SEXUAL ORIENTATION, GENDER IDENTITY AND EXPRESSION,

AND SEX CHARACTERISTICS (SOGIESC) RIGHTS IN THAILAND:

JOINT SUBMISSION

TO THE UN UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW (UPR)

FOR THAILAND'S THIRD UPR CYCLE

39TH SESSION OF THE UPR WORKING GROUP

 25 MARCH 2021

The 39th Session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group will conduct the 3rd UPR of Thailand. All interested individuals and organizations, including civil society organizations, activists, and academics with work related to Thailand were invited to provide their input ahead of the 3rd UPR cycle that will take place on 10th November 2021.

 

In this context, Manushya Foundation jointly with BUKU Classroom, Rainbow Sky Association of Thailand (RSAT), Health and Opportunity Network (HON), Sirisak Chaited, MPlus Foundation, CAREMAT, Andaman Power, Rainbow Dream Group Thailand, Ruangaroon Lampang Group and Tamtang Group collaborated on a joint UPR submission ahead of Thailand’s 3rd Universal Periodic Review (UPR) cycle. The submission examines the compliance of Thailand with the recommendations it received during its 2nd UPR cycle in relation to the protection of the rights of the LGBTIQ+ community in the country.

 

This submission documents Thailand’s treatment of LGBTIQ+ people, who are insufficiently protected by Thailand’s legal framework and are facing severe challenges in advancing their human rights, as well as barriers in accessing public services, particularly healthcare. 

 

Even though Thailand hosts one of the larger LGBTIQ+ communities in Asia, an estimated 4.5 million in 2018, Thailand has a way to go in terms of embracing this community, both on a societal and normative level. Until now, the Thai government failed to put in place a comprehensive approach to recognise non-standardised and non-binary sexual relations, gender identities and expressions, as well as coherent practices which will standardise and regulate the rights of the LGBTIQ+ community. Consequently, SOGIESC rights are severely violated, as LGBTIQ+ people are discriminated against, and experience stigma and violence. 

 

This submission indicates that LGBTIQ+ people face severe challenges in advancing their human rights, in the following manner: 

 

  • Section 2 discusses the lack of legal framework protecting the rights of LGBTIQ+ persons, and the lack of legal recognition of transgender identity.

  • Section 3 discusses the absence of legislation recognizing same-sex marriages.

  • Section 4 discusses discrimination faced by LGBTIQ+ individuals in employment, the education system, and military conscription.

  • Section 5 discusses the discrimination and harassment faced by LGBTIQ+ individuals in the private spheres.

  • Section 6 discusses intimidation, transphobic attacks and judicial harassment faced by LGBTIQ+ persons because of their SOGIESC status, human rights work and activism.

  • Section 7 discusses barriers faced by LGBTIQ+ persons in accessing healthcare services. 

  • Section 8 discusses the misrepresentation of LGBTIQ+ persons in the media and how they are underrepresented in politics.

  • Section 9 discusses the impacts of COVID-19 on the lives of LGBTIQ+ individuals. 

  • Section 10 includes recommendations to the Thai government, addressing the challenges and rights violations discussed in foregoing sections. 

This submission provides an annex with an overview of the examined recommendations. 

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