Although armed violence in southern Thailand rarely makes international headlines, it caused more than 17,000 casualties between 2004 and 2014. Most of these were civilians.
At the request of a local civil society organization, the Cross-Cultural Foundation & Hearty Support Group, Geneva Call is supporting a public campaign to promote humanitarian norms among communities and parties to the conflict in the region known as Thailand’s “Deep South.”
As part of its support to this campaign, Geneva Call adapted its training material on humanitarian norms—an illustrated booklet and a poster—to the local context. The Cross-Cultural Foundation & Hearty Support Group has already made strategic use of these tools in order to promote the respect of key humanitarian rules by all arms-bearers. Civilian casualty rates would be significantly reduced if all parties respected humanitarian norms.
Armed groups, including the Barisan Revolusi Nasional, which most analysts consider to be the largest of the estimated six groups active in the area, have been seeking self-determination for ethnic Malays in Thailand’s Deep South since 2004.
In order to continue its support for this public campaign, Geneva Call plans to provide training on humanitarian rules to members of civil society organizations in the Deep South in early 2016.