Youth networks in Thailand and Asia Pacific
Table of Contents
- 1 Introduction
- 2 How to be a successful team
- 3 Examples of youth networks in Thailand
- 4 The Impact of Youth Networks
- 5 Summary
- 6 References
- 7 Group 2
Young people are the world’s largest resource in development. People who are 24 years old or younger make up almost half of the world’s 7 billion population (with 1.2 billion between the ages of 10 and 19), their percentage of the population in some major developing countries is already at its peak, according to the Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs in its World Population Prospects: The 2010 Revision. From that result, we cannot deny that youth are the new global power who can contribute to reshape the world. At present, youth around the world have already known about their power to make the impact on society where they lived. They are joining the global youth networks or their region networks which are established by various world organizations such as the United Nations (UN) have been established The UNEP TUNZA South East Asia Youth Environment Network (SEAYEN) in order to empowering youth in the region.South East Asian Youth Environment Network
Youth Networks is developed by No Borders. No Borders is a nonprofit organisation that endeavours to make connections between youth organisations, youth workers and youngsters easier and more efficient. This organisation inspires people and also works to increase youth participation and channel youth voices into policy-making. It helps connect youth groups to each other and to share information, resources and opportunities that empower their work for social change. Membership is open to any organisation that does not promote hatred or violence towards others, is youth-led, youth-serving and youth-friendly.
Examples of youth networks in Thailand
The Thai Youth Anti-Corruption Network
The Thai Youth Anti-Corruption is a group of more than 4,000 Thai University students from more than 90 universities in Thailand, sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme. This program was built to train students to become good persons and to fight corruption. The anti-corruption campaign was created and implemented by students themselves. This campaign is unique because it was not created by an organisation but was the direct idea of Thai students. The strategy of this program is from an inter-university student network on Facebook, a good example of the use of social media to develop a network: This page (http://www.facebook.com/tyanticorruption) is a space for students to share ideas, photos and information about the anti-corruption campaign to promote integrity and prevent corruption. Students were trained to use social media and taught interpersonal skills needed to share key messages with their peers. The strategy to teach students about corruption is by promoting information about corruption or by camps. The UNDP held anti-corruption camps across the country to educate student leaders about the dangers of corruption in Thai society and to promote responsible citizenship and civic knowledge (The Thai Youth Anti-Corruption Network (Thailand)) On 20 June 2013 the Thai youth anti-corruption network won a “Creative For Good” best practice by the World Economic Forum (WEF). The “Creative For Good” platform was created by the World Economic Forum, in collaboration with the Ad Council and Ketchum, as an online resource for case studies of effective public education campaigns. It brings together over 60 campaigns from around the world on social issues such as education, health and the environment. The success of this campaign is a result of anti-corruption programmes. The UNDP aims to continue anti-corruption programs at the university level, creating strong campus activist organisations with permanent ties to universities, academics, journalists and civil society organisations (UNDP-sponsored Thai Youth Anti-Corruption Network wins best practice by World Economic Forum).
The Asia Pacific Youth Network (APYN)
Additionally, the Asia Pacific Youth Network (APYN) is an example of a youth network in Thailand and the Pacific region. APYN connects people in the region who want to work together to campaign for human rights change. It involves young people to develop and coordinate campaigning activities and focuses on providing opportunities for young people to develop leadership skills, share their creativity and connect with friends in the region. Thailand is one country that participated with the Asia Pacific Youth Network. In 2012 there were numerous activities, inlucding 42 simultaneous events in 10 countries in May that were supported by Amnesty International ’s campaign which includes the amplification of young voices in the region on economic, social and cultural rights. In Thailand, youth activities participated in a day programme in a house party. (Asia Pacific Youth Network, 2013)
The Indigenous Women’s Network of Thailand (IWNT)
The Indigenous Women’s Network of Thailand (IWNT) was founded in 1996 to provide a gender perspective to development activities affecting indigenous communities in Northern Thailand. Between its establishment and 2010, IWNT operated within the Inter Mountain Peoples Education and Culture Thailand Association (IMPECT) – one of the largest indigenous organisations in Thailand – to oversee and advise on gender related aspects of IMPECT’s activities.WOMEN’S NETWORK OF THAILAND (IWNT) Over the years, IWNT has been involved in projects targeting indigenous communities in Thailand and conducted research on themes related to women’s rights and well-being in these communities. Through this work, we gained a clear understanding of the challenges and obstacles facing indigenous women and a growing desire to address some of the needs voiced by the women and communities. However, it was also evident that there was little room for the needs, priorities and participation of indigenous women within the mainstream indigenous movement in Thailand. As a result, in early 2011 the women of IWNT decided that it was time to establish IWNT as an independent organisation working towards improving the lives of indigenous women in Northern Thailand (History of INDIGENOUS WOMEN’S NETWORK OF THAILAND (IWNT)). These are some of IWNT’s activities :
- informing indigenous women about their rights as women and as indigenous peoples
- promoting national and international instruments for women’s protection
- promoting women’s participation in local government and other decision making structures
- providing training to prepare indigenous women leaders for public roles
IWNT currently consists of a Committee of 10 indigenous women (one from each of the 10 indigenous groups in Northern Thailand) who are dedicated to empowering, strengthening and supporting indigenous women. The Committee provides direction and governs the activities of the organisation. Since its establishment, IWNT has been making strong and sustained contributions to the issue of indigenous women in Thailand through its own and other partner networks. Some of our most significant achievements include:
- Participation in local politics
- Training and awareness raising on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
- Participation in national and international discussions (Achievement of INDIGENOUS WOMEN’S NETWORK OF THAILAND).
The Impact of Youth Networks
As we see, there are several youth networks throughout the world, and each network is doing activities in their own field. For example, The UNEP TUNZA South East Asia Youth Environment Network (SEAYEN) focuses on the environmental aspect, The Thai Youth Anti-Corruption Network focuses on the political aspect. The impact of each network on society varies depending on its strategies.
Impact of the Thai Youth Anti-Corruption Network
In Thailand, The Thai Youth Anti-Corruption Network began with just 36 student leaders from fifteen universities in June of 2012. After six intensive anti-corruption “camps,” the campaign built a solid network of more than 3,500 students from more than 90 Thai universities. Each camp has recruited new leaders — anti-corruption champions at Thai universities. UNDP built solid partnerships with key universities in Thailand, like KhonKaen University’s College of Local Administration, and attracted attention from the private sector. The campaign also featured high-level speakers and advocates, including former Prime Minister AbhisitVejjajiva. The anti-corruption campaign has continued to attract attention from other institutions and networks, most notably Thailand’s private sector Anti-Corruption Network (ACN). In August, the team signed a partnership to promote dialogue and strategy on fighting corruption, to develop future advocacy campaigns and to build the capacity of organisations within our expanding networks. The Anti-Corruption Network (ACN) is led by a group of Thai businessmen and more than 30 industry associations, including the Thai Chamber of Commerce, the Thai Bankers’ Association, the Federation of Thai Industries, and the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET). However, the campaign’s biggest impact was on December 9th, International Anti-Corruption Day, where 2,000 university students came to Bangkok — pouring out of mass transit stations dressed in trademark “Refuse to be Corrupt” blue t-shirts. They came from all over Thailand. More than 500 students came from the Southern provinces of Thailand. 23 universities participated in the anti-corruption themed art exhibition at the Bangkok Art and Culture Center, in partnership with the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) (World Economic Forum).
Impact of the Indigenous Women’s Network of Thailand
The Indigenous Women’s Network of Thailand (IWNT): Since its establishment, IWNT has been making strong and sustained contributions to the issue of indigenous women in Thailand through its own and other partner networks. Some of our most significant achievements include:
- Participation in local politics
- Providing capacity building for 240 indigenous women to participate in local politics which led to 32 indigenous women being elected into Local Administrative Organizations and Municipalities(2009)
- Training and awareness rising on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
- Promotion of CEDAW, training of trainers to promote CEDAW at community level, and training on research and preparation of case studies to support CEDAW Shadow Report for 100 indigenous women leaders (2007-2011, in cooperation with UN Women Thailand and the Asian Indigenous Women’s Network).
- Participation in national and international discussions
Through these activities, advocacy and partnerships since 2002, more than 20 indigenous women leaders have received training, participated in and contributed to national and international meetings, discussions and consultations on climate change, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) issues, and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), among others (The Indigenous Women’s Network of Thailand (IWNT)).
Youth networks are very useful to gather young people with the same interests together. There may be, however, problems in becoming a successful network. For example, even if they have the same interests, young people have different ideas or methods to realise their goals, which frequently can be seen today (e.g. youngster red shirts and yellow shirts in Thailand); some of the methods may lead to violent situations such as mobs. Networks need some basic knowledge, like computer skills and analytical skills to understand and contribute to the society effectively (e.g. Thai Youth Anti-corruption Network). Still, with good sponsorship and guidance, networks can become successful like the Thai Youth Anti-corruption Network, which means that young people can contribute to society as well as other volunteers, and they can develop their skills for the future benefit of their communities.
- South East Asian Youth Environment Network
- Youth networks
- The Thai Youth Anti-Corruption Network (Thailand)
- UNDP-sponsored Thai Youth Anti-Corruption Network wins best practice by World Economic Forum
- WOMEN’S NETWORK OF THAILAND (IWNT)
- History of INDIGENOUS WOMEN’S NETWORK OF THAILAND (IWNT)
- Achievement of INDIGENOUS WOMEN’S NETWORK OF THAILAND
- World Economic Forum
- The Indigenous Women’s Network of Thailand (IWNT)
From left to right: Mr. Tanakorn Chaianekwut, Mr. Jirayut Songkrampoo, Miss Chulalak Kongsook, Miss Preeyaporn Eakthanyawong, Mr. Burakarn Tippayasakulcahi, Mr. Supanut Sawetarpa