- Posted September 9, 2013 by
Advocating Equality, Anti-Poverty and Universal Access in Thailand
As part of the Government's contribution in the sustainability of work towards defending civil liberties, Thailand is making a contribution to the Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights.
Thailand has seen troubled times in the past, from the 2006 army coup that disposed the then elected Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, to the bloodied crackdown of Red Shirt demonstrators by the previous regime led by Abhisit Vejjajiva. Yingluck who won the election in 2011 by a landslide victory, has introduced widely popular people-centered policies that has been criticized often by the political elites.
"In calling on all to do more and do better, I do not mean that we address only core civil and political rights, including freedom of expression. We must also address social and cultural rights and find ways to increase economic opportunities for all." Yingluck said. "Discrimination must not be tolerated."
Yingluck's initiative of empowerment for women, the rights of children and peoples with disabilities through the the "One Stop Crisis Centres" (OSCC). The national program aims to eradicate gender discrimination, unequal opportunities and domestic violence through extensive community-led activities.
"When I took office as the first female Thai Prime Minister, I felt that access to rights and opportunities of the vulnerable groups have been restricted. So, I promised to work hard to do better for them by proving equal opportunities for all." She said.
"I initiated the Women Empowerment Fund to enable women to reach their full potential. The fund provides women in communities around the nation with opportunities to improve their livelihood and create equal opportunities."
The Prime Minister spoke about increased accessibility where the Government hopes to bridge the gap between the poor and rich in universal health care, and improving the quality of health among migrant workers and refugees.
Southeast Asia has seen growth among its 600 million population. One of which is the establishment of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) and the ASEAN Declaration on Human Rights has been seen as a major step forward by Member States of the regional grouping.
Thailand has undergone its Universal Periodic Review process nearly 2 years ago in a partnership with civil society and community groups with emphasis on social equality on the agenda. "In doing so, we underwent a process of self-reflection." Yingluck admitted. "We will do better."