There is a lack of comprehensive research on attitude toward LGBT people and challenges they face, making it difficult for advocates, development partners and policy makers to promote effective policies and make informed decisions. To address this the ‘Being LGBTI in Asia’ UNDP program, which is aimed at advancing the well-being of LGBTI people and reducing inequality and marginalization on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, supported a study in collaboration with Love Frankie and AIT. This national study examined the experiences of and social attitudes towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. It involved a survey with 2,210 participants from across the country, including 1,349 LGBT people and 861 non-LGBT people, and focus group discussions in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phitsanulok and Pattani. The study found that there are overall favourable attitudes towards LGBT people in Thailand and significant support for inclusive laws and policies, but also persistent experiences of stigma and discrimination, violence and exclusion.
AIT did the Thailand part of the study and analyzed housing rights of migrants (Cambodian, Burmese, Lao) in Pathumthani, Thailand. The study found that women tend to pay higher rent for the reason for better security.
There are many young migrants from Cambodia to Thailand, who migrant alone or with their family members. The study explored the opportunity cost of such decision to migrate and the advantage that they might get by migrating. The study showed the struggle that young women migrants face to balance their own aspiration and their family responsibilities. There is an opportunity cost for youths to migrate and they need to forego their chances of higher education and network building back home.
The Head of Department, Kyoko Kusakabe, Professor was a discussant in the “Discussion of Thailand Migration Report 2019” at February 10 @ 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm.
On 24 January 2019, the UN Thematic Working Group on Migration – comprised of 16 UN agencies and chaired by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) – launched the Thailand Migration Report 2019 at the UNESCO office in Bangkok. This report detailing the situation of migrants in Thailand is the latest in a series published on a regular basis by the Working Group since 2005.
This attention is warranted as Thailand is a key country of origin, transit and destination for migrants, displaced persons and asylum seekers, and a regional migration hub within South-East Asia. Since the report was last published in 2014, official data shows that migration to Thailand has intensified. The non-Thai population on in the country now stands at an estimated 4.9 million, a substantial increase from 3.7 million in 2014.
The report provides up-to-date information on migration trends and patterns in Thailand, as well as independent analysis of migration-related issues and policy developments. Each of the 11 chapters, written by a specific UN agency, delves into specific themes such as working conditions, access to services, migration and development, human trafficking and exploitation. It does not shy away from addressing sensitive issues, including the decriminalization of sex work and conditions of forced labor within key industries in Thailand.