Thai authorities are prosecuting and harassing child human rights defenders for peacefully exercising their right to protest. LGBTI campaigner Thanakorn ‘Petch’ Phiraban has been sentenced; ‘Sand’ is on trial, Chan Tonnamphet, an indigenous land rights activist, and 15-year-old protester “Yok” are under investigation.
Since widespread protests started in 2020, the Thai government has started criminal proceedings against at least 284 children for peacefully protesting or expressing their opinions. Authorities have targeted and intimidated them and others who have peacefully demonstrated with harassment, surveillance. The situations of “Yok”, Thanakorn ‘Petch’ Phiraban, Chan Tonnamphet and “Sand” are emblematic of the hundreds of children penalized for exercising their right to freedom of peaceful assembly.