The Human Truth Foundation

Human Rights and Freedom in Thailand

By Vexen Crabtree 2019


Comments:
FB, LJ

#cambodia #equality #freedom #human_rights #laos #myanmar_(burma) #politics #thailand #tolerance #vietnam

Thailand
Kingdom of Thailand

[Country Profile Page]
StatusIndependent State
CapitalBangkok
Land Area 510 890km21
LocationAsia
Population69.9m (2011)2
Life Expectancy74.62yrs (2017)3
GNI$14 519 (2017)4
ISO3166-1 CodesTH, THA, 7645
Internet Domain.th6
CurrencyBaht (THB)7
Telephone+668

Thailand is generally poor at ensuring human rights and freedom compared to the rest of the world. Thailand comes in the top 20 in fighting anti-semitic opinions9. It does better than average in LGBT equality10 and in opposing gender inequality11. But unfortunately Thailand gets most other things wrong. It does worse than average in commentary from Human Rights Watch12, fighting corruption13, supporting personal, civil & economic freedoms14, its Global Peace Index rating15, supporting press freedom16, eliminating modern slavery17 and in its nominal commitment to Human Rights18. Military Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha wields "absolute power without oversight or accountability" and he and his officials "cannot be held accountable for their rights violations"19. Civil rights are suffering and critics of the government are being suppressed and silenced and some protests have been violently dispersed. Thailand's fishing industry has become infamous for using modern slavery techniques to acquire and keep workers via human trafficking and debt bondage techniques20.


1. Politics and Freedom

#antisemitism #burundi #corruption #eritrea #france #freedom #human_development #human_rights #indonesia #mass_media #peace #politics #slavery #Thailand

In spite of evidence showing that soldiers were responsible for most casualties during the 2010 political confrontations with the UDD, or “Red Shirts,” that left at least 90 dead and more than 2,000 injured, no military personnel or officials from the government of former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva have been charged for killing and wounding civilians at the time. On the other hand, numerous UDD leaders and supporters faced serious criminal charges.

The killings of more than 30 human rights defenders and other civil society activists since 2001 remained unresolved.

"World Report 2018" by Human Rights Watch (2018)19

Anti-Semite Opinions (2014)9
Pos.Lower is better
%9
1Laos0
2Philippines3
3Sweden4
...
7Denmark9
8USA9
9Tanzania12
10Thailand13
11Czechia13
12Canada14
13New Zealand14
14Australia14
World Avg36.8
q=101.
Corruption (2012-2016)13
Pos.Higher is better
Avg Score13
1Denmark90.8
2New Zealand90.6
3Finland89.4
...
94Peru37.0
95Benin36.8
96Colombia36.6
97Thailand36.6
98Maldives36.0
99Philippines35.6
100Algeria35.2
101Armenia35.0
World Avg43.05
q=176.
Global Peace Index (2012)15
Pos.Lower is better15
1Iceland1.11
2New Zealand1.24
3Denmark1.24
...
122Venezuela2.28
123Guatemala2.29
124Mauritania2.30
125Thailand2.30
126S. Africa2.32
127Iran2.32
128Honduras2.34
129Turkey2.34
World Avg2.02
q=157.

Human Rights Watch Comments (2017)12
Pos.Higher is better
Score12
1UK9
2France9
3Germany9
...
71Nigeria-4
72Vietnam-4
73Morocco-4
74Thailand-4
75Angola-4
76Kyrgyzstan-4
77Kuwait-4
78Azerbaijan-5
World Avg-1.9
q=123.
Nominal Commitment to HR (2009)18
Pos.Higher is better
Treaties18
1Argentina24
2Chile23
3Costa Rica23
...
145Kuwait12
146Trinidad & Tobago12
147Lebanon12
148Thailand11
149Barbados11
150Bahamas11
151Cuba11
152Guyana11
World Avg15.1
q=194.
Personal, Civil & Economic Freedom (2014)14
Pos.Lower is better
Rank14
1Hong Kong1
2Switzerland2
3New Zealand3
...
104Mozambique103
105Argentina103
106Malawi106
107Thailand107
108Lebanon108
109Laos109
110Ivory Coast110
111Ukraine111
World Avg79.7
q=159.

Press Freedom (2013)16
Pos.Lower is better16
1Finland638
2Netherlands648
3Norway652
...
131Burundi3802
132Zimbabwe3812
133Jordan3847
134Thailand3860
135Morocco3904
136Ethiopia3957
137Tunisia3993
138Indonesia4105
World Avg3249
q=178.

Media outlets face intimidation, punishment, and closure if they publicize commentaries critical of the junta and the monarchy, or raise issues the NCPO considers to be sensitive to national security–including the repression of basic rights.

Media outlets that refused to fully comply, including Voice TV, Spring News Radio, Peace TV, and TV24, were temporarily forced off the air in March, April, August, and November respectively. These stations were later allowed to resume broadcasting when they agreed to practice self-censorship, either by excluding outspoken commentators or avoiding political issues altogether.

"World Report 2018" by Human Rights Watch (2018)19

Slavery (2018)17
Pos.Lower is better
% Victims17
1Japan0.03
2Canada0.05
3Taiwan0.05
...
142Congo, (Brazzaville)0.80
143Macedonia0.87
144Swaziland0.88
145Thailand0.89
146Laos0.94
147Papua New Guinea1.03
148Belarus1.09
149Brunei1.09
World Avg0.65
q=167.

The taking of slaves has been an unwholesome feature of Human cultures since prehistory21. Private households and national endeavours have frequently been augmented with the use of slaves. The Egyptian and Roman empires both thrived on them for both purposes. Aside from labourers they are often abused sexually by their owners and their owners' friends22. The era of colonialism and the beginnings of globalisation changed nothing: the imprisonment and forced movements of labour continued to destroy many lives except that new justifications were invented based on Christian doctrine and the effort to convert non-Christians. By 1786 over 12 million slaves had been extracted from Africa and sent to colonial labour camps, with a truly atrocious condition of life23. But they were not the only ones to blame; in Africa internal nations such as the Asantes sold and bought tens of thousands of slaves24.

The abolition of the slave trade was a long and slow process. Until a relatively modern time, even philosophers, religious leaders and those concerned with ethics justified, or ignored, the problem of slavery25. The first abolitionists were always the slaves themselves. Their protests and rebellions caused the industry to become too expensive to continue. After that, it was the economic costs of maintain slave colonies that led the British to reject and then oppose the slave trade globally. Finally, the enlightenment-era thinkers of France encouraged moral and ethical thinking including the declaration of the inherent value of human life and human dignity26. A long-overdue wave of compassionate and conscientious movements swept across the West, eliminating public support for slavery, until the industries and churches that supported it had no choice but to back down.

'Modern slavery' includes forced labour (often of the under-age), debt bondage (especially generational), sexual slavery, chattel slavery and other forms of abuse, some of which can be surprisingly difficult to detect, but often target those fleeing from warzones and the vulnerable.27. Some industries (diamond, clothing, coal) from some countries (Burundi17, Eritrea17, Indonesia28) are a particular concern. The Walk Free Foundation, say that in 2016, 40.3 million people were living in modern slavery29.

Migrant workers from Burma, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam face extortion, exploitation, severe labor rights abuses and violence19. Human traffickers sometimes collaborate with corrupt officials19. Thailand's fishing industry has become infamous for using modern slavery techniques to acquire and keep workers via human trafficking and debt bondage techniques (for example, the process for becoming an employee can be so expensive that workers are then denied any freedom to leave their employer until the debt is paid)20.

Between 2011 and 2016... 76 percent of migrant workers in the Thai fishing industry have been held in debt bondage and almost 38 percent had been trafficked into the Thai fishing industry in that time-frame. [...] Forced labour and debt bondage within fisheries are ongoing and widespread.

The Inssara Institute and the International Justice Mission (2017)
Reported in "Global Slavery Index" by Walk Free Foundation (2018)20

Migrant workers from Burma, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam are vulnerable to physical abuses, indefinite detention, and extortion by Thai authorities; severe labor rights abuses and exploitation by employers; and violence and human trafficking by criminals who sometimes collaborate with corrupt officials. [...]

The government declared that combating human trafficking was a national priority, including by enforcing the Human Trafficking Criminal Procedure Act. In July, the Bangkok Criminal Court sentenced 62 people -including former army advisor Lt. Gen. Manas Kongpan - to prison terms of up to 94 years for trafficking and mistreatment of Rohingya migrants. However, improvements in suppressing human trafficking in the fishing sector were still limited.

"World Report 2018" by Human Rights Watch (2018)19

2. Gender Equality

#gender #misogyny #politics #Thailand #women

Gender Inequality (2015)11
Pos.Lower is better11
1Switzerland0.04
2Denmark0.04
3Netherlands0.04
...
76Georgia0.36
77Argentina0.36
78Bahamas0.36
79Thailand0.37
80Myanmar (Burma)0.37
81Belize0.38
82Mauritius0.38
83Lebanon0.38
World Avg0.36
q=159.

Gender inequality is not a necessary part of early human development. Although a separation of roles is almost universal due to different strengths between the genders, this does not have to mean that women are subdued, and, such patriarchialism is not universal in ancient history. Those cultures and peoples who shed, or never developed, the idea that mankind ought to dominate womankind, are better cultures and peoples than those who, even today, cling violently to those mores.

Year Women Can Vote30
Pos.Lower is better
Year30
1New Zealand1893
2Australia1902
3Finland1906
...
36Spain1931
37Maldives1932
38Uruguay1932
39Thailand1932
40Turkey1934
41Brazil1934
42Cuba1934
43Myanmar (Burma)1935
World Avg1930
q=189.

Thailand has made some steps towards ending gender inequality but much more needs to be done.

See:

3. LGBT Equality and Tolerance

#equality #homosexuality #human_rights #intolerance #sexuality #Thailand #tolerance

LGBT Equality (2017)10
Pos.Higher is better
Score10
1Netherlands103
2Belgium90
3Sweden86
...
54Nicaragua35
55El Salvador35
56Kosovo35
57Thailand34
58Bulgaria33
59Fiji32
60S. Korea30
61Timor-Leste (E. Timor)30
World Avg12.6
q=196.

Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) folk is rife across the world. Legal restrictions co-exist alongside social stigmatisation and physical violence31. LGBT tolerance and equal rights have been fought for country-by-country across the world, often against tightly entrenched cultural and religious opposition. Adult consensual sexual activity is a Human Right, protected by privacy laws32. Despite this, homosexual activity is outlawed in around 80 countries31. The Social & Moral LGBT Equality Index was created to compare countries and regions, granting points to each country for a variety of factors including how long gay sex has been criminalized and the extent of LGBT legal rights. Graded negative points are given for criminality of homosexuality, unequal ages of consent, legal punishments and for not signing international accords on LGBT tolerance. The signs in many developed countries are positive, and things are gradually improving. Europe is by far the least prejudiced region (Scandinavia in particular being exemplary). The Middle East and then Africa are the least morally developed, where cultural bias goes hand-in-hand with state intolerance, all too often including physical violence.

4. Thailand Overall National and Social Development

#human_development #Thailand

Social & Moral
Development Index
33
Pos.Higher is better
Points33
1Denmark84.0
2Sweden83.9
3Finland83.5
...
72Uzbekistan55.8
73Seychelles55.4
74Philippines55.2
75Thailand55.2
76Montenegro54.9
77Tajikistan54.9
78Peru54.9
79Georgia54.7
80Armenia54.4
World Avg53.8
q=198.

The Social and Moral Development Index concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, public health, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism, and on some technological issues. A country scores higher for achieving well in those areas, and for sustaining that achievement in the long term. Those countries towards the top of this index can truly said to be setting good examples and leading humankind onwards into a bright, humane, and free future. See: What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life.

Current edition: 2019 Jan 01
http://www.humantruth.info/thailand_human_rights_and_freedom.html
Parent page: Thailand (Kingdom of Thailand)

All #tags used on this page - click for more:

#antisemitism #burundi #cambodia #corruption #equality #eritrea #france #freedom #gender #homosexuality #human_development #human_rights #indonesia #intolerance #laos #mass_media #misogyny #myanmar_(burma) #peace #politics #sexuality #slavery #thailand #tolerance #vietnam #women

Social Media

References: (What's this?)

Book Cover

Anti-Defamation League. (ADL)
(2014) ADL Global 100, Executive Summary. Accessed on global100.adl.org on 2017 Jan 02. The numbers given are of those who state that racist stereotyped statements about Jews are true; they have to agree to 6 or more of the 11 statements to be counted. An example statements is "Jews are hated because of the way they behave". The data was collected from 53,100 interviews across 101 countries plus the West Bank and Gaza. The global average is 26%.

Casely-Hayford, Gus
(2012) The Lost Kingdoms of Africa. Published by Bantram Press. A hardback book.

Crabtree, Vexen
(2019) "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" (2019). Accessed 2019 Jan 13.

Donnelly, Jack
(2013) Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice. 3rd edition. Published by Cornell University Press.

The Fraser Institute
(2016) The Human Freedom Index. Published by The Cato Institute, The Fraser Institute and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. Covers data up to 2014. On www.fraserinstitute.org/.../human-freedom-index-2016.

Human Rights Watch
(2018) World Report 2018. Covering the events of 2017.

Klein, Naomi
(2004) No Logo. Originally published 2000, HarperCollins, London, UK. A paperback book.

McCall, Andrew
(1979) The Medieval Underworld. 2004 edition. Published by Sutton Publishing. A paperback book.

Thomson, Oliver
(1993) A History of Sin. Published by Canongate Press. A hardback book.

United Nations
(2011) Human Development Report. Published by the UN Development Programme. This edition had the theme of Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All. Available on hdr.undp.org/... UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.
(2017) Human Development Report. Published by the UN Development Programme. Data for 2015. Available on hdr.undp.org/.

Walk Free Foundation
(2018) Global Slavery Index. Published on www.walkfreefoundation.org/.

Footnotes

  1. World Bank data on data.worldbank.org accessed 2013 Nov 04.^
  2. UN (2011) .^
  3. UN (2017). Table 1.^
  4. UN (2017). Gross National Income, per person. Table 1.^
  5. International Standards Organisation (ISO) standard ISO3166-1, on www.iso.org, accessed 2013 May 01.^
  6. Top level domains (TLDs) are managed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) on www.iana.org.^
  7. According to ISO4217.^
  8. According to ITU-T.^
  9. ADL (2014). Lower is better.^^
  10. Sources:^^
  11. UN (2017). Table 5. Lower is better.^^
  12. Human Rights Watch (2018). Negative and positive comments have been added to create a score for each country covered in the report.^^
  13. Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (2017). Accessed 2017 Dec 30. The scores given are the TI average for the years 2012-2016.^^
  14. Fraser Institute, the (2016). Covers data for 2014.^^
  15. ^^
  16. Reporters Without Borders Report "2013 World Press Freedom Index: Dashed hopes after spring" at fr.rsf.org/.../classement_2013_gb-bd.pdf accessed 2013 Feb.^^
  17. Walk Free Foundation (2018) .^^
  18. Max possible=24. Total amount of treaties ratified. Nominal Commitment to Human Rights report published by UCL School of Public Policy, London, UK, at ucl.ac.uk/spp/research/research-projects/nchr accessed 2011 Apr 30.^^
  19. Human Rights Watch (2018). p546-553.^^
  20. Walk Free Foundation (2018). p48.^^
  21. Thomson (1993). p28.^
  22. McCall (1979). p180.^
  23. Thomson (1993). p166.^
  24. Casely-Hayford (2012). p253.^
  25. Thomson (1993). p31.^
  26. Thomson (1993). p199.^
  27. Thomson (1993). p28-29.^
  28. Klein (2004) .^
  29. Walk Free Foundation (2018). p2.^
  30. "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life: 2.9. Women Stand for Election & Vote" by Vexen Crabtree (2019)^
  31. Donnelly (2013). Chapter 16 "Nondiscrimination for All: The Case of Sexual Minorities" p278.^
  32. Donnelly (2013). Chapter 16 "Nondiscrimination for All: The Case of Sexual Minorities" p289. According to a 1992 ruling of the Human Rights Committee, which declared that 'it is undisputed that adult consensual sexual activity in private is covered by the concept of privacy' when discussing Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. See Human Rights Committee, Communication 488/1992, paragraph 8.2.^
  33. "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" by Vexen Crabtree (2019)^

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