NGOs rally against bill to keep them in check

NGOs rally against bill to keep them in check

Non-governmental organisations gather at the Social Development and Human Security Ministry on Thursday demanding the dropping of draft legislation that would police their acitivities. (Thai Volunteer Service Twitter account)
Non-governmental organisations gather at the Social Development and Human Security Ministry on Thursday demanding the dropping of draft legislation that would police their acitivities. (Thai Volunteer Service Twitter account)

Non-governmental organisations held a protest on Thursday demanding the dropping of draft legislation aimed at monitoring and regulating their activities.

Members of several NGOs converged at the Social Development and Human Security Ministry to air their opposition to the Operations of Not-for-Profit Organisations bill (NPO bill).

The proposed legislation would require non-profit organisations to state their objectives, disclose sources of funding, and ban activities deemed a threat to national security.

The cabinet agreed to the bill in principle on Jan 4. It is in the process of sounding out opinions, which will conclude on Friday. The ministry is responsible for the process. It will compile the reactions and forward them to the cabinet with the bill, for approval.

NGOs have slammed the bill, saying the government is trying to silence them because it allows officials to shut them down if they are deemed to have failed to comply with the provisions.

"We have to come out to rally today to prevent future tragedy," they said in a public statement.

They called on people to show their opposition to the bill before the deadline falls on Friday.

NGO representatives submitted a petition to Social Development and Human Security Minister Chuti Krairiksh, calling for the bill to be dropped. He promised to put their concerns to the cabinet.

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