Cablegate: Thailand Proposals for Eap Women's Issues Fund Competition

DE RUEHBK #5966/01 3321129
P 281129Z NOV 07





E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 136319

1. As requested in reftel, post supports the following proposals
for the EAP/RSP Women's Issues Fund (WIF) Small Grants Competition.
The information provided is as submitted by the organization.
Proposals are listed in order of post's preference:


a) Name of applicant: New Life Center Foundation

b) Project title: Protecting Ethnic Minority Women from Human

c) Total amount requested: $25,000

d) Project overview: The New Life Center Foundation has provided
services to girls at risk for human trafficking, and victims of
human trafficking, since its inception in 1987. Over the past ten
years, global awareness about the trade in humans has increased
significantly. Thailand has responded by implementing country-wide
anti-trafficking campaigns, improving protection for victims, and
opening up a 24 hr telephone hotline to report suspected cases.
These efforts have resulted in a highly significant decrease in the
amount of girls and women being trafficked to and through Thailand,
specifically in the sex trade industry.

While these efforts and their results are laudable, ethnic
minorities throughout Thailand and the broader Mekong sub region
remain critically vulnerable to continued exploitation. Chronic risk
factors (such as the lack of legal Thai citizenship, functional
illiteracy, and unawareness of human rights) plague tribal
communities and persons. Cultural traditions continue to place the
burden of economic responsibility for the family on its daughters.
Recent referrals to the New Life Center, and similar cases at other
NGO's, indicate that young tribal girls continue to be sexually
assaulted in their villages, forced into domestic labor in which
they are not paid, and denied educational opportunities. Tribal
girls are continually forced into sex work- not at the traditional
"brothel" that existed just 2-3 years ago- but at a variety of
venues, including restaurants, shop houses, local markets, and
karaoke bars.

Activities for this project will focus on the two main anti-TIP
elements in which the New Life Center Foundation excels and can
provide with distinction: prevention of trafficking, and protection
for victims. Prevention will include education for girls most highly
vulnerable to TIP within Thailand. Prevention activities will also
include the continuation and strengthening of the NLCF's
anti-trafficking campaigns for ethnic minorities throughout the
region, with a focus on the Akha tribal group in China. Protection
of victims will include safe shelter, interpretation assistance,
therapeutic art, music, and sports activities, expert counseling,
educational and vocational skill building, and the development of a
life and repatriation plan (as appropriate).

Expected results for the project include the following:
*decreased vulnerability for ethnic minorities to human trafficking,
all types of abuse, and labor exploitation
*protection of victims of labor exploitation (including TIP) and
girls at risk in safe shelter
*empowerment of TIP victims and vulnerable girls through education,
life skills training, and therapeutic activities
*expeditious repatriation for victims of TIP as appropriate
*respect and dignity for victims of TIP and girls at risk through
the promotion of human rights.


a) Name of applicant: People's Empowerment - Empowering People for a
Strong Civil Society

b) Project title: Community Development and Career Enhancement for
Vulnerable Women Groups in Narathiwat, Southern Thailand.

c) Total amount requested: $25,000

d) Project overview: This project aims to be a part of conflict
resolution in the Deep South of Thailand by supporting the economic
initiatives for vulnerable women groups for the purpose of restoring
their human security, particularly economic security, in parallel
with the restoration of political security put forward by the
government and other organisations. Human security and national
security are not separate concepts. Without human security, national
security cannot be attained and vice versa. As recommended by the
United Nations, peace-building needs the combination of 2 important
parts: 'Freedom from Fear' and 'Freedom from Want', one meaning of
'Human Security'.1 According to our research, we found that "Freedom
from Fear" is carried out by a number of organisations operating in

BANGKOK 00005966 002 OF 003

the affected southern region to ensure that human rights and justice
of the people are protected, while there are not as many
organisations working on "Freedom from Want". Thus, this project
will be a pilot project for community development in Southern
Thailand focusing on "Freedom from Want".

Results from initial fact-finding missions demonstrate that although
women have experienced less direct violence than men, they are
affected indirectly by being forced to take over the role of the
breadwinners in the family due to the fact that men are targeted by
both the insurgents and state authorities. Hence, the women groups
in those areas are the most appropriate starting point for the

There are 10 women sewing groups in a connected area in Narathiwat
province which are suitable for and disposed to the pilot project: 2
groups in Bajao, 2 groups in Yingo, 2 groups in Bann Thon, 2 groups
in Maikan and 2 groups in Jor Irong. These sewing groups rely on the
production and export of headscarves to Malaysia. Due to their
reliance on a single product and a single customer they consequently
suffer from exploitation and cannot make a sustainable living. The
aim of the project is to assist these women groups in diversifying
their income-generating activities - by supporting them in product
development, marketing, and cost management - to give them a chance
to participate equally and freely on the market to avoid further

After the pilot project ends, the participating women will have
improved skills to continue development and marketing of competitive
products for enhanced independence and sustainability in their
living. The scheme will shift to other women groups in different
distressed areas in the South. A part of the earnings will go into a
self-managed 'Fund for career enhancement of distressed women' to
enable the women communities to carry out further activities in a
long-term by themselves.


a) Name of applicant: Kachin Women's Association Thailand (KWAT)

b) Project title: Women's Self Employment Project Based on
Traditional Weaving

c) Total amount requested: $25,000

d) Project overview: This project seeks to empower Kachin women
living in the village of Banmai Samaki in Chiang Dao Province north
of Chiang Mai, by fostering and promoting their economic
independence. The need for such a project is recognised at an
international level: one of the Millennium Development Goals is to
halve world poverty by 2015 and the International Fund for
Agricultural Development (IFAD) has argued that if this objective is
to be achieved, there must be a strong focus on rural poverty. IFAD
also notes that there are no 'quick fixes' and the patronage
approach does not work. These observations have influenced our
approach to this project.

Twenty five years ago the land for the village was given in
perpetuity to the Kachin community living in the area, by the King
of Thailand. The village now comprises 105 households but the
families live in poverty because they are almost totally reliant
upon subsistence farming: paid employment is insecure; there is poor
access to education and health care, and there is high fertility.

We are proposing a project that is community led and based upon the
needs identified by the women themselves. The women seek to learn
weaving and sewing skills so that they can establish their own
businesses by producing cloth in the traditional Kachin style, and
then manufacturing finished items for sale to outside markets. This
project will empower ten women to take responsibility for their own
economic development by providing the human development (training)
and the asset building (resources) required to enable them to
utilise the only assets they currently possess ie time and labour.
We will also provide them with access to microcredit facilities and
to national and international markets (see below under penultimate

This nucleus of ten women will 'cascade' their newly acquired skills
to other women in the village through the apprenticeship model, and
it is anticipated that as each individual business develops, it will
create employment for those women who do not wish to be self

Financial independence will enable the women to provide for
themselves and their families: to feed themselves and their children
better; to access health advice, particularly reproductive health
advice for themselves and better health care for their children;
and to pay for the education of their children thereby helping to
break the current cycle of poverty. It will also enhance their
status within the community, and their sense of personal dignity, so

BANGKOK 00005966 003 OF 003

that they are encouraged to take a greater leadership role within
the village. The older women will be consulted regarding traditional
designs and dying techniques etc and the project will serve to
enhance a feeling of pride in the Kachin culture, so that community
cohesiveness is strengthened overall.

2. A warranted grants officer authorized to award the full value of
these grants is currently stationed at Embassy Bangkok. An officer
in post's Political Section will serve as Grants Officer's
Representative (GOR).

3. The point of contact for Women's Issues at Embassy Bangkok is
Political Officer Guy Margalith,


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