Civil Liberty Development in Thailand

Generally speaking, the civil liberty development in Thailand is limited.

According to the Freedom House (2011), which focuses on freedom of expression and belief, associational and organization rights, rule of law, and personal autonomy and individual rights, Thailand’s civil liberty has been categorized as 3 from 2002 to 2006, while has increased to 4 from 2007 to 2010 (1 represents to most liberty and 7 refers to the least liberty), which may influenced by the political crisis of the yellow shirt and the red shirt and the unstable political status.


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Another report by the U.S. Department of State (2005) points out that the Thailand Constitution provides for freedom of speech and of the press with some exceptions. And the government are generally respects these rights. Nevertheless, the government may restrict freedom of speech and freedom of the press to preserve national security, protect public morals, maintain public order, and especially prevent criticism of the royal Family. And though there is a freedom of press, continued harassment and intimidation of journalists and editors of the broadcast media encouraged self-censorship. The situation of freedom of peaceful assembly and association is better that the Constitution provides for these rights and the government generally respects them in practice that these rights are generally allowed with former approving.

The Constitution also provides for freedom of religion with government respect in Thailand, though it restricted the activities of some groups and plays an active role in religious affairs; for examples, the monarch of Thailand has to be a Buddhist according to the Constitution, and a religious organization is required to be accepted into one of the five officially groups that can register in the government: Buddhist, Muslim, Catholic, Brahmin-Hindu, and Sikh.

There are also some other civil liberty issues that are limited in Thailand, for example the Thai government allows NGOs to provide food, housing, medical and other services to Burmese refugees near the border, while the aid of ethnic Shan refugees by the NGOs is not allowed by the government (U.S. Department of State, 2005).

Organizations
Rainbow Sky Association of Thailand
Mission: To promote the understanding and acceptance of sexual and love diversity in humanity
http://old.msmgf.org/MSMGFdirectory/MSMGFbytype/RainbowSkyAssociationofThailand.htm (This website provides general information. The official site is in Thai.)

Gyant: organizes activities and events for professional Thai and expatriate gays to foster a sense of community and belonging. Events each have a special focus: such as networking parties for gays in advertising or financial services.
http://www.gyent.com/


U.S. Department of State (2005), Thailand – Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor,
http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2004/41661.htm