A Diplomatic Mission for Progress
Bangkok, October 12, 2023 – In a display of unwavering commitment to advancing LGBT+ rights both at home and abroad, Lord Nick Herbert, the UK Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on LGBT+ Rights, recently concluded a pivotal visit to Thailand. The mission served as a symbol of solidarity between the UK and Thailand in their shared dedication to fostering equality and inclusivity.
Laying the Foundation for Change
During his visit from October 2 to 4, 2023, Lord Herbert engaged with a diverse spectrum of stakeholders, forging alliances and sharing insights on the journey towards universal LGBT+ rights.
Civil Society and Equality Legislation
The envoy’s itinerary was marked by a multitude of activities, reflecting the diversity of voices shaping the LGBT+ movement in Thailand. One highlight was a Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) roundtable, where Lord Herbert engaged with local advocates working tirelessly to advance LGBT+ rights. Conversations at this roundtable revolved around the experiences of LGBT+ communities, the challenges they face, and the prospects for equal marriage legislation in Thailand.
Government Collaboration on LGBT+ Developments
Lord Herbert also took the opportunity to meet with key officials from various Thai government departments. These exchanges included discussions with representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice, and Ministry of Social Development and Human Security. The dialogues encompassed the ongoing developments in both the UK and Thailand concerning LGBT+ rights and explored avenues for future cooperation.
Insight into Healthcare Challenges
As part of his quest for a comprehensive understanding of the issues affecting the LGBT+ community in Thailand, Lord Herbert visited the Service Workers in Group Foundation (SWING) Thailand clinic. This visit offered a firsthand look into the healthcare challenges faced by sex workers and the broader LGBT+ community in Thailand.
Sharing the UK’s Success Story
The Special Envoy also sat down for a media interview, providing local journalists with a glimpse into the UK’s journey towards the passage of equal marriage legislation. Lord Herbert underlined the UK’s role in championing LGBT+ rights globally and shared the valuable experiences that have shaped the nation’s commitment to this cause.
Legislative Frameworks for Progress
Lord Herbert, who is also a parliamentarian, met with like-minded Members of Parliament (MPs) and members of a Senate Standing Committee to deliberate on legislative frameworks that can pave the way for greater LGBT+ rights in both the UK and Thailand. This exchange of ideas further strengthened the bonds of collaboration between the two nations.
A Coalition of Allies
The visit concluded with a reception hosted by the British Embassy in Bangkok, uniting LGBT+ allies in Thailand. Attendees included the current and former co-chairs of the Equal Rights Coalition (ERC) from the UK, Argentina, Germany, and Mexico, as well as representatives of Thai authorities and CSOs. This gathering symbolized the international partnership dedicated to the promotion of LGBT+ rights.
A Vision for Global Allyship
Lord Herbert, in reflecting on his visit, passionately emphasized the UK’s steadfast commitment to championing LGBT+ rights worldwide. Furthermore, he expressed his delight at engaging with representatives from the Royal Thai Government, Parliament, and civil society. This united mission aims to strengthen global allyship and protect the rights of LGBT+ individuals across the globe.
“The UK is a global champion of LGBT+ rights,”
Lord Herbert asserted.
“I am delighted to be in Thailand to exchange views with representatives from the Royal Thai Government, Parliament, and civil society. Together, we can strengthen global allyship and protect the rights of LGBT+ people worldwide.”
“My visit to Thailand serves as a testament to the shared commitment between the UK and Thailand in promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion for all. As the UK special envoy on LGBT+ rights, I am proud to stand alongside our partners in achieving this goal.”
Lord Herbert’s visit to Thailand marks a pivotal and significant milestone in the ongoing efforts to secure equal rights and inclusion for LGBT+ communities, both in the UK and internationally. Moreover, it underscores the power of collaboration and emphasizes the global mission to advance the cause of LGBT+ rights.