Government Action on Disability Policy
A Global Survey
Part II - Government Replies as Country Profiles
Download 'Government Reports on the UN Standard Rules' as a PDF file (440 KB)
© Dimitris Michailakis 1997
Transmitted by the Embassy in Stockholm (24 May 1996)
Compare with the following Country Report(s): RI
The officially recognized disability policy in Thailand is expressed in law and in guidelines adopted by the Government. The emphasis - in descending scale - is on prevention, rehabilitation, accessibility measures, individual support, anti-discrimination law.
Since the adoption of the Standard Rules the Government has conveyed the message of full participation through mass media; spot on TV, posters, brochures etc.
The rights of persons with disabilities are protected by a combination of special legislation specifically dealing with disability matters, and general legislation. The judicial mechanism adopted to protect the rights of persons with disabilities is due process (legal remedy through courts).
The general legislation applies to persons with different disabilities with respect to education, employment, the right to marriage, the right to parenthood/family, political rights, access to court of law, right to privacy, property rights. The following benefits are guaranteed by law to persons with disabilities: health and medical care, training, rehabilitation and counselling, financial security, employment, independent living, and participation in decisions affecting them.
According to the Government, the "Rehabilitation of Disabled Persons Act B.E. 2534 (A.D. 1991)" has been, enacted after the adoption of the Rules.
There are rules ensuring accessibility of the build environment which establish national design standards requiring that public places are made accessible. Accessibility in the build environment is observed by the "Sub-committee for Rehabilitation of Disabled Persons on Accessibility". The following measures have been promoted by the Government in order to facilitate accessibility in the build environment: marking parking areas, financial support for the costs of adapting private buildings to the needs of persons with disabilities. There are no special transport arrangements for persons with disabilities. Attitudinal factors are the only obstacles referred to by the Government, when planning to build accessible environments. There is a disability awareness component incorporated in the training of planners, architects and construction engineers.
Sign language for deaf people has no officially recognized status. It is neither used as the first language in education of deaf people, nor recognized as the main means of communication between deaf persons and others. There are no Government measures for encouraging media and other forms of public information to make their services accessible. The following services are provided in order to facilitate information and communication between persons with disabilities and other persons: literature in Braille/tape, sign language interpretation, available for any purpose.
Organizations of persons with disabilities
There is a national umbrella organization. Legal provisions mandate the representatives of persons with disabilities to participate in policy-making and to work with Governmental institutions. Organizations are always consulted when laws and regulations with a disability aspect are being prepared. Consultations take place at the national level. The Government financially supports existing or new organizations. Persons with disabilities participate to a very limited extent in Government, judicial authorities and political parties but to a great extent in legislature and NGOs. The organizations have the role to advocate rights and improved services, mobilize persons with disabilities, identify needs and priorities, participate in the planning, implementation and evaluation of services and measures concerning the lives of persons with disabilities, contribute to public awareness, provide services, and promote/organize income generating activities.
Co-ordination of work
The national co-ordinating committee is reporting to the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare. The committee includes representatives of the Ministries of Finance, Health and Social Affairs, Employment, Housing, and representatives from organizations of persons with disabilities, and from other NGOs. The Government expects the co-ordinating committee to participate in policy development and to perform other tasks such as recommend, consult, and encourage policy and activities concerning the rehabilitation and development of disabled people. The establishment of the co-ordinating committee has had effects such as improved legislation, improved integration of responsibility, a better dialogue in the disability field, more accurate planning, more effective use of resources, and improved promotion of public awareness.
The adoption of the Rules has confirmed that the Thai disability policy is on the right track.
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