Community Rights and Social Construction of Human Rights – Case Study of the Community Forest Movement in Thailand

Ms. Bencharat Sae Chua   Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, La Trobe University

This research takes the strategic rights frame of the community forest movement as its focus and looks at how “culture” is used, constructed and perform in the process. It looks at the community forest movement in Thailand in general with specific focus on the context in the northeastern region. As the case studies in this research reveal, the way the Thai state manipulates the life of the people in the forest goes beyond environmental aims and actually serves various state’s strategic purposes. The paper explores the community forest movement’s framing strategies in such context and argues that the strategy to claim rights based on the duties to protect the forest may not address the problems from the encroachment by the state. It also argues that such environmental discourse of the movement does not correspond with the real need of the movement’s members (and their identity as farmers).

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