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Chaiyaphum Pasae


Chaiyaphum Pasae was a 17 year old ethnic Lahu human rights defender and a strong advocate for the rights of vulnerable ethnic minorities in Northern Thailand. Working with the Young Seedlings Network Camp in Chiang Dao, he was an advocate for the right to Thai nationality for his community through non-violent action. Chaiyaphum Pasae participated in many events to publicise the problems of ethnic minorities and he used his talent in music and film-making to promote their rights to gain citizenship, health care, and access to education. On 15 March 2017, he was among 19 youth representatives of ethnic minorities who attended a youth activist forum organised by the National Institute for Child and Family Development in Bangkok. Chaiyaphum Pasae also spoke out against abuses by Thai security forces against his community during anti-drug operations.

Human rights defenders in Thailand face threats, physical assaults, arbitrary detention, judicial harassment, and extrajudicial killings. HRDs most at risk include those working with migrants, particularly along the border with Burma, those who are fighting for economic, social, and cultural (ESC) rights, and those working in the conflict zone of the three border provinces in Southern Thailand. The National Human Rights Commission of Thailand has documented 35 cases of extrajudicial killings of human rights defenders between 2003 – 2012, approximately 30 of whom were HRDs working on ESC rights. Many of these cases have not been properly investigated by the authorities.