Thailand: Coalition input to FATF/APG on problematic provisions in draft law on NPOs, using AML/CFT justifications

The Global NPO Coalition has submitted this written input to the FATF Secretariat (compiled by members ICNL and ECNL), analyzing Thailand’s Draft Act on the Operations of Not-for-Profit Organizations (NPOs) as well as on a set of eight principles approved by the Thai Cabinet for the Council of State to consider as they compile the second draft of the NPO law. These eight principles use anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism justifications—including justifications grounded in FATF—to rationalize several problematic provisions of the law which, if passed, would be extremely detrimental to civil society.

Thailand received a Partially Compliant rating on Recommendation 8 (related to NPOs) in the 2017 Mutual Evaluation Review, and conducted a terrorism financing risk assessment for the NPO sector in 2019 as follow up, disseminating the findings to relevant agencies. Order No. 1/2563 was then issued by the Office of the Prime Minister on 25 May 2020, setting up a sub-committee on NPO Law Revision, tasked with the revision of relevant laws in order to rectify deficiencies identified in the MER and align them with FATF standards (2nd Follow-Up Report, APG, 2021).

The submission lays out these problematic provisions of the law in some detail. The FATF Secretariat has forwarded the submission on to the Asia Pacific Group (APG), the FATF-Style Regional Body that Thailand falls under. 

Also see here for the UN Special Rapporteur communication and review of this draft law. 

And for the Thai version, click here.