The Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF) was founded in 2002. It works on justice and the protection, promotion and monitoring of human rights in Thailand. CrCF’s philosophy and activities are focused on strengthening human rights and delivering sustainable judicial reform throughout society, both top-down and bottom-up. Particular emphasis is placed on marginalised people such as ethnic minority groups, stateless people, migrant workers and victims of conflict.
The CrCF is guided by the principles of cross-cultural and human rights understanding, empowerment and inclusiveness. It has coordinated numerous activities in partnership with its working partners to promote and protect the rights of marginalised groups throughout Thailand. It also provides legal and other aid to victims of abuse, such as those affected by violence in the southern border provinces.
Among its many strategic aims, the CrCF is committed to:
Strategic litigation and legal aid: through which it monitors the justice process and its accessibility for marginalised people; provides direct legal aid to victims of human rights violations with strategic litigation; files strategic cases related to torture, disappearance, arbitrary detention, land issues, community rights, labour rights, right to assembly, right to life and other human rights violations by the state under special laws.
Capacity building: to inform and educate communities of the target population on their rights and empower them to act upon and defend human rights standards; to create networks of human rights defenders and lawyers and encourage debate among human rights practitioners.
Research and advocacy: to raise awareness about cultural, economic and political issues and promote the rule of law and human rights; to raise public and political awareness through anti-torture campaigns; to conduct research and organise public seminars on the implementation of special security laws.
The CrCF’s key project aimed at ending violent conflict in the southernmost border provinces is being carried out in cooperation with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung and the Muslim Attorney Centre. The CrCF is implementing a programme that seeks to provide free legal aid and tangible assistance for vulnerable groups in Thailand’s southern border provinces. The initiative aims to be a significant step towards enhanced practice of justice and future reconciliation in the south. The project is funded by the European Union under the ‘Programme: Non State Actors in Development’.
Key activities include:
- Free legal services and strategic litigation for indigent victims of human rights abuses;
- Case meetings for lawyers and human rights law experts;
- Capacity building training for lawyers and paralegals;
- A law student program;
- Public seminars targeting local authorities, security forces, decision-makers and judicial officers;
- Research and case studies on the need for free public defender services;
- Promotion of the role of prosecutors and judges in solving the conflict situation; and
- Formulating policy options to authorities.
The project expects to achieve the following results:
- Enhanced capacities of local organisations practicing law to provide legal aid assistance and free services to vulnerable groups of society;
- Strengthened capacities of community initiatives in order to enhance the compliance of local authorities and security forces with national law and international human rights standards; and
- Improved knowledge and policy development capacities of local authorities and decision makers to trigger a process of a sustainable judicial reform.