Thailand losing out on talents of gay, transgender workers, report finds

Economy March 26, 2018 17:14

By The Nation

Thailand can become a leader in the economic inclusion of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) people, so all Thai people can share equally in the country’s opportunities and prosperity, according to a new report from the World Bank.



Representatives, from Thailand’s Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, and the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand, civil society, the private sector, academia, and international development partners came together on Monday in a public forum to discuss the findings and conclusions of the report.

“This report helps us to look at the issues of the LGBTI community and how these can be addressed by everyone who has a stake in making the Thai economy grow even better by encouraging all productive people, regardless of sexual orientation, to participate in the workforce of Thailand,” said commissioner Angkhana Neelapaijit from the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand.

The “Economic Inclusion of LGBTI Groups in Thailand” report was prepared in partnership with the Faculty of Learning Sciences and Education at Thammasat University, Love Frankie, and the Nordic Trust Fund.

It offers policy and programme recommendations to promote inclusion. They include a public campaign to promote awareness of gender equality legislation; the incorporation of gender equality and SOGI non-discrimination in pre- and in-service training for school administrators and teachers; and the development and implementation of a law governing equality and nondiscrimination in employment and occupation. Such a law would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity (SOGI).

“As part of its national transformation and promotion of the new, modern ‘Thailand 4.0’ at home and internationally, Thailand has the opportunity to advance and foster the inclusion of LGBTI people in its economy and society,” said Dr Ulrich Zachau, director of Thailand, Malaysia, and Regional Partnerships.

“Only by including LGBTI people can Thailand mobilise the strengths and full productive potential of all its people. LGBTI inclusion is the right thing to do, and it’s the smart thing to do.”