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Understanding the Security Community in Thailand: How to Improve Human Rights Education for Thai Security Personnel

Dumkhum, Napat

This research critically engages challenges for the integration or incorporation of human rights issues and values into education and training for Thai security personnel. Concerned stakeholders, both public and private, have been invested in human rights education and training within the security sector, especially for authorities working in the Southern Border Provinces of the country, where violent incidents sporadically occur and the situation of human rights violations, including by state authorities, is of concern. However, limited research and attention has been paid on how such interventions have their effects on learners. With the Accountability – Professional Development Model as the main conceptual framework of this study, it draws on empirical evidence and comparative examples from different human rights education and training programs in different parts of the world and further delves into the subjective experiences of both trainers and participants engaged in the training, especially in the context of Southern Border Provinces. This study reveals both contextual challenges and practical difficulties at every stage of the training, from design and implementation to follow up and evaluation. Critical obstacles that hinder the efforts of the human rights training revolve around the problem of organizational and learning culture of the security forces, skepticisms, and resistance of learners toward human rights ideas and organizations in the area, the distinctive characters, and irrelevancy of the training contents as deemed by learners, among others. Despite the prevailing challenges, the research sheds light on several cases where learners demonstrate how the training made a meaningful contribution to their professional roles and empowered their intrinsic advocacy for human rights. By tapping on opportunity suggested by these cases, the study proposes thoughts and ways forward for the improvement of education and training efforts to achieve the ultimate goals in putting an end to human rights violations by security personnel.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Institute for the Study of Human Rights
Thesis Advisors
Bickford, Louis
Degree
M.A., Columbia University
Published Here
August 24, 2020