When Thai civilians took to the streets in May 1992 to protest against the newly-installed military regime, Thai security forces responded with a brutal crackdown, deliberately opening fire on the demonstrators and killing more than 50 people. PHR and Asia Watch (now Human Rights Watch) led an investigation into the violence, in which hundreds of people were injured and as many as 200 people disappeared. “Thailand Bloody May” found that security forces made no effort to employ non-lethal methods of crowd control, instead using live ammunition and shooting to kill. In addition to summary executions, human rights violations included unnecessary and disproportionate use of force, the obstruction of access to health care, and assault and harassment of health professionals.
In 2010, a PHR investigation condemned Thai security forces for failing to protect medical personnel when anti-government protesters blockaded a Bangkok hospital, impeding health professionals’ access to those in need.
PHR has also investigated the trafficking of women and girls from Thailand and Myanmar, and the spread of HIV/AIDS among these victims and those who sexually exploit them. Our report “No Status: Migration, Trafficking and Exploitation of Women in Thailand” called upon local and international bodies to provide access to health care and to ensure justice for the victims.