ABSTRACTED FROM INTRODUCTION: Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) in Thailand make a vital contribution to the advancement of human rights and are in urgent need of recognition and protection. Since the May 2014 coup, they have increasingly become at risk of violence, discrimination, and other violations of their human rights. Women have been systematically excluded from public consultations and decision-making processes, particularly on issues related to land and natural resources. When WHRDs have taken the lead in opposing land confiscation, forced evictions, unfair land distribution, the implementation of infrastructure projects, the development of extractive industries, and environmental degradation associated with these actions, many have been met with extreme, and sometimes, deadly violence. While it is unclear whether all the instances of violence and attacks against WHRDs are gender-related, institutionalized discrimination against women may, in many cases, cause authorities, or other assailants, to conclude that it is easier to intimidate and attack WHRDs.
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The purpose of the Mekong Land Research Forum online site is to provide structured access to published and unpublished research on land issues in the Mekong Region. It is based on the premise that debates and decisions around land governance can be enhanced by drawing on the considerable volume of research, documented experience and action-based reflection that is available.