“Refuse To Be Corrupt” cafe project unveiled by UNDP for Thai youth


The UNDP-sponsored Thai Youth Anti-Corruption Network unveiled its first youth advocacy project on June 11, 2014 to lay the foundation for a corruption-free future in Thailand. The project, “Refuse To Be Corrupt” cafe chain, will be piloted early next year.
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Photo courtesy of Thai Youth Anti-Corruption Network.

The unveiling of the project was marked by the partnership signing ceremony between UNDP, True Coffee, Anti-Corruption Organisation of Thailand, Khon Kaen University, and Ubon Ratchathani University. The partnership will provide students with professional knowledge and means to set up and run the cafes. The cafes will serve as active communities for the students to tackle the enemy of Thai society: Corruption. This is a space created by the youth, for the youth.
In Thailand, corruption is a serious and complex issue, affecting many strands of Thai society, but “the future must not belong to the corrupt few who steal the country’s resources,” said Luc Stevens, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Thailand in remarks during the ceremony. “The future of Thailand must be won by educated youth who seek transparency, accountability and justice. This is a vision we will support.”
The first two “Refuse To Be Corrupt” cafés are to be set up in the campuses of Khon Kaen University and Ubon Ratchathani University and will later expand to other places. The “Refuse To Be Corrupt” cafés will give young people a space to sit down and discuss issues, share their views among their peers, and organize events and map out plans to tackle corruption. The profit of the cafes will go directly to support their anti-corruption activities.
“This is an innovative idea to really engage the students. They are already excited, and we, in the private sector, are proud to help the students to understand corruption and give them an opportunity to run their business responsibly and corruption-free,” said Pramon Sutivong, Chairperson of the Anti-Corruption Organisation of Thailand.
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Photo courtesy of Thai Youth Anti-Corruption Network.

Thai Youth Anti-Corruption Network is an active group of over 6,000 students from over 90 universities across Thailand on a mission to eliminate corruption through the empowerment of young people. Founded in 2011, the Network ran a series of campaigns to raise awareness among the youth.
This partnership signing ceremony was held ahead of UNDP’s regional dialogue on “Accelerating Human Development in Asia-Pacific: Transparency, Accountability and Voices against Corruption”. UNDP has an on-going Global Anti-Corruption Initiative, and the “Refuse To Be Corrupt Cafes” are one of many innovative ideas that UNDP is working on in the Region to support a healthy growth of a new generation of civil citizenship.
The effort is supported by universities and the private sector, led by True Corporation Plc. “We are honoured to have the opportunity to lend our hands to create the venues for students to undergo various creative activities for the society. Aside from the knowledge and lessons learned from running their own business, the students can also contribute to the creation of a knowledge-based society as well as raise fund for their future projects,” said Mr. Virat Techanirattisai, General Manager, True Lifestyle Retail Co., Ltd.  
Students from the two participating universities will attend an anti-corruption camp in August. They will then submit proposals to run their own social enterprise café in September. The winning team will then be put in charge to organize regular events and activities on corruption issues when the cafe opens early next year.
For more information, please contact:
Mr. Kwanpadh Suddhi-Dhamakit, Programme Analyst with UNDP in Thailand