Supatra Nacapew


Founder, Director ,
PHONE 0816148487




Ms. Nacapew was born in Srisaket, Thailand. Her father, an officer at the district government office, succumbed to gambling and abandoned his family. Her mother, a teacher whose school closed in the aftermath of her husband’s departure, was left to raise seven children. Unable to manage by herself, she split up the family, and Ms. Supatra stayed with her relatives across Thailand. Although the experience was unsettling, she recalls that it also made her strong and independent from a young age. While she was living in different households, she had a number of experiences that affected her later decision to enter law school and work for the public good. At 12, she was sexually harassed by one of her relatives, and this bitter personal experience of rights violation compelled her to protect the rights of others. During secondary school, her mother sent her to stay with a public health officer doing outreach work in the countryside. Her work as his assistant exposed Ms. Supatra to the lives of poor rural farmers and public health issues. In 1983, she won a prestigious scholarship to attend Thammasat University. After four years of study in Bangkok amid well-off urban students intent upon joining law firms and doing business, Ms. Supatra did not stray from her vision of working for the underprivileged. She joined the Thai Volunteer Services on a two-year placement with the Women’s Rights Protection Center of the Friends of Women foundation. After completing her volunteer work in 1989, she stayed on as staff and later become director of the center. In 1992 she became coordinator of the AIDS project of the Center for Labor Information Services and Training. In this position she began to realize the extent of discrimination practiced against persons with HIV/AIDS, as well as the accompanying total neglect of their rights. She decided to commit her professional career to their cause, and founded the Center for AIDS Rights in 2000.