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Somchai Homlaor

HRD, President
Cross Cultural Foundation

There must be justice first. Otherwise reconciliation will not happen. The culture of impunity is very strong in Thailand.

Somchai Homlaor is a human rights lawyer in Thailand, who has been fighting to defend people’s rights for the past 25 years. He was a Commissioner for the Law Reform Commission of Thailand until it was disbanded by the current military regime. As President of the Cross Cultural Foundation he has been a key figure forging bridges across Thai society. The Cross Cultural Foundation organises educational activities, as well as research and legal support to promote people’s human rights, especially in Thailand’s southernmost provinces which are in a state of prolonged armed conflict.

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.