Chalida Tajaroensuk

Chairperson, People’s Empowerment Foundation (PEF)
DTP training was a great learning opportunity for me... I have no hesitation to state that DTP training played a crucial role in making me more skillful in lobbying the government.

DTP alumna Chalida Tajaroensuk is a prominent Thai human rights defender with over 30 years of experience of working on peace building, human rights, solidarity and democracy in Thailand and across Asia. In 2019 her solidarity for human rights and self-determination in Timor-Leste was recognised by the Timorese government with the Order of Timor-Leste.

Chalida is Chairperson of People’s Empowerment Foundation (PEF) in Thailand. PEF is well known for supporting human rights defenders from refugee communities in Thailand. PEF is also a valuable partner of ASEAN People Civil Society Conference (ACSC), Asian NGOs Network of Human Rights Institution (ANNI), member of GPPAC (Global Partner Prevention of Armed Conflict), partner of the Asian Democracy Network (ADN) and member of FORUM-ASIA. These affiliations underpin the value of Chalida and PEF’s advocacy work.

Chalida gives much credit to her DTP training for the development of her advocacy skills for human rights.

“DTP training was a great learning opportunity for me. When I participated in the DTP training I was very young and I did not have much experience in working on human rights and did not know much about how to use UN mechanisms in human rights advocacy. I learnt a lot from DTP training which I apply in my own advocacy works.”

Chalida said the DTP training was invaluable in building her skills in lobbying the government and lawmakers in Thailand, the skills of peoples’ diplomacy.

“In our line of work, we have to engage with the authorities and the parliament. Sometimes we sit in the Parliament committees. Through those high-level engagements we try to make changes at the national policy level. I have no hesitation to state that DTP training played a crucial role in making me more skillful in lobbying the government.”

Chalida says their advocacy has achieved changes – in policy and practice. A key focus over many years has been refugees and migrants from Myanmar – a crisis again following the military’s attempted coup in 2021. Successes have included:

  • arranging meetings between Thai and Myanmar ethnic leaders near the Thai-Myanmar border (particularly in the Karrenni state in Myanmar);
  • negotiating for opening up of a temporary peace zone inside Myanmar;
  • delivering humanitarian aid from Thailand and providing temporary access to Thai hospitals for the severely ill Myanmar citizens living in the IDP camps near Thai border.


Chalida generously credits DTP:

“we were taught how to negotiate, how to balance both sides and try to make both sides support each other in DTP training.”

Chalida was born in Surat Thani province in the South of Thailand and went on to study a Master degree in social development after completing a Bachelor degree on history and philosophy. She has seen successive generations of young people in Thailand press for democracy and human rights and is one of the older generation that continues their work while nurturing and supporting new generations of activists. She sees training as critical to sharing knowledge and experience and building relationships.

“DTP made a strong contribution to the human rights advocacy scene in Thailand. I met many DTP alumni here. DTP should continue to contribute to building a strong Thai human rights advocacy community.”

February, 2024

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