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This statement is also on behalf of the Sexual Rights Initiative and the Planned Parenthood Association of Thailand.
We welcome the Thai Government’s acknowledgment of the human rights of sex workers to health care information and services in their response to recommendations raised by Finland. In order to guarantee this acknowledged right, we hope the government will develop concrete plans and strategies to address the underlying factors that impede access to sexual and reproductive health care services for sex workers, namely stigma and discrimination. We would further encourage the Government to collaborate with organizations like PPAT that have a lot of experience in providing health care services to sex workers, to develop effective and rights-based strategies that will improve access to sexual and reproductive health care.
We acknowledge the Thai government’s efforts to deliver universal health care and protection for vulnerable groups as was highlighted by several countries during the review. However, we remain concerned that migrants with irregular status are unable to access sexual and reproductive health care information, education and services, which creates elevated risks of unplanned pregnancies, unsafe abortion and HIV infection and therefore violating their rights to health.
With respect to the implementation of accepted recommendations, we urge the Thai government to consult and collaborate with local rights-based NGOs working with people experiencing stigma, discrimination and marginalization and to facilitate the meaningful participation of those who are marginalized in the policy making process.