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Thailand: Draft NGO law could be used to suppress civil society

Ahead of a Thai Cupboard meeting on 28 December, Amnesty Intercontinental urges the federal government to immediately withdraw the proposed Operation of Not-for-Income Businesses Act, after reviewing a copy of the latest draft. 

“In its recent form the excessively restrictive law could quickly be misused to hinder the perform of or even shut down a huge vary of grassroots, countrywide and global civil society teams in Thailand, threatening its standing as a regional hub for area and worldwide NGOs,” said Roseann Rife, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director. 

“The checklist of prohibitions in the draft law are so broad, various and open to abuse that they could appreciably effect the day-to-working day operations of civil modern society.” 

The checklist of prohibitions in the draft regulation are so wide, several and open to abuse that they could appreciably impact the day-to-working day functions of civil modern society.

-Roseann Rife, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director

“Of the lots of problematic sections of the most up-to-date draft, one forbids not-for-gains from influencing ‘public buy,’ ‘good morals’ or the ‘happy ordinary existence of other individuals.’ All of these obscure phrases go away businesses at possibility from authorities’ unchecked, discretionary electric power. In a region of 70 million individuals, any of these provisions could quickly be applied arbitrarily to seriously restrict liberty of expression, association, tranquil assembly, and other human legal rights.”

“Amnesty Worldwide would like to stress the importance of a clear and meaningfully inclusive consultative course of action and urge Thai authorities to find additional enter from the public, not-for-profit organizations and their partners so that this law is in line with international human rights benchmarks.” 

“We phone on the Thai govt to withdraw the Draft Act straight away and reaffirm its constitutional and global human legal rights obligations.” 


The most recent draft act of the Operation of Non-for-Income Organizations is dated 21 December 2021. This follows previous versions from 13 December and earlier this calendar year. 

At this place, it is unclear whether there will be additional public consultation before it is reviewed by Thailand’s Cupboard and Parliament. 

A more detailed evaluation of the most up-to-date draft can be identified in this joint open letter to Thailand’s Cabinet signed by over 40 Thai and international civil society organizations, including Amnesty International.