More than 1,500 university students to rally on Anti-Corruption Day

06 Dec 2012

imageUNDP Thailand/Mark S. Cogan | At the rally on International Anti-Corruption Day, more than 1500 students will ask the public to take a pledge to 'refuse to be corrupt.'

Sunday afternoon rally at Bangkok Art and Culture Center follows Special Preview of anti-corruption-themed Art Exhibition at 10 a.m.

To encourage the Thai public to “Refuse to be Corrupt,” the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Thai Youth Anti-Corruption Network will hold a major rally at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC) this Sunday, December 9, International Anti-Corruption Day. More than 1,500 students from across Thailand will gather in front of the BACC at 3 p.m.

A recent ABAC poll reported that a majority (63.4%) of Thai people hold the view that corruption in government is acceptable as long as they also benefit from it. A majority of young people under 20 now hold the same attitude.

“We’re taking a pledge to refuse to be corrupt and we are asking the public to take that stand with us on December 9,” said Sayuti Salam, the President of the Thai Youth Anti-Corruption Network, and student at Prince of Songkhla University in Hat Yai.

“If we are going to fight corruption in Thailand, we have to start with ourselves first.”

As many as 600 students from the South will participate in the rally, as well as 800 from the Northeast, and another 300 from Bangkok and other parts of Thailand.

In partnership with Khon Kaen University’s College of Local Administration, UNDP has engaged more than 90 universities and over 2,500 students from across Thailand since June to create the student-led network. UNDP held anti-corruption camps across the country to educate student leaders about the dangers of corruption in Thai society and to promote responsible citizenship and civic knowledge.

The December 9 public rally is also a signal that every sector in Thailand is now actively engaged in fighting corruption.

The 3 p.m. rally marks the beginning of the newly-formed Thai Youth Anti-Corruption Network’s public advocacy. Students have taken a vow to “refuse to be corrupt,” a message student leaders have encouraged over the past year at their respective universities and among their peers.

Special Preview of Art Exhibition at 10am

Twenty three universities from across Thailand will participate in a special anti-corruption themed art exhibition sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) starting on International Anti-Corruption Day, December 9 at the Bangkok Art and Culture Center (BACC).

The exhibit will begin on December 9 with a special sneak preview event held from 10:00am to 12 noon, where student artists will be on hand to present their work and discuss their feelings about corruption in Thai society.

Rather than look externally for the causes of corruption, the exhibition will feature art aimed at exploring corruption from the perspective of the individual.

“Fighting corruption in Thailand begins with all of us—with our actions, our behavior, and our attitude,” said Luc Stevens, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Thailand.

The exhibit will continue in the lobby of the Bangkok Art and Culture center from December 11 through December 16. Admission is free.

The exhibit is a continuation of UNDP’s Anti-Corruption Initiative, which has engaged more than 90 universities and over 2,500 student leaders from across Thailand. Beginning in June, UNDP held anti-corruption camps for students and created the Thai Youth Anti-Corruption Network, a public advocacy network designed to recruit new students, and disseminate anti-corruption information to university peers.