Assembly of the Poor is a nationwide movement of rural and urban grassroots groups organizing to collectively defend and promote the rights of the poor.

Human Rights Defenders in Thailand are facing harassment, defamation, and accusations. Those who fight for land rights are particularly at risk as they represent a threat to the country┬┤s economic development policy.

In the Nakhon Phanom region, local communities have been facing problems related to land rights and access to natural resources, as well as threats of dislocation.

Assembly of the Poor is organizing the communities in their defense of land, mobilizing protest, and giving legal help and capacity building. This is a generalized issue people in Thailand have been facing for over 20 years.

Anne Lapapan Supamanta is a human rights defender from the Assembly of the Poor.

she helps communities to fight for their rights when the government states they live on public property and demand their dislocation, generally in order to build mega-projects.

The State offers a compensation, but people have no legal knowledge or capacity. They almost never can access that compensation and they do not know if it is adequate. If they do not sign the documents demanded by the government, they get reported to the police and usually end up in jail.

From the people whose rights are violated, they can be human rights defenders, once they are aware. And also, the people who are in the 'privileged class' they can also be human rights defenders for others if they are aware. The key is the awareness of the injustice and the inequality, and that people are equal. - Anne Lapapan Supamanta.
'We need to organize also in a global effort. we need to create an international solidarity of people.' - Anne LAPAPAN SUMANTA


1. United Nations Photo; Indigenous groups in Thailand; June 14, 2011; (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0). 2. United Nations Photo; Field coverage: Thailand; January 1, 1989; (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0). 3. Eternal Vagabond; Rural Thailand; November 10, 2007; (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0). 4. Eternal Vagabond; Rural Thailand - labourer; November 10, 2007; (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0). 5. United Nations Photo; International Year of the Child (IYC) - 1979; January 1, 1978; (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).