The Asia Foundation

The Asia Foundation
Addressing the Critical Issues Facing Asia - 60 Years
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Thailand

Thailand has enjoyed a period of calm following the 2011 national election, yet political tensions still simmer and the latest re-eruption of the long-running subnational conflict in the Deep South has entered its ninth year. Achieving a national political settlement and resolving the Southern conflict are obstacles for policymakers that bear the equally urgent tasks of securing Thailand's future economic growth trajectory and its place in an increasingly competitive Southeast Asian sub-region. We support peaceful conflict mitigation, criminal justice reform, democratic institutions and processes, and citizen voice in environmental governance. Read country overview.

CRITICAL ISSUE: ACCESS TO JUSTICE AND HUMAN RIGHTS

While Thailand's advancement to upper middle-income status has proven resilient to economic and political shocks, its continued upward growth trajectory is threatened by persistent political tensions, subnational conflict, weak environmental governance, and growth politics that are inconsistent with the demands of an integrated regional economy. In this context, we address multiple and mutually reinforcing priorities: transformational conflict resolution in the South; decentralization and access to justice; environmental governance; and domestic economic growth and regional integration. To strengthen criminal justice administration and improve access to justice, in 2013 we helped train more than 100 public prosecutors, forensic police, and other criminal justice officials and over 200 human rights lawyers. We also supported the reform of laws and regulations governing forensic investigation and produced an acclaimed set of animated films on forensic investigation and evidence that have been adopted as teaching resources by the Office of the Attorney General and the Royal Thai Police. In the South, we contributed to the training of members of a specialized public prosecution unit using materials that we developed. The success of our work in criminal justice, including reduction in the number of cases dismissed for lack of credible evidence, builds on trust relations established with partners in civil society, government, academia, and the media and our brokering of dialogue and cooperation between stakeholders whose responsibilities are best fulfilled by collaboration in meeting common goals.

The Asia Foundation and the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) Co-Hosts Regional Economic Cooperation Forum on ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) & Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)

On March 28, 2014, at 9:00 am in Bangkok, The Asia Foundation, together with its local partner the Thailand Development Research Insitute (TDRI), hosted a one day regional economic development forum on "Making AEC Work for SMEs". The forum highlighted the important role that SMEs play in the ASEAN economies and addressed the potentials and challenges in light of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC)'s goal of regional economic integration by 2015. For more information, read the Foundation's news release or visit www.tdri.or.th.

Profile of the "Bangkok Shutdown" Protestors

In February 2014, our Thailand office released a report, Profile of the "Bangkok Shutdown" Protestors, which presented the findings of a second survey of anti-government People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) demonstrators in Bangkok conducted on January 13-14, 2014. The short survey is a follow-up to the Foundation's November 2013 survey of the PDRC and Red Shirt supporters in Bangkok. The aim of this second rapid perception survey was to: (1) learn about the demographic composition of the latest PDRC gatherings; and (2) probe the perspectives of PDRC activists on a series of questions related to the current tensions, the February 2014 election, and related issues. Read more here.

Subnational conflict is the most deadly, widespread, and enduring form of violent conflict in Asia. It affects more than half the countries in South and Southeast Asia and more than 131 million people. Between 1999 and 2008, more people were killed in subnational conflicts in Asia than in all other forms of conflict combined. How can foreign aid help?

Click here for findings from The Asia Foundation's major study on subnational conflict: The Contested Corners of Asia.

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