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Early last month, a Pattani-based non-governmental organization providing space to discuss gender and LGBTI issues in the southernmost provinces came under strong attack on social media networks. The co-founders of Buku, Anticha Sangchai and Daranee Thongsiri, have organized since 2013 a regular "Gender, Human Rights and Sexuality classroom" to give the opportunity to young people of the region to discuss gender and sexuality issues in an region destabilized by a violent conflict which has seen over 7,000 deaths in the last 13 years. They have also established a football team that puts together men, women (wearing hijab or not) and LGBTI. When a TV program was broadcasted in early February on these endeavors, Anticha and Daranee were strongly criticized, illustrating the sensitivity of NGOs' work in a conflict area. Buku's case is just one example: other south-based NGO, trying to help families of the conflict victim or to organize activities for youth also encountered obstacles and criticisms.
The FCCT's four panelists will speak about the difficulties of social work in southern Thailand: Anticha and Daranee, Angkhana Neelpaijitr of the National Human Rights Commission and Sunai Phasuk of US-based Human Rights Watch.
Dr Anticha Sangchai
is a lecturer at Prince of Songkla University in Pattani and a researcher in Human Rights and LGBTI rights. She received a PhD in philosophy from Chulalongkorn University. She is a co-founder of the Buku bookshop and NGO based in Pattani as well a board member of Amnesty Interntional Thailand.
is a co-founder of the NGO Buku.
is the Thailand representative for Human Rights Watch and a long-time expert on the conflict in the deep South.
founded in June 2006 the organization Justice and Peace Foundation, with the objective of raising awareness on issues of justice and human rights in Thailand and strengthening the capacity of victims and their families to fight for justice. The group has been particularly active in the southern provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat. Since 2016, Khun Angkhana is one of the seven members of the National Human Rights Commission.
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