Amnesty reiterating Thailand’s obligation to protect the right of the child to freedom of assembly   

28 January 2021

Amnesty International Thailand

The Special Prosecutor on Juvenile and Family Affairs have today indicted three children including Lapanaphat “Min” Wangphaisit, 18, and Benjamaporn “Ploy” Niwas, 16, from ‘Bad Students’ and Khanaphot “Phum” Yaemsanguansiri, 16, from ‘Free Students’, for the violation of the Emergency Decree 2015 which carries an imprisonment of up to two years or a fine of up to 40,000 baht, or both as a result of their participating in a demonstrations at the Ratchaprasong intersection on 15 October 2020. Regarding this prosecution against youth, Piyanut Kotsan, Director of Amnesty International Thailand, has this to say;  


Children and youth should not be prosecuted for expressing their opinion peacefully to demand a reform of education and human rights. Thailand is obliged to protect  every peron’s rights, particularly of a child under 18 years who has participated in a protest as prescribed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on  the Rights of the Child (CRC) to which Thailand is committed.  


In addition, the state has a positive obligation to protect the rights of the child, and therefore any action in a demonstration site has to be carried out with the assumption that there could be children there and how to protect them from any harm, including from the operation of the law enforcement officials. The authorities are also obliged to avoid intensifying the situation by refraining from abusing the Emergency Decree and weaponizing the arrest and the law to intimidate the protesters. 


Amnesty International reiterates that Thailand has an obligation per international treaties to protect the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly including the ICCPR and the protection of the rights of a person younger than 18 years who participates in a public assembly pursuant to the CRC since Thailand is bound by both treaties. 



Lapanaphat Wangphaisit and Benjamaporn Niwas from ‘Bad Students’ and Khanaphot Yaemsanguansiri, from ‘Free Students’ have been accused of violating the regulations issued by virtue of the Emergency Decree’s Section 9 couple with Section 11, after participating in a public assembly at the Ratchaprasong intersection on 15 October 2020, in the wake of the violent crackdown of the demonstration in front of the Government House early morning the same day.