The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 12 October 2023.
Lord Nick Herbert, the UK Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on LGBT+ Rights, made a visit to Thailand from 2 to 4 October 2023. The visit demonstrates the UK’s commitment to working with Thailand and allies in promoting greater LGBT+ rights and inclusion.
During his visit, Lord Herbert met representatives from the Royal Thai Government, Civil Society, and Parliament, though a variety of activities, including:
- Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) roundtable: Lord Herbert heard from CSOs working on LGBT+ rights in Thailand, about their experiences, challenges facing their communities, and perspectives on equal marriage legislation.
- Meetings with government: Lord Herbert met officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice, and Ministry of Social Development and Human Security to exchange views on LGBT+ developments in the UK and Thailand. He also discussed future cooperation on rights and inclusion.
- Visiting SWING clinic: Lord Herbert visited Service Workers in Group Foundation (SWING) Thailand to learn about their work and gain insight into challenges faced in accessing health care services for sex-workers and the LGBT+ community in Thailand.
- Media interview: The Special Envoy gave an interview to a local media about the UK’s experience of the passage of equal marriage legislation, and the UK’s role in championing LGBT+ rights across the globe.
- Speaking to parliamentarians: As a parliamentarian, Lord Herbert had meetings with likeminded MPs as well as members of a Senate Standing Committee to discuss legislative frameworks to achieve greater LGBT+ rights in both countries.
- Reception with Equal Rights Coalition partners: The British Embassy Bangkok hosted a reception for LGBT+ allies in Thailand to exchange views. The attendees include the Equal Rights Coalition (ERC)’s current and former co-chairs (UK, Argentina, Germany and Mexico), Thai authorities and CSOs.
Lord Herbert said :
The UK is a global champion of LGBT+ rights. I am delighted to be in Thailand to exchange views with representatives from the Royal Thai Government, Parliament and civil society. Together, we can strengthen global allyship and protect the rights of LGBT+ people worldwide.
My visit to Thailand serves as a testament to the shared commitment between the UK and Thailand in promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion for all. As the UK special envoy on LGBT+ rights, I am proud to stand alongside our partners in achieving this goal.
Note for editors
- Lord Nick Herbert was appointed the UK Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on LGBT+ Rights in May 2021. The Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on LGBT+ Rights leads efforts to champion LGBT+ equality in the UK and abroad.
- The Equal Rights Coalition is a network of governments, intergovernmental organisations, and civil society groups dedicated to the protection and promotion of the human rights of LGBT+ persons around the world.