Under the current military regime, women suffer injustice and human rights violations significantly more than men due to a lack of legal protection and social discrimination, according to women’s rights reports to the UN. On 4 July 2017, representatives of Thai women’s rights NGOs read a statement on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination (CEDAW) at UN headquarters in Geneva.
The authorities have ordered an NGO to postpone a public seminar about the junta’s land policies, out of fear the seminar would discuss the missing 1932 Revolution plaque. On 19 April 2017, security officers, including police, soldiers and administrative officials, visited the Seub Nakhasathien Foundation (SNF) and asked its staff to postpone a seminar, “Criticising 99-year land leases: will Thailand or someone else benefit?” The seminar was originally scheduled for 23 April. Onyupha Sangkhaman, SNF staff,
Thaksin Shinawatra has urged Thailand’s ruling junta to stop blaming him for political violence, adding he wants no place in the military government’s ongoing reconciliation efforts. On 31 March 2017, the exiled former Prime Minister condemned the junta on his Facebook page for its failure to handle the country’s economy.
While the ruling junta is showing its commitment to human rights principle at the UN’s ICCPR review in Geneva, NGO workers said the such superficial commitment is just to avoid further humiliation from international communities. Between 13 and 14 March 2016, Thailand sent 46 delegates to attend the second periodic report on implementation of the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
Communication devices and the media have been banned from provincial consultation forums held by the junta to discuss political reconciliation, leaving the public no means to check whether reconciliation policies will reflect the people’s wishes. On 6 March 2017, the junta held the first of three provincial forums in Nakhon Sawa
Thailand’s junta leader has called for the Thai people to be flexible about the country’s ‘roadmap to democracy’, suggesting that a postponement of elections would not be a big deal. On 27 February 2017, Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the junta leader and Prime Minister, delivered a speech reaffirming the importance of the country’s ‘roadmap to democracy’.
Senior journalists have denounced the junta’s controversial Media Bill, arguing the junta wishes to entrench itself in power rather than promote truth and responsible media. On 22 February 2017, a panel of senior journalists and media officials at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand warned that severe new media regulations proposed by the junta represent the military’s ambitions to maintain an influence in Thai politics even after the country transitions to a democratic system. Thepchai Yong, the President of the Thai Broadcas
Thailand has again been ranked by Freedom House as 'Not Free' due to chronic human rights violations, suppressed freedom of expression and a military-sponsored draft constitution. On 2 February 2017, Freedom House published its annual report titled Freedom in the World 2017: Populists and Autocrats: The Dual Threat to Global Democracy, an annual review of freedom worldwide.
Thai authorities have requested Lao PDR to extradite a group of five to six Thais for producing radio programmes deemed defamatory to the Thai Monarchy, even though this would be forbidden under the extradition treaty.
As a model for its ongoing reconciliation efforts, the Thai junta will follow the amnesty programme for communists implemented during the Cold War. The Thai government has made political reconciliation a policy priority, to resolve chronic unrest between different political movements. Plans include a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to be signed by various political parties and movements in acknowledgement of a promise to build peaceful relationships with each other.