Protection International envisions a world where human rights and fundamental freedoms are universally recognised and respected, and where everyone has the right to defend these rights and freedoms without fear of threats or attack.
Protection International (PI) works in close partnership with Human Rights Defenders (HRDs). PI assists human rights movements by setting up Protection Desks (PDs). PDs act as local hubs for security management expertise, capacity building processes, protection network development and public policy monitoring as it relates to the right to defend human rights.
Protection International began its work in Thailand with a series of capacity-building activities in the country’s Southern region in 2005 and again from 2007-2009. The work involved diverse groups such as student activists, independent media workers, women human rights defenders, and defenders of the rights of LGBTI people. In 2010, PI established Protection Desk (PD) Thailand.
Protection Desk Thailand supports those who defend freedom of expression and community leaders advocating for the rights of their people in places where natural resource exploitation leads to the violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Currently, Protection Desk Thailand works with community-based HRDs in Thailand’s Loei and Udon Thani provinces in Northeast Thailand, and the Surat Thani province of South Thailand. These communities are involved in disputes over natural resources, land rights and large-scale projects.
Protection-Desk Thailand also works closely with local and international human rights organisations and regularly engages with international organisations and diplomatic missions on human rights issues.
With input from defenders on the ground, Protection Desk Thailand produced a Protection Manual for Community-based Human Rights Defenders in 2013. The 70-page booklet is written in Thai and contains lively illustrations that make parallels between the six-step rice cultivation process and the implementation of security measures.
The Protection Manual contains stories and best practices adopted in other communities that guide defenders in the development of their own tactics and protocols to claim their rights safely but effectively.
The manual also has detailed information on duty-bearers and international stakeholders, as well as templates that help human rights defenders document and submit complaints to the National Human Rights Commission.
The Protection Manual sheds light on the risks involved with human rights work, all while imparting tailor-made security tools and protection strategies developed by Protection International to local defenders.
The Protection Desk Thailand Fact Sheet is available for download.