Thailand considers prison exclusive for sexual minorities

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Thailand, a country known for its tolerance towards transgender, gay and lesbian people, is forced to deal with a publicly quite unregarded problem that comes with such diversity: The accommodation of those among the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual) community who become criminal offenders and have to be put in prison.

The problem is most prevalent among the tens of thousands of Thai kathoeys, or ladyboys, who are basically male but bear the attributes of females. Legally, those who did not undergo gender reassignment surgery, are treated as male persons and this is also the gender their identity card shows. They are also conscripted to the army but most of them are declared “unfit” to serve.

If one of them commits a crime, for example a drug-related offense, and receives a prison sentence, they are generally put into a prison for male inmates. While a little-known policy has been introduced back in 1993 by the Thai Department of Corrections that LGBT persons should be segregated from other prisoners to prevent sexual assault and other troubles, it it not enforced in all prisons.

The solution: The department is now considering a prison facility exclusively for sexual minorities of the LGBT community. According to an AP report, it could be situated just outside Bangkok and be as big as to house 6,000 inmates – which is the current number of LGBT prisoners of a total of 300,000 inmates in Thailand.

Proponents say that the idea is worth considering in terms of safety, control and rehabilitation, and it would also take better care of the special health needs of LGBT people.

Critics, however, claim that a separate LGBT prison (“pink prison”) would mean segregation and discrimination and also complicate the reintegration in a diverse society. They would rather support a compromise of integration and overnight segregation in a regular prison.

It the proposal goes through, the LGBT prison in Thailand would be the world’s first. Similar “pink prisons” have been proposed in the past in nations like Italy and Turkey, but the ideas have been squashed due to legal concerns or owing to activists’ protests.

 

 

 

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Thailand, a country known for its tolerance towards transgender, gay and lesbian people, is forced to deal with a publicly quite unregarded problem that comes with such diversity: The accommodation of those among the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual) community who become criminal offenders and have to be put in prison. The problem is most prevalent among the tens of thousands of Thai kathoeys, or ladyboys, who are basically male but bear the attributes of females. Legally, those who did not undergo gender reassignment surgery, are treated as male persons and this is also the gender their identity card shows....

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Thailand, a country known for its tolerance towards transgender, gay and lesbian people, is forced to deal with a publicly quite unregarded problem that comes with such diversity: The accommodation of those among the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual) community who become criminal offenders and have to be put in prison.

The problem is most prevalent among the tens of thousands of Thai kathoeys, or ladyboys, who are basically male but bear the attributes of females. Legally, those who did not undergo gender reassignment surgery, are treated as male persons and this is also the gender their identity card shows. They are also conscripted to the army but most of them are declared “unfit” to serve.

If one of them commits a crime, for example a drug-related offense, and receives a prison sentence, they are generally put into a prison for male inmates. While a little-known policy has been introduced back in 1993 by the Thai Department of Corrections that LGBT persons should be segregated from other prisoners to prevent sexual assault and other troubles, it it not enforced in all prisons.

The solution: The department is now considering a prison facility exclusively for sexual minorities of the LGBT community. According to an AP report, it could be situated just outside Bangkok and be as big as to house 6,000 inmates – which is the current number of LGBT prisoners of a total of 300,000 inmates in Thailand.

Proponents say that the idea is worth considering in terms of safety, control and rehabilitation, and it would also take better care of the special health needs of LGBT people.

Critics, however, claim that a separate LGBT prison (“pink prison”) would mean segregation and discrimination and also complicate the reintegration in a diverse society. They would rather support a compromise of integration and overnight segregation in a regular prison.

It the proposal goes through, the LGBT prison in Thailand would be the world’s first. Similar “pink prisons” have been proposed in the past in nations like Italy and Turkey, but the ideas have been squashed due to legal concerns or owing to activists’ protests.

 

 

 

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