajik Sansthan Grassroot/National India
35 AwazCDS-Pakistan Grassroot/National Pakistan
36 Bai Indigenous Womens Network in the Phikippines Grassroot/National Philippines
37 BAi national network of indigenous women’s organisations in the Philippines Grassroot/National Philippines
38 CECOEDECON, India Grassroot/National India
39 CEDAW Working Group Indonesia Grassroot/National Indonesia
40 Center for Sustainable community development Grassroot/National Vietnam
41 Center Women and Modern World Grassroot/National Azerbaijan
42 Centre for Human Rights & Development (CHRD) Grassroot/National Mongolia
44 Dem Ololt Mongolia Grassroot/National Mongolia
45 Development Organization for Social Transformation (DOST) Grassroot/National Pakistan
46 EMPOWER Malaysia Grassroot/National Malaysia
47 Fiji Women’s Rights Movement Grassroot/National Fiji
48 Funadcion para Estudio e Investigacion de la Mujer Grassroot/National Argentina
49 Gandhian Unit for Integrated Development Education (GUIDE) Grassroot/National India
50 Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women Grassroot/National Thailand
51 Global Exchange Grassroot/National United States
52 Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP) Grassroot/National Pakistan
53 Ikatan Perempuan Positif Indonesia (IPPI) Grassroot/National Indonesia
54 Inspirator Muda Nusantara Grassroot/National Indonesia
55 Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (KADAMAY) Grassroot/National Philippines
56 Karapatan Alliance Philippines Grassroot/National Philippines
57 Kilusan ng Manggagawang Kababaihan (Movement of Women Workers) Grassroot/National Philippines
58 Korea Center for Sustainable Development(KCSD) Grassroot/National Republic of Korea
59 Korea SDGs Network Grassroot/National Republic of Korea
60 Korea Women’s Associations United (KWAU) Grassroot/National Republic of Korea
61 NACASUD Nepal Grassroot/National Nepal
62 National Fisheries Solidarity Movement Grassroot/National Sri Lanka
63 National Indigenous Women Forum Grassroot/National Nepal
64 Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) Grassroot/National Nepal
65 PA women’s organization Alga Grassroot/National Kyrgyzstan
66 Pak Women Grassroot/National Pakistan
67 Pakistan Fisher Folk Forum Grassroot/National Pakistan
68 PROGRESS Kalimantan Grassroot/National Indonesia
69 Ranao Women and Children Resource Center, Inc. Grassroot/National Philippines
70 Roots for Equity Grassroot/National Pakistan
71 Roshni Tariqiyati Tanzeem Grassroot/National Pakistan
72 Sangsan Anakot Yawachon Grassroot/National Thailand
73 Savisthri National Women’s Movement Grassroot/National Sri Lanka
74 Shobujer Ovijan Foundation-SOF Grassroot/National Bangladesh
75 Socialist Party (India) Grassroot/National India
76 Solidarity for Indugenous Papuans Grassroot/National Indonesia
77 Sukaar Welfare Organization Grassroot/National Pakistan
78 Support Group on Violence Against Women and their Children, Network Grassroot/National Philippines
79 Tanggol Bayi (Defend Women) – Philippines Grassroot/National Philippines
80 The Center for Sustainable COmmunity Development (SCODE) Grassroot/National Vietnam
81 UBINIG Grassroot/National Bangladesh
82 V Day Grassroot/National Thailand
83 Vanuatu Human Rights Coalition Grassroot/National Vanuatu
84 Vanuatu Young Women For Change Grassroot/National Vanuatu
85 Women for Women’s Human Rights (WWHR)- New Ways Grassroot/National Türkiye
86 Women Forum For Women In Nepal (WOFOWON) Grassroot/National Nepal
87 Women Network for Energy and Environment (WoNEE) Grassroot/National Nepal
88 Women’s Rehabilitation Centre (WOREC), Nepal Grassroot/National Nepal
89 YAPESDI Grassroot/National Indonesia
90 Yayasan Perlindungan Insani Grassroot/National Indonesia


Individual Sign-ons
1 Aaron Ceradoy Hong Kong
2 Aasha Ramesh India
3 Abdul Rahim Sitorus Indonesia
4 Agatha Myanmar
5 Ajeng Larasati Indonesia
6 Alessandro Thailand
7 Alina Saba Nepal
8 Alma Sinumlag Philippines
9 Amanda Ng Malaysia
10 Andi Suraidah Malaysia
11 Andrea Vega Troncoso United States
12 Anjalee Karunaratne Sri Lanka
13 Anna Hattunen Finland
14 Aomtip Kerdplanant Thailand
15 Ariel Ashe-Ramirez USA
16 Arundhati Ghosh India
17 Asmaul khusnaeny Indonesia
18 Audrey Ledanois Netherlands / France
19 Austin Adams United States of America
20 Betty Barkha Fiji
21 Bobby Ramakant India
22 Burnad Fatima India
23 Carole Petersen United States
24 Charm Philippines
25 Chin KS Malaysia
26 Cristina Palabay Philippines
27 Deepti Karan Weiss Fiji
28 Dhyta Caturani Indonesia
29 Dina Soro Indonesia
30 Dominique Caouette Canada
31 Dorothea Seibert Germany
32 Dr Sandeep Pandey India
33 Eduardo Raul Pereira Canada
34 Eilert Lund Rostrup Norge
35 Elina Welmiria Indonesia
36 Emmy Sahertian Indonesia
37 Eng Chandy Cambodia
38 Erik Meade USA
39 Eunha Kim South Korea
40 Farid Ahmed Bangladesh
41 Fe Esperanza Trampe Philippines
42 Felister Gitonga Kenya
43 Fern Garber United states
44 Gobinda Chhantyal Nepal
45 Gopika Bashi India
46 Gurshaan Kaur Bajaj Thailand
47 Hanna Gunnarsson Germany
48 Iwasa Kazuyuki Japan
49 Jamilah Elder United States
50 Jaswinder Singh Sidhu India
51 Jeff Indonesia
52 Jill Biddington Australia
53 Joan Carling Philippines
54 Joie Chowdhury Switzerland
55 Judy Taguiwalo Philippines
56 Kala Peiris Sri Lanka
57 Kalyani Raj India
58 Karen Lai Malaysia
59 Kathy Durand Canada
60 Kevin Merwin USA
61 Kunlakan Thailand
62 Lahpai Nang Khar Myanmar
63 Lean Malaysia
64 Lean Deleon USA
65 Lena Zimmer Belgium
66 Lubha Neupane Nepal
67 Maggi Quadrini Thailand
68 Mandkhaitsetsen Urantulkhuur Mongolia
69 Marc Lino Abila Philippines
70 Maria Finesa Cosico Philippines
71 Marion Struck-Garbe Germany
72 Mi Mara Meo Burma
73 Misran Lubis Indonesia
74 Narayan Joshi Nepal
75 Neles Tandamat Indonesia
76 Nicole LaPorte USA
77 Nisha Sabanayagam Malaysia
78 Orawan Raweekoon Thailand
79 Patricia Francia Philippines
80 Paul Divakar N. India
81 Paul Page Switzerland
82 Philip Jamilla Philippines
83 Poushali Bhadury India
84 Quyen Nguyen UK
85 Ramsha Pakistan
86 Ravadee Prasertcharoensuk Thailand
87 Rendilyn Cuyop Philippines
88 Renuka Kad India
89 Rhiannon Bryant Thailand
90 Richard Baird USA
91 Risca Thailand
92 Ruby Hembrom India
93 Sadia Afrin Khan Bangladesh
94 Sarah Gabriel Philippines
95 Sasha Dalabajan Philippines
96 Dr. Shahabuddin Mughal Pakistan
97 Shaylah Nichols United States
98 Shobha Shukla India/ UK
99 Sidra Humayun Pakistan
100 Steph Madrid Philippines
101 Syufra Malina Indonesia
102 Tan Chia Ee Malaysia
103 Tania Daniela Indonesia
104 Tapan Chak India
105 Tetet Nera-Lauron Philippines
106 Thaufiek Zulbahary Indonesia
107 Ting Guo China
108 Ulrike Schaz Germany
109 Urana D Mongolia
110 Ursula Stott United States of America
111 Vasantha Raghavachari India
112 Wali Haider Pakistan
113 Wichuda Homklin Thailand
114 Widy Tanzyla Indonesia
115 Wike Devi Erianti Indonesia
116 William Nicholas Gomes United Kingdom
117 Wim van Schie Netherlands
118 Yen Nguyen Viet Nam
119 Yolandri Indonesia
120 ไพบูลย์ เฮงสุวรรณ ไทย


Updated on 2nd November 2020

Read the press statement by 210 civil society organisations and individuals urging the government of Thailand to immediately repeal the state of emergency and restore participatory democracy in the country, stop attacks against and criminalisation of peaceful protesters and refrain from any use of force and violence against them

For more information contact us at apwld@apwld.org