Call for Action to the Government of Thailand on SRHR of women and LGBTIQ forcibly displaced persons – Asia Pacific Alliance for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights & Equal Asia Foundation.

Thailand has made firm international commitments which guarantee the promotion, protection and fulfilment of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for LGBTIQ and women forcibly displaced persons, including Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) , and the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action (ICPD PoA). Thailand is also recognized globally for the strength of its universal health coverage scheme, which aims to ensure that quality health services are inclusive and accessible to all.

In December 2023, the Government of Thailand added to these global commitments at the 2nd Global Refugee Forum (GRF) in Geneva, Switzerland. This further exemplifies Thailand’s leadership and active collaboration with the international community to provide crucial assistance, protection, and sustainable solutions for refugees and displaced persons towards improving the welfare of the marginalized, notably including the essential aspects of SRHR for women and LGBTIQ+ persons.

In alignment with this, over 45 diverse representatives of community and non-governmental organizations and development partners came together to meaningfully participate in two workshops held on 02 November 2023 and 28 April 2024 in Bangkok, Thailand. Convened by Equal Asia Foundation and Asia Pacific Alliance for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (APA), the meetings aimed to discuss the specific needs, gaps, vulnerabilities and challenges still facing women and LGBTIQ forcibly displaced persons, asylum seekers and refugees in Thailand.

Through this Call to Action, we present our recommendations and call upon the Government of Thailand to work with civil society, development partners and other relevant stakeholders to fully implement its international commitments and address the SRHR issues faced by LGBTIQ and women forcibly displaced persons. In our collective strides to be intersectional, sustainable and inclusive for all, we, the undersigned organizations, call upon the government to:

  • Harmonize GRF Pledges with rights-based international commitments. Aligning the eight pledges made at the GRF with Agenda 2030, the ICPD PoA and other international agreements will help Thailand fulfil these international commitments. This synergy is also essential for ensuring that efforts to assist, protect, and provide sustainable solutions for refugees and displaced persons are integrated with broader global development goals, including promoting peace, justice, and strong institutions.
  • In recognition of the 30th anniversary of the ICPD this year, increase and catalyze investments to realize the full implementation of the PoA and the 2013 Asian and Pacific Ministerial Declaration on Population and Development, in partnership with civil society, to enable the fulfilment of SRHR of women and LGBTIQ forcibly displaced persons.
  • Develop a national plan to guarantee access to SRH services for all, including forcibly displaced and vulnerable migrants, which includes integrated SGBV services, information and education campaigns, and migrant-friendly health services. Ensure that all aspects of SRHR are included in Universal Health Coverage (UHC), including access to safe abortion, and enable full accessibility for marginalized communities such as forcibly displaced persons, regardless of legal status.
  • Strengthen the Whole-of-Government Approach by enhancing the role and effectiveness of the National Working Group in implementing the GCR and GCM. Ensure coordination and harmonization of efforts across all levels of government to integrate international commitments into national strategies and actions fully.
  • Accelerate the development of the National Screening Mechanism. Ensure transparency, efficiency, and alignment with international human rights standards to protect those in need of international protection better, emphasizing the sexual and reproductive health needs of women and LGBTIQ+ individuals.
  • Review and enhance alternatives to detention. Foster a more humane and inclusive approach towards migrants and refugees by expanding humane alternatives to incarceration, protecting individuals from the long-term impacts of harmful immigration policies, and safeguarding their rights to SRH. For those in immigration detention centres, ensure access to quality SRH services and commodities, including sanitary products and hormone replacement therapy.
  • Ensure that quality Universal Health Coverage is truly accessible to all in Thailand by developing Comprehensive Health Coverage Schemes for migrants. Establish affordable health service schemes for migrants that are not tied to a specific employer, ensuring their right to health is recognized and upheld through the provision of comprehensive and quality SRH services, including access to abortion.
  • Enhance access to education and skills development. Provide forcibly displaced and stateless children with greater access to education and vocational training, including comprehensive sexuality education, enabling informed decisions about their bodies and health free from violence, coercion and discrimination.
  • Expand International Cooperation for Durable Solutions. Strengthen collaborations with other nations to explore and implement durable solutions for individuals requiring international protection.
  • Provide targeted assistance to Rohingyas. Continue and expand humanitarian aid and development to the Rohingyas, explicitly supporting the SRHR of women and LGBTIQ+ individuals within the Rohingya community.
  • Withdraw Thailand’s Reservation to Article 22 of the CRC: Show Thailand’s commitment to the rights of child refugees by ensuring all children have access to necessary protection and assistance, including CSE. The pledges made by Thailand at the Global Refugee Forum 2023 testify to its commitment to human rights and humanitarian principles. We urge the Government of Thailand to take decisive steps to fulfil its pledges, working in full partnership with civil society, the international community, and refugees to create a more inclusive, secure, and hopeful future for all individuals, irrespective of their origin.

Contact info:

  • Geemin Lee – Engagement and Communications Officer
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Asia Pacific Alliance for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (APA) is a network of national, regional and global civil society organizations that advocate for the fulfilment of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for all persons in the Asia Pacific region. Initiated as a CSO led network to help propel the ICPD agenda forward in Asia and the Pacific, over the last two decades APA has galvanised national and regional advocacy to further SRHR, gender and human rights at regional and international fora.