Joint Statement: The Coalition of Women and Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LBTI) Women in Thailand on Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

Joint Statement
The Coalition of Women and Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LBTI)
Women in Thailand on Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination against Women
Thailand: Make Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms a Reality for All
Women

(Bangkok, 16 August 2017)
We, the Coalition of Women and LBTI Women in Thailand on CEDAW (the Coalition) call
on the Thai Government to effectively implement the recommendations adopted by the
United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (the
CEDAW Committee).

It has been 32 years since Thailand ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of Discrimination against Women (the Convention). Since that time, we have had
14 different governments, both elected and self-appointed, yet the progress made in
ending discrimination against women has been very slow. Since the military coup in
May 2014, our struggle for justice and equality for women in Thailand has become even
more difficult due to increasing restrictions of fundamental freedoms and ongoing
discrimination.

On 5 July 2017, the CEDAW Committee reviewed Thailand’s periodic report on its
compliance with the Convention in Geneva, Switzerland. Following the review session
on the 24 July 2017, the CEDAW Committee published its Concluding Observations on
Thailand. We were encouraged to see that the CEDAW Committee’s concerns reflect
many of the key issues for women of Thailand, and were accompanied by clear, strong
recommendations.
Between 14 and 15 August 2017, our Coalition met to identify the most pressing areas
that need to be addressed for the Thai government to fulfill its legal obligations to the
Convention and to remedy the serious situation of women’s rights in Thailand. Based on
this meeting, our Coalition urges the Thai government to prioritize the following issues
in line with the recommendations by the CEDAW Committee:

Access to justice & remedies
The CEDAW Committee expressed concerns in Concluding Observation para. 11(a) 25
(c) 27 (d) 31 (a) 22 (a) about the barriers women face in access to justice. All women, in
particular women human rights defenders must not be in fear of judicial harassment
and other criminal prosecution simply for doing their work.
All women must have simplified access to the Justice Fund and effective legal counsel.
The problem of overcrowding in women’s prisons and lack of adequate facilities must
be urgently addressed.

In addition, law enforcement must adhere to legal practices and not discriminate
against womenand include sensitivity for sexual diversities in the entire justice system.
In particular, the practice of entrapment and violent raids targeting sex workers (and
survivors of trafficking) must cease immediately.
Law enforcement officials who are responsible for justice procedure for women and
girls who are affected by violence and human trafficking should adopt a gendersensitive
approach in justice process. Relevant and adequate support to recover must be
provided for all women and girls impacted by violence and human trafficking in
particular migrant women.
Government must prioritize safety and justice for women affected by domestic violence
over mediation and reconciliation.

Participation in policy and law-making process affecting lives of women and their
families
The CEDAW committee also noted in Concluding Observations para. 11(d), 23 (b) (c), 27
(a), 43 (c) (d) that women have little representation at legislative level, local
government and in all levels of decision making bodies. The level of representation by
indigenous women, ethnic and religious minorities are particularly low. Women must
be involved in all levels of governance, policy and law making.
We are the guardians of land, forest, mountains and rivers; therefore, we must be
involved in all policy impacting natural resources and environment.
We are mothers and workers who are also key family providers. Women must be visible
in formulating economic policy, development plan, public health policy, education policy
at the national and local levels.

We are women living in conflict-ridden southern border provinces of Thailand and must
be included and participated in peace building process.
We are women refugees, women migrant workers, women with disabilities, sex workers
and LBTI must be fully involved in any changes to law or policy affecting our lives.
Equal protection under the law
The CEDAW Committee also recommended in Concluding Observation para. 11, 27 (f),
33(c) 12, 21, 23 (d), 31 (b), 43 (b), 44 that Thailand must ensure women are entitled to
equal protection under the law.

Women identifying as LBTI must be protected equally under all laws including, but not
limited to, laws that promote gender equality, provide redress for sexual assaults, rape,
and domestic violence and laws prohibiting discrimination in rights to family creation,
public health services, education and employment.

Women deprived of liberties in any and all detention facilities must be treated
according to Thai national laws and international obligations.
Women workers must be protected under national laws protecting labour rights
including the enforcement of the labor laws to protect all workers in entertainment
places.
Local government should adopt special measures to facilitate birth registration for
children of all women including rural women and indigenous women.
Women human rights defenders must receive the full protection and rights guaranteed
under the laws.

Respect for diversity
The CEDAW Committee recommended Thailand in Concluding Observation para. 19 to
promote respect for diversity order to eliminate stigma and discrimination against
women based on ethnicity, religion, social, economic, and political background, sexual
orientations, gender identity, sex characteristic, occupation, and legal status. The Thai
government also needs to address stereotypes and discrimination within governmental
agencies and by government agencies with responsibility to provide social services.

Temporary special measures
In view of the seriousness of the discrimatory policies and practices impacting women,
the CEDAW Committee has again recommended in Concluding Observation para. 17
that Thailand introduces “temporary special measures … to accelerate the realization of
women’s substantive equality in all areas…”
the Coalition of Women and LBTI Women in Thailand on CEDAW is committed to
working together to ensure these urgent issues raised are prioritized and addressed.
We look forward to seeing within one year the progress made towards implementing
the CEDAW Committees recommendations by the Thai Government.
Lastly, we call on relevant Thai authorities to translate and publicly disseminate
without delay the Concluding Observations and conduct raising awareness and
understanding of CEDAW among government agencies and institutions.

Signatories
Khon Rak Ban Kerd Group
Southern Peasants Federation of Thailand
Rak Lahu Group
Empower Foundation
People Empowerment Foundation (PEF)
Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF)
Protection International Thailand
Togetherness for Equality and Action (TEA Group)
Suwannimit Foundation
SHEro Project
Rainbow Rice Surin and Sikhoraphum Youth Group
Foundation for Women (FFW)
Women and Children Protection Foundation
Social Agenda Working Group
Patani Working Group
Indigenous Women Network of Thailand
Gender and Development Research Institution (GDRI)
Live Our Lives Group
Fairly Tell
Women’s Network for the Advancement and Peace
Women’s Movement in Thai Political Reform (WeMove)
Buku’s Gender, Sexuality and Human Rights Classroom
Migrant Workers Federation (MWF)
Community Resource Centre Foundation
Duay Jai (Hearty Support) Group
Human Rights Lawyers Association
Union Civil for Liberties
Sangsan Anakot Yawachon
CSO For gender Equality Network
Global Campus Chiang Mai
Homenet Thailand
Sustainable Development Foundation
Rainbow Sky Association of Thailand
Migrant Working Group
Rainbow dream group
Multiculturalism and Education Policy
The Northern Development Foundation

Final Joint Statement-Thailand Making Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms a Reality for All Women (1)

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