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Thailand to Create Prison Strickty for Transgenders

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Transgender convicts had expressed concerns they could become targets for abuse if locked up with male prisoners

Transgender convicts had expressed concerns they could become targets for abuse if locked up with male prisoners

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BANGKOK – Thailand prisons will start a pilot program to separate transgender inmates from the general inmate population, a rights group confirmed on Wednesday.

The test facility will be established in Bangkok’s Min Buri prison, following lobbying by Thai and foreign rights groups.

“While the population is not a large one, this campaign is not about the numbers but about protecting individuals from abuse,” said Jetsada Taesombat of the Thai Transgender Alliance.

Transgender convicts had expressed concerns they could become targets for abuse if locked up with male prisoners, Kobkiat Kasiwiwat, the deputy permanent secretary at the Justice Ministry, said Tuesday after announcing the program.

An estimated 1.5 per cent of Thailand’s male population dress, live or identify as female, transgender or third gender, the Thai Transgender Alliance said.

 According to a study conducted by Bloomberg, Thailand is the world’s leading destination for gender-affirming surgery with patients generating US$4 billion in revenue in 2013.

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