Thailand NGO Report on
The Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child
2000 – 2004
The United Nations’ Committee on the Rights of the Child
National Council for Child and Youth Development (NCYD)
Center for the Protection of Children’s Rights (CPCR)
and child and youth development NGOs and youth groups
Bangkok, June 2005
Thailand NGO Report on the Implementation of
the Convention on the Rights of the Child
2000 – 2004
This report, prepared under the coordination of the National Council for Child and Youth
Development (NCYD) and the Centre for the Protection of Children‟s Right s (CPCR) in
cooperation with child and youth organizations, youth groups, NGOs and international
organizations based in Thailand. The draft report was presented for discussion at the national
seminar held on 29 June 2005 with the aim to validate the content, incorporate further
comments and finalize the report in a participatory manner.
The report which contains inputs of the NGOs and youth groups in Thailand to the
implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, has three main objectives: (1)
To update the situation of children as from the Second Report to the end of 2004, (2) To
response to comments and observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child towards
the Country Report and (3) To provide recommendations for further actions by the Thai
government, NGOs, youth groups and the civil society at large.
Summary of the report
This report presents the views of NGOs and youth groups in Thailand on the implementation of
the Convention on the Rights of the Child during the period 2000 to 2004.
The report reflects on the progresses that Thailand has made regarding the rights of children,
Thai and non-Thai citizen, the improvement of laws and regulations as well as the
implementation of new child legislation. The Child Protection Act B.E. 2546 (2003), defining the
“child” as a person below 18 years of age and eligible to protection and welfare assistance in
compliance with the principles of non-discrimination and best interests of the child, came into
effect on March 2004. These principles are being applied to children with no legal status living in
Thai territory. The Act empowers role of the National Child Protection Committee, the Bangkok
Metropolitan Child Protection Committee and those Child Protection Committees at the provincial
level enabling them to recommend policies, plans, budgets, laws and regulations and criterion
on new child legislation and to appoint various sub-committees and/or working groups for the
promotion of social welfare and safety protection as well as behavior development. The Act
guarantees an enabling environment and facilities necessary for education, recreation activities,
occupational training, and physical and mental health checkup for children under care of child
welfare centers. Also included in the Act are the systems for monitoring child welfare centers.
In 2001 and 2004 respectively, Thailand ratified the ILO Convention Nos. 182 and 138, which
deal with the issues of the worst form of child labour and the minimum-age for employment,
hence brought the prevention of economic exploitation on children in line with the international
standards. A six-year national policy and plan to address issue of trafficking of children and
women, prepared by the National Committee on Combating Trafficking in Children and Women,
had been endorsed by the Cabinet in July 2003. The MOU on Common Guidelines of Practices
for Agencies Concerned in Addressing Trafficking in Children has been signed amongst the nine
Northern Provinces. Following the signing of an MOU between Thailand and Cambodia on
Bilateral Cooperation for Elimination of Trafficking in Children and Women. Ministers and high
level officials of the Greater Maekong Sub-Region witnessed the participation of the Maekong
children affected by trafficking who openly shared their views on this problem and proposed
practical recommendations to be incorporated in the sub - regional plan of action.
The last amendment of the Criminal Code has included measures for better protection of
children from abuse. As well, laws on rape and abandonment provide harsher penalties if the
victim is a child. In September 2000, a number of important new legislations that deal with the
protection of witnesses, victims and offenders who are under 18 years of age, came into effect.
Bringing child victim and witness for interviewing and/or testifying is guided by the Child Friendly
Procedure Act enabling the judicial process and the juvenile justice system more child-friendly.
Both the Central Juvenile and Family Court Act and the Children and Youth Conduct Promotion
Act provide protection for the basic rights including rights of privacy of children in crime and
sexual harassment cases.
Given the continued country‟s economic recovery, extending basic education up to 9 years free
and compulsory and the low growth rate, it is observed that there seems to be the decrease in
the number of child labor but increase in the number of foreign working children, and the
number of children as victims of trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.
The Centre for the Prevention and Suppression of the Trafficking of Children for Prostitution and
Labour under the Ministry of Interior has recently launched the Commitment Fund Project that
aims to help disadvantaged children to further their education as needed. As stipulated in the
National Economic and Social Development Plan with regards to child and youth development,
the Office of Welfare Promotion, Protection and Empowerment of Vulnerable Groups is
vigorously working towards achieving the goals by making available scholarships fund for girl
students, establishing Child Rights Centers aiming to enhance capacity of child rights networks
to focus on child sexual abuse and prostitution in the local community, as a pilot project in two
The Department of Social Development and Welfare (DSDW) under MSDHS through its
Occupational Assistance Programme has actively taken on extensive responsibilities such as
providing shelters, medical care, rehabilitation, protection program, non-formal education,
occupational training and assistance to young girls working in commercial sex and in difficult
circumstances. Following the government/ministerial restructuring policy, the Women, Child and
Youth Development Division, the Department of the Community Development of the Ministry of
Interior had been transformed into various offices within the MSDHS. This new structure is
designed to help the government broaden its work on building capacities of people and
organizations such as women‟s groups and women development committees at both village and
district levels as well as running early childhood development centres.
To comply with the CRC with respect to the principle of indivisibility of rights, the Ministry of
Public Health has issued birth certificates to new born infants of illegal migrants as well as
registration of migrant children and free vaccinations for children of five years or younger.
The Education Reform Office was established in 2000 to implement reform strategies as stated
by the National Education Act 1999. Educational reform emphasizes decentralization that gives
opportunities for the local administration to organize needed educational programs, and
improvement of quality of education with the aim of achieving universal access to 12 years of
free education. Several key provisions of the National Education Act 1999 took full legal effect in
2002; all children have the right to access quality education of twelve years free of charge.
Despite progresses on the implementation of the CRC, much works remain to be done. There
are some of remaining and ongoing emerging challenges related to the rights and wellbeing of
children that require immediate and effective coordinated attention by the Thai government and
the civil society. Two examples of serious incidences that took place in the South of Thailand in
2004 have threatened lives, safety and well-being of children and youth. One is conflict and
violence by so-called separatists in the three southern provinces affecting children there, both
mentally and physically. Another is the destruction caused by the tidal waves, Tsunami, along
the Andaman coast in six provinces not only affected families and children desperate for
materials assistance but also caused psychosocial trauma with the lost of loved ones and
belonging and also resulting in insecurity from such unexpected shocks.
Economic exploitation of children remains problems. The children continue to be at-risk by
exploitative labour. Profits from human trafficking are enormous. But its penalty for human
trafficking is light when compared with trafficking of drugs. The sale and trafficking of children
including adolescents and women for commercial sex and forced labour, both domestically and
cross borders are extensive. On a contrary, law enforcement to criminalize and penalize
criminals is inadequate. Coupled with corrupt practices by the authority concerned and the
vulnerability and ignorance on the victim‟s part, the trafficking situation is a great challenge.
While special juvenile courts and detention centres exist in 59 provinces, children in the rest of
the country are sent to the same courts as adults and many find themselves in detention with
adults. It was reported that there seems to be more children involving in the trafficking of drugs,
particularly amphetamines. There is a concern that the use and trafficking of drugs may have
contributed largely to the increase of prostitutions among children. As a result of the
inappropriate length of sentences, the minimum age for capital punishment of children is 10
year maximum, the long separation from educational opportunities, the poor conditions and the
exposure to criminal element, the level of recidivism is high.
There is always an issue about the unavailability of school attendance rates in primary school in
Thailand. Although it has been reported that enrolment rate of students in primary school is as
high as 90%, thus this mentioned gross enrolment of 90% is questionable. Attempting to assess
the impact of children‟s participation (commitment) in school would be irrelevant. This needs the
MOE‟s attention because it is a determining factor in evaluating Thailand‟s achievements in
Corrupt practices remain a national concern and these are breeding ground for widespread
drugs trafficking, unresolved human trafficking, weak law enforcement, poor quality of education
and social services, and slow infrastructure and human resource development. As results, many
children are put at greater risk, deprived of their basic rights and unable to attain the highest
possible level of development.
The Way Forward
The NGOs and young people of Thailand propose that the Thai Government put greater efforts
on the implementation of projects/programs and budget allocations in order to effectively handle
the following issues (1) Ensuring that education is of desirable quality, greater in variety and
accessible to all children, particularly the marginalized and disadvantaged ones; (2) Taking
better control of narcotics and prevention of drug abuse among young people and prioritize
measures for suppression and eradication of corrupt practices that support production, sale and
continued delivery; (3) Providing social welfare, medical assistance and development services to
children infected and/or affected with AIDS as well as conducting more awareness campaigns to
create understanding on safe sex practices and positive attitude toward families with AIDS; (4)
Supporting projects and programmes that combat economic exploitation of children in
conformity with the ILO Conventions Nos. 138 and 182, Articles 32, 33 and 34 of the Convention
on the Rights of the Child, and as well as seeking economic alternatives for families at risk and
promoting youth employment; (5) Establishing the national system of data collection enabling it
to cover all children up to the age of 18 years with particular emphasis on those who are
vulnerable, economically exploited, of single-parent families, born out of wedlock,
institutionalized and of nomadic and hill tribe communities, as well as allocating budgets and
human resources in doing so; (6) Conducting studies on socio-economic and psycho-social
impact of the natural disaster and manmade violence on children and youth in the South of
Thailand and drawing up action plans to meet their needs and to ensure their rights to life,
safety and development; (7) Ending corrupt practices in welfare and educational schemes and
among law enforcers and officials particularly in areas of human and drug trafficking; (8)
Implementing measures, programmes and activities addressing children affected and infected
with HIV/AIDS, economic exploitation of children including trafficking, juvenile justice and
independent monitoring as suggested by the sub-regional workshop on the implementation of
the concluding observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child organized by the Office
of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights with support of UNICEF in Bangkok in
November 2004; and, (9) Withdrawing the reservations to the articles 7 and 22 of the CRC.
Full recommendations are presented in the final chapter of this report.
1. Situation of the Children in Thailand
10 Problems relating to Child Development
The following 10 issues relating to child development are identified based on the
preliminary reports of the development of national policy and plans for World Fit for
Children (WFFC), prepared by the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security.
1.1) The family well-being continues to be worrisome due to poverty caused by the
economic crisis and widespread of narcotics and drugs among the age groups of
15-24 years, resulting in deteriorating family bond, domestic violence, improper
care for children, increased rate of divorce and mental and physical health
problems among the young. Other problems faced by the family institution are
AIDS infection in family members resulting in orphaned and neglected children or
children living on their own. The emerging important issues that affect family
well-being is the lack of quality parenting and stable, healthy family environments
which causes children to be exposed and fall pray to exploitation, violence and
crime, first and foremost as victims. The traditional role of family has eroded
because of the breakdown of social values and knowledge systems, changes in
family function, roles and perceptions of women, livelihood structures and labor
force demands. Such conditions are making it harder for families to remain intact.
These have an effect on parents‟ primary responsibilities for the upbringing and
development of the child. In response, parents (rich or poor) are actively seeking
alternative care options, children is often times being left with elderly
grandparents or to non-family institutions of care. Related problems increased are
thus being seen in youth-at-risk, youth pathologies and, perhaps, to youth
becoming less effective parents for the next generation.
1.2) The physical and mental health of children of 0-5 years are at risk due to HIV
infection in mothers, adolescent mothers, early childhood malnutrition and
overeating and junk – food consumption patterns, late pre-natal check up,
declining breastfeeding practice due to economic and employment pressure
among working mothers, lack of child rearing skills among parents and impact of
the 30-bath health care scheme on the overall budget for child health care. As
well a rapid social-economic change has reduced the capacities of caregivers to
adequately provide for the basic needs of their children for health, nutrition, and
proper shelter, physical and emotional caring. Accident continues to be one
major cause of death among children under 14 years old, drowning being the
leading cause reflecting negligence on the caregivers‟ side. The problem of violent
behavior and suicide among young people is becoming acceptable practice for
them in eliminating their problems. Psychological problems seem to be on the
rise and the whole family structure suffers from it due to unavailability or
insufficient family counseling services, lack of trained and multi-disciplinary
personnel, lack of information and technical knowledge and lack of services in
remote areas. Children with disabilities, children in institutions and in difficult
circumstances are those who rarely receive such a service, if available.
1.3) Child safety: The State does not have a clear policy on child‟s safety and the
whole notion of a safe environment for children is lacking e.g. in areas of traffic
control for those below 18 years old, in establishing regulations on child products.
In other words, there is a lack of scientific knowledge on minimum safety
standards, inexistence of strong vigilant communities and rarity of safety
protection gears. Families and injured or handicapped children resulting from
accidents do not have the means and support to continue their livelihood in many
respects. Children who work in parents‟ domestic business or informal labour
sector are subject to hazardous environment as mechanism to acquire knowledge
on safety aspects is overlook by their parents or their employers.
1.4) HIV affected children: The AIDS problems touch children in many ways and the
more serious ones being social exclusion of infected people and of children of the
infected or the infected children themselves, and unequal access to AIDS
medicine and treatment. The most up-to-date study indicates that 50 percent of
HIV infected children die before they are five years old. The rest of the children
may survive for many years and need medical and psychosocial care and support.
There is a disagreement about compulsory blood test on children suspected of
being affected as well as complication and unclear policies in adopting children of
AIDS infected parents. Other problems include low quality of care for AIDS
affected families, lack of professional staff for care and counseling, small and ad-
hoc budgets to assist affected children and lack of integration and coordination
among various agencies in assisting these children.
1.5) Education: This is an area that children and youth themselves reflect as priority.
About one in every six children of 0-5 years has one kind or another of slow
development. For basic education, the services cannot yet cover all target
children and every child possible. Children who miss compulsory education are
marginalized children such as those without identity cards or nationality and street
children. Ethnic and hill tribe children continue to have a problem in obtaining
school certificates to enable them to pursue higher education or seek legal
employment. The rates of school drop outs at primary and secondary levels are
still high as well as the repetition of classes at grades 1 and 2 levels
The overall quality of Thai education is still low when compared to many other
countries of the same level of development; therefore, children are not motivated
to be innovative, searching and analytical. School counseling services focus too
much on academic aspects and less on life skills and other aspects of
development. Quality of teachers and teaching methods are questionable in the
eye of children, and remote schools seem to have lower standard than those in
the city areas. Children with special aptitudes do not receive enough support to
optimize their capacity due to lack of personnel, materials and equipment. Most
of all, there is a lack of teaching and learning activities on human‟s rights and
children rights in school and child rearing systems. Teachers frequently lack the
necessary skills to counsel and support children to deal with social problems such
as drug abuse, HIV/AIS, and sexual abuse. Found disappointing is a lack of
comprehensive plan of the non-formal education system after the structural
merging of primary and secondary education took place. Related increased is the
inflexibility to access and utilize schools‟ educational facilities and services by the
non-formal education office. This situation imperils the non-formal education
offices‟ abilities to deliver quality programs, which could widen the disparity of
educational opportunities between formal and non-formal students.
1.6) Child recreation: There is a lack of planning and coordination among
governmental and non-governmental agencies concerned as well as insufficiency
in personnel, activity leaders and volunteers, space, equipment, publicity, format
and content that may interest children. Lack of local communities‟ awareness on
child friendly city/environment restrains community members‟ role in assisting
development of the children which includes stimulating the child‟s emotional
through various types of activities and mobilizing resources for innovative child
interest activities. Local plays and folk activities are giving ways to modern types
of entertaining and games widespread through Internet, resulting in children
spending too much time on computer games which are often violent and exclude
them from spending time with other family members.
1.7) Culture and religion: Young people are not given enough opportunity to
participate in planning and implementation of cultural activities therefore culture-
related services do not fit well with different steps of development of children.
The Thai society also suffers from materialism and consumerism, which put many
children vulnerable and at risk of abuse. In the domain of religions, Thailand is
predominantly a Buddhist country and supports freedom of belief. The country
witnessed, since generations, peoples of different beliefs living in harmony.
Religious instruction is required in public schools at both the primary (grades 1
through 6) and secondary (grades 7 through 12) education levels. However, the
core values of Buddhism have not been delivered effectively to and absorbed by
children and adults alike; and the adults do not always act as good examples.
In addition, the recent conflict in the southernmost provinces of Thailand
bordering Malaysia demonstrates the need for the Government to work harder on
social cultural and economic integration.
1.8) Children and media: Children‟s rights to privacy are not well respected in media
coverage especially of child victims of abuse and child offenders. Often than not,
children‟s full identify and photos are presented in the media although there have
been efforts to omit certain information. In September 2001, the Office of the
Attorney General issued a statement accusing the media of not respecting these
rights. Children also fall prey of Internet crimes, pornography and inappropriate
and sexual arousing media. Moreover, the media programmes are generally of
low quality and market-oriented; their content is either of entertaining or
marketing nature rather than of knowledge and development. No systematic
media monitoring mechanism exists at national and sub-national levels with the
involvement of youth and children.
Child participation is low or near non – existent in the media production process
and there is a lack of media regulations to promote child development and protect
children against the consumption of violent and consumerist media. The Child
Protection Act protect privacy and personnel information of children during the
reporting process, as stated in Section 27 that, “it is forbidden for anyone to
advertise or disseminate by means of the media or any other kind of information
technology any information on a child or the child‟s guardian, with the intention of
causing damage to the mind, reputation, prestige or any other interests of the
child or seeking benefit for oneself or others in an unlawful manner.” However,
the Act does not establish a penalty for non-reporting.
1.9) Child participation: NGOs, national and international, and youth groups have
made great efforts to promote the participation of children in public opinions and
in matters concerning their rights and well-beings. The most up-to-date study
confirms the fact that, the concept of child participation is considered occidental
and not fully appreciated by Thai adults, especially parents, older family
members, teachers and policy makers due to the cultural characteristics of the
Thai society and the demand for obedience that children are expected to show
towards adults. Another complication is that even among adults, participation is
not always perceived as right and part of the democratic process but more as
opportunity, capability and interest in doing so. Moreover, the forms of
participation exist are often adult-led, token or event-oriented more than
integrated into lifestyle and social systems. Often than not, only selected groups
of children and young people have the opportunity to participate and express
1.10) Protection of children in need: Data collection and management is neither
comprehensive nor standardized and practitioners insufficient knowledge, skills
and professional training to provide good services to this group of children. Most
importantly, it is difficult to get estimates of the numbers of children in need of
special attention. There is no such mechanism to systematically collect and
conduct the assessment of needs to enable government and NGOs agencies to
effectively address the real problems of children in need (e.g. street children,
children from poor and marginalized families). More specifically, effective
coordination among child protection centres throughout the country need to be
strengthened both in the areas of technical cooperation and communications to
reach those unreachable children. The solutions or measures taken so far stress
correcting and assisting children themselves rather than families and the social
environment of the child. Other problems are corrupt practices in welfare
schemes resulting in low quality of care for children, and the lack of clear policies
on children without nationalities or of hill-tribe and ethnic minorities. The society
still has an indifferent attitude towards child labour, children of migrant workers,
child prostitution and child trafficking despite intensive efforts to combat it for the
Children in difficult circumstances
1.11) The draft report on the situation of children prepared in July 2004 by the Ministry
of Social Development and Human Security lists children in difficult circumstances
in 16 groups: (1) Orphaned children which is on the rise, especially those as
results of HIV/AIDS, (2) Abandoned children due to teenage pregnancy and
mothers being unprepared, (3) Abused children mostly with in the family or by
those close to them, (4) Sexually abused children with the rise in number among
young children, (5) Children addicted to drugs, alcohol and cigarettes with an
increase in smoking among the age groups of 15-24 and in alcohol consumption
among girls of all age groups, (6) Street children which increase in number due
to influx of disadvantaged children from the neighboring countries, (7) Trafficked
children both Thai and non – Thai from neighbouring countries, (8) Children with
disabilities resulting from birth and accident with the first cause affecting more
girls than boys, (9) Child labour which is on a decrease due to the expansion of
education and most of working children are in the informal and agricultural sector,
(10) Children in juvenile justice system (15-18 years), most of them involved in
drug abuse and nearly as many girls are placed under care of the juvenile
delinquency, (11) Displaced children (0-12 years) numbering about 40,000 (in
2003) in nine refugee centers around the country, (12) Children of hill ethnic
minorities some of whose right to citizenship and birth registration need to be
addressed, (13) Children in slums estimated at 2 millions (in 2003) from the total
5.13 millions slum population, (14) Children without nationality of the hill-tribe
and ethnic groups, of refugee people and of nomadic Thai people, (15) Children
of construction workers whose recent number is not yet surveyed, (17) Children
of migrant workers which seems to be increase in the number (16) Children
stricken by poverty resulting from poor distribution of wealth, increase in
household debts and the financial crisis.
1.12) Not emphasized in the above categories are children reported to be involved in
the trafficking of drugs, particularly amphetamines. There is also growing
concern that the use and trafficking of drugs may contribute to an increase in
prostitution among children. The use of children in drug trafficking is considered
one of the worst forms of child labour according to the ILO Convention No. 182.
1.13) Although child labour is one of the 16 groups, child migrant workers and domestic
workers are not exclusively mentioned. It is found that many children both Thai
and migrant work as domestic servants, which is a profession not protected by
the labour laws. Minimum wage and age provisions of the 1998 Labour
Protection Act do not apply to domestic workers, some of whom were believed to
be under 15-years-old. It is observed that migrant children, who work as
domestic servants are often at increased risk of abuse because of cultural and/or
language barriers. It is observed that Cambodian children regularly cross the
border into Thailand to work as domestic servants or as porters. They are also
found working in the fishing industry, peeling shrimp and sorting the catch,
sometimes along with their families. Migrant working children rarely have access
to education. Child domestic workers, because of its hidden nature, total
dependence on employers and high possibility of abuse, is considered one of the
worst forms of child labour.
1.14) Thailand is often described as a “regional hub” for trafficking in persons. It is
known as a source, destination and transit country for trafficking victims both
internally and cross-borders. Reports of NGOs indicate that girls aged 12 to 18
are trafficked from Myanmar, China and Laos to work in Thailand in the
commercial sex industry, some in conditions of debt bondage. In some cases,
children must work to repay advances given by a trafficker to the parents.
Children are also trafficked into Thailand to work as beggars or in areas such as
agriculture, fishing, factories, or construction. Trafficking for sexual exploitation
and forced labour also affect Thai children particularly those of ethnic Thais and
hill-tribe minorities. Lack of citizenship status for some hill tribe women and
children is believed to be a strong risk factor for them to become victims of
trafficking although this group is not a large percentage of trafficking victims.
1.15) 2004 saw two major incidences that affect survival and well-being of children and
youth in the South of Thailand. One is the continuing separatist actions in three
Southern-most provinces that claims lives of many innocent people throughout
the year and create fear and unsafe feelings among the local population. The
other is children affected by the natural destruction caused by the tidal waves in
six provinces on the Andaman coast in December, where relief, reconstruction
and development support are on-going.
1.16) Thailand ratified the ILO Conventions No. 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour
in February 2001 and No. 138 on Minimum Age in May 2004. In the case of
Thailand, the worst forms of child labour include trafficking in children for sexual
exploitation and forced labour, child pornography, use of children in production,
sale and delivery of drugs and child domestic workers. The Convention No. 138
specifies the minimum age of admission to employment of Thai children at 15
years and applies to the following branches of economic activity: mining and
quarrying; manufacturing; construction; electricity; gas and water; sanitary
services; transport; storage service and communication; and plantations and
other agricultural undertakings mainly producing for commercial purposes, with
the exception of family and small-scale holdings producing for local consumption
and not regularly employing hired workers.
1.17) The Act on Child Protection B.E. 2546 has entered into force in March 2004 and
provides important measures to safeguard protection and well being of children.
However, the Act has not reflected well children‟s rights of expression with
regards to the kind of treatment or protection they wish to receive. Also, children
are perceived as vulnerable and object of protection under this Act therefore their
potential in participation in matters concerning themselves is missing.
1.18) The Draft Child and Youth Development Act The Ministry of Social Development
and Human Security is in the process of drafting an act which concentrate on
holistic child and youth development process. The highlight of this act is on the
establishment of national youth council as the national – level youth – led
organization which acts as major mechanism for child and youth participation at
national level. The act also stipulates similar provincial and local level
mechanisms. The draft is now being prepared for cabinet consideration.
Views of children
1.19) Several regional and national forums for children were organized in between 1999
– 2004 to expose the public to the problems faced by young people in each
region. The forums were followed by extensive youth-led surveys with primary
and secondary school-children all over the country to seek their opinions on the
major issues facing them. As results, children consulted across the five regions
mentioned the following problems: (1) Education – children in all regions
identified similar problems such as poor teaching and inadequate study materials,
insufficient schoolteachers, inappropriate school regulations and unclean and
unsafe school environments; (2) Narcotics – children in all regions face similar
problems regarding narcotics, which they see as worsening their quality of living;
and (3) Difficulties were recognized in each region surrounding the issues of
homelessness, children with disability, hill-tribe children and children in sex
1.20) In 2004, a series of children forums was organized by the ILO-IPEC, Save the
Children-UK and national partners in the Mekong countries to provide a venue for
children to express their views and formulate recommendations to combat
trafficking in children. This was another important step of child participation
where children‟s views and wishes were put forward to policy makers at the sub-
regional level. The recommendations of the children highlight the need to
improve laws and policies, victim assistance, education, public campaign to raise
awareness, rights of children and families, child labour protection and socio-
1.21) Also in 2004, a national – level child and youth platform and survey were
conducted to involve young people in the planning process for World Fit for
Children Plan for Thailand. More than 30,000 children and youth from all over the
country participated. They have identified 6 additional issues to the original
WFFC, family, safety, recreation, culture and religion media and participation.
These 6 issues have been incorporated into the national WFFC policy and plan.
2. Responses the Committee’s Observations and Recommendations
Committee‟s Observations and Recommendations (Item 8): To consider the possibility of
reviewing the reservations (articles 7 and 22) with a view to withdrawing them.
The Thai NGOs and youth groups support this recommendation and will work closely with
the Thai government to ensure the withdrawal of the two reservations at the earliest
Committee‟s Observations and Recommendations (Item 9): To review the domestic
legislation to ensure full conformity with the Convention and to consider the possibility of
enacting a comprehensive code for children.
The Act on Child Protection of Thailand B.E. 2546 was entered into force on the 30th of
March 2004 and is in accordance to articles 53 and 80 of the Thai Constitution, the
National Child and Youth Development Plan and the Convention on the Rights of the
Child. It also cancels two Revolutionary Party‟s Announcement Nos. 132 and 294 and
incorporates the content of both into one. The new Act stipulates a „child‟ as a person
under 18 years of age, except those that attain maturity by marriage.
The Act could be considered as a “Code on Children” since it covers provisions of all forms
of assistance to children and their families to receive welfare from the State. The Act also
covers protection, care, development and rehabilitation of children and their families,
including the development of children‟s disciplined behaviours. Referral system will be
applied from welfare to protection and behavioral development.
Target children of this Act are children who suffer some kind of problems, children whose
welfare must be protected and children whose behaviors should be promoted. The key
ministries to implement this Act are the Ministry of Social Development and Human
Security, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Interiors and the Ministry of Justice. A
National Child Protection Commission is set up and chaired by the MSDHS, while
provincial commissions are chaired by the Governors. A Child Protection Fund is to be
established and chaired by the Permanent Secretary of MSDHS.
The Act describes the codes of conducts toward children to include (1) the best interests
of the children, (2) non-discriminatory treatment against him/her, (3) roles of the society
to provide immediate assistance and referral to children under difficult circumstances, (4)
authority actions to provide support to such children, (5) no media coverage that can be
detrimental to children, and (6) no harmful actions toward children.
The Act entrusts law enforcement duties to the MSDHS and emphasizes institution-based
care for children in case of difficulties. However, the Act focuses more on welfare,
protection and rehabilitation of children and families who encounter problems than
Committee‟s Observations and Recommendations (Item 10): To take all appropriate
measures, including training to strengthen law enforcement and prevent corrupt
The Money Laundering Control Act B.E. 2542 came into force in 1999 and includes
trafficking in children and women as one of the punishable predicate offences for money
Committee‟s Observations and Recommendations (Item 11): To ensure the
decentralization of the process of promoting and protecting children's rights and to
strengthen the efforts to coordinate through the National Youth Bureau, particularly at the
The Thai NGOs and youth groups support this recommendation of the Committee and
shall collaborate fully with related authorities to ensure a greater decentralization of the
process to promote and protect children‟s rights.
Committee‟s Observations and Recommendations (Item 12): To review the system of data
collection with a view to covering all children up to the age of 18 years, with specific
emphasis on those who are vulnerable, including economically exploited children, children
of single-parent families, children born out of wedlock, institutionalized children as well as
children of nomadic and hill tribe communities.
The Thai NGOs and youth groups support this recommendation of the Committee and are
of the opinion that the data systems in Thailand are still fragmented making it difficult to
understand the complete picture of children in the country. Moreover, it is felt that
government agencies responsible for data collection are reluctant to expand the coverage
due to fear of impact on international trade as well as due to the lack of budget, know-
how, human resources and clear policies.
Committee‟s Observations and Recommendations (Item 13): To make accessible to
children an independent child-friendly mechanism to deal with complaints of violations of
their rights, to provide remedies for such violations and to introduce an awareness raising
campaign to facilitate the effective use by children of such a mechanism.
The Child Protection Act has a potential of being one of the most effective legal tools to
raise awareness of general public to submit complaints on cases of violence against
children. The Act also states that persons notifying or reporting in good faith under this
Section shall receive appropriate protection and shall not be held liable for any civil,
criminal or administrative action. The Child Protection Committee both at national and
provincial level as stipulated in the Child Protection Act is potentially the main mechanism
to handle cases of violence against children. However such committees are still on the
process of establishment and capacity building.
Complaints on violence against children can also be put forward to the National Human
Rights Commission, as stated in section 22 of the National Human Rights Commission Act
of 1999. The NHRC also appointed a Sub-Committee on Children, Youth and Family to
investigate relevant cases as reported.
Children can lodge complaints against the offenders and cases can be tried with penalties
imposed on violators. Children or persons acting on their behalf without parental consent
can access these procedures, and are entitled to receive legal aid from legal advisers,
attorneys and NGOs. However, in executing a judgment, parental consent is needed, as
mentioned in Section 21 of the Civil and Commercial Procedure Code.
The Act on Redress for the Damaged and Compensation and Expenses for Offenders in
Criminal Cases of 2001 provides a legal tool for victims of violence under the Penal Code
to file a complaint to the Committee for Considering Redress for the Damaged and
Compensation and Expenses for Offenders in Criminal Cases.
The Parliament also has three ombudsmen who receive and investigate complaints on
human rights violation.
The Royal Thai Police established a Center for the Protection of Children, Youth and
Women which operate 24 hour hotline to receive complaints on violence against children
and women. Its missions cover the prevention and suppression of following areas:
prostitution, sexual abuses, forced and child labour, torture and violent acts, trafficking of
women and children, and juvenile offenders.
On non – governmental side, a number of NGOs and youth groups have operated hotline
services through telephone and radio channels for children and youth. Some NGO projects
train volunteers to detect, receive complaints and report incidents of child rights
Committee‟s Observations and Recommendations (Item 14): To pay particular attention
to the full implementation of article 4 of the Convention by prioritizing budgetary
allocations to ensure implementation of the economic, social and cultural rights of
children, to the maximum extent of available resources and, where needed, within the
framework of international cooperation.
The Thai NGOs and youth groups support this recommendation of the Committee and
shall collaborate fully with the Government to ensure full implementation of the economic,
social and cultural rights of children, the specificity of which is described under the
Committee‟s Observations and Recommendations (Item 15): To ensure that the
provisions of the Convention are widely known and understood by adults and children
alike, residing in both rural and urban areas. In this regard, the Convention should be
translated and made available in all minority or indigenous languages and the
reinforcement of adequate and systematic training and/or sensitization of professional
groups working with and for children in place. The State party is also encouraged to also
seek measures to raise the awareness of the media and the public at large on the rights
of the child and to ensure that the Convention is fully integrated into the curricula at
school and university.
The NGOs and youth groups feel that not only the adults‟ attitude on children‟s rights
needs to be worked on but also the awareness about citizen rights, legal rights, human
rights and women‟s rights altogether.
The CRC has been translated into official Thai and made available both in print format
and through the Internet, many of them in child-friendly or youth – created versions.
Other forms of introducing the CRC have been produced and distributed to schools and
communities and some of them target marginalized groups via traditional and alternative
media. A series of training workshops have been conducted at the level of CRC trainers
and child welfare practitioners for both governmental agencies and NGOs mostly
supported by the UN entities. Translation of the CRC concept into day-to-day practice
and attitude is not an easy task due to the attitude of those involved, the lack of
children‟s inputs and the lack of financial commitment to do so.
Given the influence of the media on the public opinion, it is of utmost importance that
media practitioners fully understand the implication of the CRC and are aware of their
potential role in supporting CRC. Although, media coverage of children and women issues
has increased, the Thai NGOs and youth groups are agreement that effort is needed to
encourage the media to pay more attention on children‟s rights issues as well as respect
the rights of the child. It is also observed that rights to privacy of children in difficult
circumstances are abused through insensitive media coverage that aims at marketing
rather than protecting the child. Greater emphasis must be placed to improving the
quality of media coverage as well as to curb industrial practices on violating the privacy,
dignity, and rehabilitation of children.
Committee‟s Observations and Recommendations (Item 16): To review its legislation in
order to bring it into conformity with the provisions of the Convention.
It can be said that Thailand has been successful in improving and amending the legal
framework in compliance with the principles of the Convention. The Child Protection Act
of 2003 is one important step. (See more in responses to Item 27, 29 and 30.)
However, what remains to be done is enforcement of laws and creation of the rights
awareness among law enforcers so that the rights of the child is fully respected and
Committee‟s Observations and Recommendations (Item 17): To undertake further efforts
to ensure that the principles of the Convention, in particular the general principles, not
only guide policy discussion and decision-making, but also are appropriately reflected in
any legal revision, judicial and administrative decisions, and in the development and
implementation of all projects and programmes which have an impact on children.
The National Public Health Foundation envisages a study on obstacles of Thailand in
compliance with the recommendations for the implementation of CRC in addition to
studies on children in justice system (i.e. a model of alternative justice system, children
and youths in Observation and Protection Centers, pregnant youths in Observation and
Protection Centers, children of prisoners, and pregnant prisoners in prisons, model and
guideline on treatment of children in justice system, and model and good practice on
effective reintegration programme of children).
Committee‟s Observations and Recommendations (Item 18): To increase the State‟s
efforts to ensure implementation of the principle of non-discrimination and full compliance
with article 2 of the Convention, particularly as it relates to the vulnerable groups.
The Child Labour Protection Act B.E. 2546 is one example of the implementation of the
non-discrimination principle as well as the removal of the reservation on Article 4 of the
Convention and the birth registration of children of illegal migrants in Thailand.
Committee‟s Observations and Recommendations (Item 19): To develop a systematic
approach to increasing public awareness of the participatory rights of children and
encourage respect for the views of the child within the family as well as within the school,
care and judicial systems.
The NGOs and youth groups support this recommendation of the Committee and wish to
add that there has been progress in the fulfillment of rights to participation among
children and youths of Thailand since the ratification of the Convention, most of these
driven by the civic society.
Thai children are given an opportunity to take part in the implementation of the CRC.
Young representatives, as members of the CRC Preparatory Committee, were involved in
preparing the 2nd Thailand‟s country report on the CRC. Children‟s platforms for the
participation of the implementation of CRC were conducted – with support from UNICEF –
at regional and national level. “Child Rights Forum” has been organized annually since
1989. Child Rights and Child Protection Youth Volunteers were established in schools and
communities in 23 provinces countrywide. Children and youth play a major role in
conducting campaign against violence against children at community level such as
through mobile theatre. Children take part in the preparation of drafting and Action Plan
on World Fit for Children. Peer groups for supporting their friends were established in
schools to provide supports and counseling to peer-students on problems relating to
violence and risk behaviours. Youth networks were established at community, district,
provincial, regional and national levels to implement a variety of youth development
activities such as child protection volunteers, campaigning to eliminate violence against
children and women, monitor child rights violation cases and advocate for child rights
protection through mass media, voice out concerns and advocate on policies that might
affecting children, and provide assistance to child victims of violence. Youth council are
being established at community, district, provincial and national levels to provide a
platform for young people to conduct development activities that benefit themselves, their
families, communities and society.
Committee‟s Observations and Recommendations (Item 20): To raise awareness among
government officers, community leaders and parents to ensure that all children are
registered at birth, and to adopt measures to regularize the situation of hill tribe children
and provide them with documentation to guarantee their rights and facilitate their access
to basic health, education and other services.
The Ministry of Public Health now issues birth certificates to new-born infants of illegal
migrants, addresses the registration of migrant children, provides free vaccinations for
children of five years and younger. Moreover, collaboration among NGOs is notable and
extensive in raising parents‟ awareness on birth registration to new-born infant at and
shortly after birth of the child, through well-designed communication programs using
various forms of media providing all necessary information and procedures and process.
Committee‟s Observations and Recommendations (Item 21): To take all appropriate
measures, including of a legislative nature, to prohibit corporal punishment within the
family, the juvenile justice and alternative care systems and generally within the society
as well as to conduct awareness raising campaigns to ensure that alternative forms of
discipline are administered in a manner consistent with the child's human dignity and in
conformity with the Convention, especially article 28.2.
In Thailand, corporal punishment is not prohibited in family. In the public sphere corporal
punishment is prohibited in schools, but it is still permitted in some official institutions
such as the Observation and Protection Center.
Regulations of Ministry of Education of 2000 prohibited corporal punishment in schools as
mentioned in Rule 6 that “it is prohibited to punish pupils or students with violent
methods or with the purposes of malice, revenge, or anger. Ages of pupils and students
as well as the seriousness of their misbehaviors must be considered for the punishment.”
Facilitated by local NGOs with the support of local organizations, community level
mechanism is established to provide education to parents on child rearing and care
through non-violence approach, counseling to families on child rights‟ issues and
psychologist for professional counseling if required.
The Child Protection Act of 2003 states in Section 61 that an owner, guardian of safety,
and staff of a nursery, remand home, welfare centre, safety protection centre and
development and rehabilitation centre shall be forbidden to assault, physically or mentally,
detain, abandon or impose any other harsh measures of punishment on any child under
care and guardianship, except where such acts are reasonably applied for disciplinary
purposes in accordance with the regulations specified by the Minister.
Committee‟s Observations and Recommendations (Item 22): To increase efforts in
providing support, including training, for parents to discourage the abandonment of
children and to develop additional programmes to facilitate alternative care, including
foster care, provide additional training for social and welfare workers and establish
independent complaint and monitoring mechanisms for alternative care institutions.
Section 32 of the Child Protection Act specifies children warranting welfare assistance to
include children whose guardians are unable to care for them for whatever reasons, for
example, being imprisoned, detained, disabled, chronically ill, impoverished, juvenile,
divorced, deserted, mentally ill or neurotic. Section 33 specifies that when a child
warranting welfare assistance is found, the authority shall consider the most appropriate
ways and means of providing assistance such as assistance and welfare to the child and
his or her family or any person providing care for the child so as to enable them to take
care of the child in a suitable manner pursuant, or to submit the child into the care of an
appropriate person who consents to provide care for the child for a period as deemed
appropriate. Other measures include facilitating the adoption of the child by a third
person in accordance with the law on child adoption; sending the child to be cared for by
an appropriate foster family or nursery consenting to take the child into care; sending the
child to a remand home or a welfare centre; sending the child to receive education or
occupational training, or to receive treatment, rehabilitation, education or occupational
training in a development and rehabilitation centre, or to receive spiritual discipline based
on religious principles in a Buddhist temple or other place of other religion consenting to
take the child into care.
Committee‟s Observations and Recommendations (Item 23): To undertake studies on
domestic violence, ill-treatment and abuse, including sexual abuse to understand the
scope and nature of the phenomenon, in order to adopt adequate measures and policies
and contribute to changing traditional attitudes. Cases of domestic violence and ill-
treatment and abuse of children, including sexual abuse within the family, should be
properly investigated within a child-friendly judicial procedure, sanctions applied to
perpetrators and publicity given to decisions taken in such cases, with due regard given to
protecting the right to privacy of the child. Measures should also be taken to ensure the
provision of support services to children in legal proceedings, the physical and
psychological recovery and social reintegration of the victims of rape, abuse, neglect, ill-
treatment, violence or exploitation, in accordance with article 39 of the Convention, and
the prevention of criminalization and stigmatization of victims.
Although, there is no national survey and/or statistic available on abuse and violence
against children, data collected by key NGOs clearly show the increasing trend. It is
disappointing to learn that about 50% of cases are occurring in the families and by
someone who are known to the children rather than strangers.
In this connection, the Association for the Promotion of Women‟s Status – in cooperation
with Sub-Committee for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Children – is
working on developing a data collection mechanism on such cases. Presently, relevant
governmental and non-governmental agencies collect statistic of their target populations
and/or recipients of their services. However, such statistic is available only on specific
population and areas – including statistic from hospitals providing services to victims of
violence, statistic of women and children staying at shelters operated by Department of
Social Development and Welfare.
The database being developed by Ministry of Public Health on the basis of recipients
receiving services provided by hospital based One Stop Crisis Centers (OSCC) could be
cited as the most comprehensive database on violence against children and women for
the time being, including profile of child and women victims of violence who receive
services from OSCC, perpetrators, types of violence and services provided by the center.
The National Public Health Foundation‟s Project on Knowledge Building envisages two
major studies on violence against children i.e. a study to develop a model and guideline
on sustainable prevention programme of violence against children and a study to develop
a model and guideline on assistance to child victims of violence.
Committee‟s Observations and Recommendations (Item 24): To develop comprehensive
policies and programmes to promote and improve breast feeding practices, to prevent
and combat malnutrition, especially in vulnerable and disadvantaged groups of children.
The draft plans of World Fit For Children support breast feeding practices for at least six
months and promotes establishing of day care centers or breastfeeding corners for
working mothers while prohibit the use of sweetened milk to feed infants.
90 days maternity leave regulation issued. NGOs is working on a public campaign on
breastfeeding and advocate for prohibiting the promotion of using infant formulas in the
Committee‟s Observations and Recommendations (Item 25): To increase efforts in
promoting adolescent health policies and strengthening reproductive health education and
counseling services and undertake a comprehensive and multi-disciplinary study to
understand the scope of adolescent health problems, including the special situation of
children infected with, affected by or vulnerable to HIV/AIDS and STDs. Additionally, the
State party should undertake further measures including the allocation of adequate
human and financial resources, to develop youth-friendly care and rehabilitation facilities
Recognizing the importance of adolescents, the government is in the process of drafting
Reproductive Health Act which will deal with sex education and curriculum development.
Many NGOs and youth groups implement programs to create young catalysts to promote
reproductive health among young people through peer to peer approach. Alternative
media such as drama and puppet show are also used by NGOs and youth groups to
campaign for appropriate sex education in schools and community – based organizations
Committee‟s Observations and Recommendations (Item 26): To develop early
identification programmes to prevent disabilities, implement alternatives to the
institutionalization of children with disabilities, establish special education programmes for
children with disabilities and encourage their inclusion in society.
Some schools both in urban and rural areas implement integrated school program where
children with disabilities mix with normal children. However, due to limited budget, the
program has not been very successful.
Committee‟s Observations and Recommendations (Item 27): To take all appropriate
measures to provide equal access to education for all children within the State party and
to seek to implement additional measures to encourage children, particularly girls and
children from poor and hill tribe families, to stay in school and to discourage early
The Education Reform Office was established in 2000 to manage broad reforms mandated
under the National Education Act of 1999. These reforms include management
decentralization and increased quality of education, with the aim of achieving universal
access to 12 years of free education. The Ministry of Education‟s Division of Non-Formal
Education provides basic education and vocational education to out-of-school and
disadvantaged children. The Government of Thailand and NGOs support a number of
innovative education initiatives. In 1999, UNICEF began a program to provide
scholarships and raise awareness among school dropouts and their families to encourage
children to return to school. Several key provisions of the National Education Act of 1999
took full legal effect in 2002, mandating the extension of the compulsory education period
to 9 years of schooling, beginning at age 7, and extension of cost free schooling to 12
Committee‟s Observations and Recommendations (Item 28): To clarify the legislative
framework to ensure adequate protection of unaccompanied and asylum seeking children,
including in the field of physical safety, health and education. Procedures should also be
established to facilitate family reunification and all appropriate measures be taken to
avoid the placement of asylum seeking children in immigration detention centres. The
Committee also suggests that the State party consider ratifying the 1951 Convention
relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, the 1954 Convention on the
Status of Stateless Persons, as well as the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of
Various key laws such as the Penal Code and the Child Protection Act do not, in principle,
distinguish between Thais and foreigners. However, there is differentiation in regards to
immigration law. Some legal tools specifically stipulate sections on protection of non-
citizens include Memorandum of Understanding on Common Guidelines of Practices
among Concerned Agencies for Operation in Case Women and Children are Victims of
Human Trafficking (revised version) of 2003 and other MOUs on trafficking. According to
these MOUs, women and children considered as victims of trafficking should not be
treated as illegal migrants. If they are willing to act as witnesses during the court
procedure so that traffickers would be brought into justice, they are allowed to stay in
Thailand and will be sheltered in one of the welfare centers at appropriate length
according to the nature of court cases. The MOUs also emphasizes that victims of
trafficking must be able to access to services including accommodations, cloths, medicine,
counseling and legal aid.
See also response to Item 20.
Committee‟s Observations and Recommendations (Item 29): To introduce monitoring
mechanisms to ensure enforcement of labour laws and to consider ratifying ILO
Convention No. 138 concerning the legal minimum age for work.
The Royal Thai Government ratified the ILO Convention No. 138 on the Minimum Age of
Admission to Employment on the 11th May 2004, and specified the minimum age of
admission to employment at 15 years. Pursuant to Article 5, the provisions of the
Convention apply to the following branches of economic activity: mining and quarrying;
manufacturing; construction; electricity; gas and water; sanitary services; transport;
storage service and communication; and plantations and other agricultural undertakings
mainly producing for commercial purposes, with the exception of family and small-scale
holdings producing for local consumption and not regularly employing hired workers.
Committee‟s Observations and Recommendations (Item 30): To take measures, on an
urgent basis, to strengthen law enforcement and to implement the State party's national
programme of prevention of sexual abuse of children, including child prostitution and
trafficking and sale of children, and to seek to step up its efforts to implement an
awareness raising campaign and a thorough monitoring system at the community level.
Rehabilitation within as well as outside of institutions should be further enhanced. In an
effort to effectively combat inter-country trafficking and sale of children, the Committee
suggests that the State party increase its efforts in the area of bilateral and regional
agreements with neighbouring countries to facilitate the repatriation of trafficked children
and encourage their rehabilitation, including within the framework of the regional Mekong
Conference on migration. The Committee urges the State Party to continue implementing
the recommendations formulated in the Agenda for Action adopted at the 1996 Stockholm
World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children. It also recommends
that the State party should envisage the ratification of the 1949 Convention for
Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others.
The NGOs, youth groups, schools and concerned ministries and departments cooperate
actively with the ILO-IPEC sub-regional project to combat trafficking in children and
women and other concerned international organizations to increase national capacity in
handling the problem and enhance cross border collaboration for the purpose of
prevention, protection, repatriation, rehabilitation and reintegration of victims. Recently, a
Mekong Children‟s Forum on Human Trafficking was jointly organized by the ILO-IPEC
and SCF-UK as well as national partners to provide a platform of children to formulate and
submit their recommendations to the ministers and senior officials of the Coordinated
Mekong Ministerial Initiative against Trafficking (COMMIT) to be incorporated in the
Memorandum of Understanding and Plans of Action among six GMS countries designed to
coordinate their counter-trafficking efforts.
A draft of the Computer Crime law was approved, with reservations, by the Prime Minister
in May 2002. Under the draft law, the publication of child pornography would be
punishable by five years imprisonment and a large fine.
On August 6, 2004 the Prime Minister of Thailand declared a National Agenda on
combating human trafficking by giving policies to concerned agencies, namely capacity
building, intelligence exchange, improvement and amendment of laws, public campaign,
remedy, recovery including repatriation and reintegration for victims of human trafficking.
Other major national legislative developments include the:
Money Laundering Control Act BE 2542 (1999) including trafficking in children and
women as one of the punishable predicate offences for money laundering,
Compulsory Education Act BE 2544 (2002) raising compulsory education from 6 to
9 years of schooling and free education to 12 years of schooling and supports
A six year national policy and plan to address trafficking and children and women
(with Cabinet's endorsement on 1 July 2003)
Three Guidelines of Practice:
1. Common Guidelines of Practices for Government Agencies Engaged in
Addressing Trafficking in Children and Women.
2. Common Guidelines of Practices for Government Agencies and Non
Governmental Organizations Engaged in Addressing Trafficking in Children and
3. Common Guidelines of Practices for Non Governmental Organizations Engaged
in Addressing Trafficking in Children and Women (2003).
A local MOU for 9 Northern Provinces on Common Guidelines of Practices for
Agencies in Addressing Trafficking in Children and Women,
An MOU between Thailand and Cambodia on Bilateral Cooperation for Eliminate
Trafficking in Children and Women and Assisting Victims of Trafficking,
Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation against Trafficking in Persons in
the Greater Mekong Sub-Region (COMMIT),
National Plan of Action on ILO Convention No. 182 on the Worst Forms of Child
Nationwide Operational Centers for the Protection of Child and Women Workers
that receive complaints and provide assistance to Thai and non-Thai child and
women workers who have faced difficulties and exploitation
Committee‟s Observations and Recommendations (Item 31): To consider taking additional
steps to reform the system of juvenile justice in the spirit of the Convention, in particular
articles 37, 40 and 39, and of other United Nations standards in this field. Particular
attention should be paid to considering deprivation of liberty only as a measure of last
resort and for the shortest possible period of time, protecting the rights of children
deprived of their liberty, and expanding the juvenile justice system to ensure full coverage
throughout the State party. Training programmes on relevant international standards
should be organized for all those professionals involved with the system of juvenile
justice. The Committee also recommends the State Party to consider ratifying the
Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or
The amendment of the Act for the Establishment of and Procedure for Juvenile and Family
Court of 1991 which has just come into force in February 2005 stipulates that provisions
relating to procedure for juvenile justice for Juvenile and Family Courts must be applied in
all Criminal Courts in provinces where Juvenile and Family Court does not exist so that all
juvenile offenders equally benefit from the legal procedure. The Act also aims to establish
a Juvenile and Family Court in all provinces of Thailand within the two years time. To-
date, 59 Juvenile and Family Courts have been established and there is plan to cover all
provinces by September 2005. Criminal Court and Provincial Courts are the main court
that have jurisdiction over crimes on violence against children. Children who commit
crime will generally be taken to the Juvenile and Family Courts in the relevant provinces.
There are also new provisions in the Child Protection Act where protection measures
concerning children can be ordered by the Juvenile and Family Court where they exist in
the relevant provinces, e.g., where parents commit acts of violence against children.
Otherwise, it is the ordinary courts that have jurisdiction.
See also response to Item 21.
Committee‟s Observations and Recommendations (Item 32): To implement the proposed
recommendations in its initial report, regarding the implementation of the Convention.
The Thai NGOs and youth groups support this recommendation and are in the process of
working closely with the Thai government to ensure the fulfillment of the
recommendations it proposed to the Committee.
Committee‟s Observations and Recommendations (Item 33): To make widely available to
the public at large the initial report and written replies presented by the State party and
consider the publication of the report, along with the relevant summary records and the
concluding observations adopted thereon by the Committee.
Such a document should be widely distributed in order to generate debate and awareness
of the Convention and its implementation and monitoring within the Government and the
general public, including NGOs.
The Thai NGOs and youth groups support this recommendation of the Committee and
shall collaborate fully with the Thai Government to enhance the existing process to make
the Convention more widely possible known, understood and practiced in the Thai
3. Overall Recommendations
With reference to the sub-regional workshop on CRC committee observations held in
Bangkok in November 2004, the policy and planning workshop on World Fit for Children
held in Bangkok on July 2004 and the national seminar on NGOCRC report held on June
29, 2005, the NGOs and youth groups of Thailand agreed to the following conclusions
3.1) The Government should ensure full conformance with the principles set in the
Convention by establishing or strengthening existing mechanisms for the effective
coordination of all activities for the implementation of the Convention among
ministries/departments, central and local bodies and other relevant stakeholders,
such as NGOs and UN entities and that these coordinating bodies be provided
with appropriate authority, be placed at an adequate high political level and
adequate resources. Efforts on promoting positive attitude among government
officials concerned are needed.
3.2) The Government should also establish a clear, effective and regular system of
evaluation and assessment of the impact of laws, procedures, policies and
programmes implemented for the promotion and realization of child rights and
ensure that children and youth groups, NGOs, professional groups and other
relevant entities are involved in this internal or self-monitoring system. Results
and outcomes of these evaluations and assessments should be used to adjust and
further improve the existing legislation, procedures, policies and programmes in
order to take further adequate actions;
3.3) Systems of juvenile justice The Government should strengthen the measures for
the establishment and enforcement of laws, procedures, authorities and
institutions that are specific for all persons below 18 alleged as, accused of, or
recognized as having infringed penal law, in light of article 40.3 of the
Convention; ensure that such specific system covers and is accessible to all
children in the entire territory; reinforce prevention strategies and measures,
especially with regard to vulnerable children; ensure due process and fair trial to
all persons below 18 as required under articles 37 and 40 of the Convention; take
all measures to increase the minimum age for criminal responsibility and to
increase it as high as possible; separate child offenders from detained adults and
detain them in decent conditions; finance and support community-based
programmes and services to assist children in conflict with the law and their
reintegration in society.
3.4) More efforts are to be undertaken in areas of education to improve quality and
variety of schooling, to ensure sufficient numbers and qualifications of school-
teachers, and to safeguard school environments. School curriculum should
introduce teaching and discussion of children‟s rights to life, development and
participation as well as of human rights, women‟s rights, legal rights, the worst
forms of child labour and other current topics concerning the well being of
Basic education should be accessible to all children and tracking systems should
be established to survey, collect and analyze data of children who miss schooling
or drop out of school. Measures must be taken to ensure that these children get
into school. Education should be great in variety to meet different needs of
different groups of children. Children who migrate with parents should be able to
continue schooling elsewhere without interruption.
Education for children with special needs should receive more budget allocation
per head and education and training activities should be tailored to meet
children‟s special qualifications and needs. Children who speak dialects should
learn Thai while their right to learn their dialects is respected.
Quality of education can be addressed by focusing on learner‟s participation in the
design and implementation of learning activities and improving teaching methods
to be more analytical and logical and including topics such as life skills and
education and human rights. Remedial teaching should be offered to children
who have to repeat classes and have particular learning problems. In case of
children with behavioral problems, incentives such as doing community services
should be chosen instead of punishment.
3.5) Drug problems should be addressed seriously by the government using both
suppression/punishment as well as education approaches. It is important that
children with drug problems are not considered as „trouble-makers‟ or criminals
that need to be punished, put away or corrected but as victims of deteriorating
family and social environments and corrupt practices. More educational and
campaign efforts must be oriented towards family institutions, schools and the
society at large as well as strong investigation of public institutions and law
enforcement agencies responsible for narcotics control and suppression.
3.6) The State should urgently take a holistic approach on family and child
development by highlighting family roles and responsibilities, training on
parenting skills, promoting networks of parents to support each other,
encouraging networks of children and social safety nets to take part in family and
child development, improving social welfare schemes for families in need,
expanding family counseling services and educating the public on the Act on
Social Welfare Management B.E. 2546 and the Act on Child Protection B.E. 2546.
Of an equal important is the development of the body of knowledge and research
studies for the prevention and correction of child and family problems and code of
conduct for child care personnel.
3.7) In promoting good physical and mental health of children 0-5 years age, urgent
measures should include the preparation of newly married couples on parenting
skills and pre- and post-natal care, promotion of good nutrition of mothers and
children, provision of services and counseling on nutrition and micronutrients,
control of iron deficiency syndrome in pregnant women and iodine deficiency
disorders among children, and training of child health development for personnel
involved. In the legal aspect, there should also be a clarification of the 30-baht
health care scheme in that children‟s rights to health care are clearly defined and
research studies conducted on law, rules and regulations that concern children‟s
health, food and related products.
3.8) For physical and mental health of older children (6-18 years) urgent actions are to
provide better education on child physical and emotional development for both
children and families and to ensure proper eating habits and choices among the
young. Teenage children should be provided with life skills and reproductive
health education, focusing on appropriate sexual behaviour, and preventing
themselves against sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy.
Necessary services should be put into place such as counseling hotline and multi-
disciplinary referral system.
3.9) Child safety and accident prevention should be more seriously taken into
consideration. Various relevant laws should be improved and enforced more
effectively e.g. laws to control products safety, consumer protection, building
safety, traffic and transportation and child protection. Training and rehearsals
should be provided to all concerned on prevention of all kinds of accidents in
children and proper first aid care.
3.10) AIDS prevention in children should be exercised through educating families and
children on inter-personal relations, life skills and family and sex education.
Children affected and infected by AIDS should be placed in family environment for
as far as possible and continue to receive education and other health services
entitled to them. Non-discriminatory counseling should be provided by
community volunteers and health centers‟ personnel. More awareness raising
campaigns should be conducted to promote positive social attitude toward people
3.11) Cultural aspects should focus on the awareness of the national culture, attitude
and practice of self-sufficiency and pride in the local wisdom, encourage living in
harmony among people of different faiths, support child participation in planning
of cultural activities and demand that the media play roles in safeguarding the
3.12) Child recreation is an area that need to be promoted in formal, non-formal and
informal education systems and should be integrated as part of normal
classrooms. A national commission on child recreation should be appointed
involving both GOs and NGOs.
3.13) In the area of children and media, it is recommended that media of all branches
play more and better roles in promoting child development and build capacity of
their personnel. Children‟s rights to privacy in media coverage should be strictly
respected. Families, schools and communities should be sensitized on media
marketing tactics and media detrimental to children‟s emotional and intellectual
development. Better access to sources of knowledge and creative media should
be ensured for disadvantaged children in local areas and community organizations
should play more roles in promoting local media for children. A consumers‟
organization as well as hotline services should be established to investigate the
quality of media and protect child consumers. Television and radio airtime should
be clearly allocated to information useful for children and families while more
media for children should be produced, with incentive provided to the producers.
Pornography and production of pornographic materials should be suppressed and
better blockage be used to prevent children from accessing pornographic or
harmful Internet websites.
3.14) More child participation is needed especially in the development process of
democracy. Life skills and leadership skills should be cultivated in young people
and schooling systems be adjusted to provide more space for children to express,
act and take decisions. Cautions should be taken to avoid children being
manipulated or abused by groups or organizations. More groups, clubs or
organizations of and by children should be encouraged with active and continuous
support of adults, as well as youth and children forums at all levels. Society,
families and schools should be sensitized to value the participation and potential
of children while local organizations should allocate budget to support activities
that aim at promoting child participation. Laws, rules and regulations should be
reviewed to ensure that there are provisions that facilitate children‟s participation.
The system for child counselors and multidisciplinary teams should be enhanced
to include issues of child participation and children‟s rights.
3.15) Common measures for children in need of special protection should be
undertaken. They should include strengthening child rearing knowledge and skills
for families of children at risk as well as socio-economic support and counseling
services for families in crisis. More alternative families should be identified to
replace original families that cannot fulfill their duties towards the child. Welfare
should be provided along with development services targeting poor families,
families at risk, families with AIDS or affected by AIDS and families with very old
caregivers. Basic services for children should focus proactive and preventive
actions by detecting children at risk and intervene before they fall into more
severe situations and access should be improved to ensure that families and
children can get to it when needed. Personnel should increase in number and
quality and training be offered to ensure their ethical conducts and awareness of
children‟s rights. Most importantly is the data collection system and development
of indicators on children in need of special protection for the purpose of planning
3.16) Specific measures for children in need of special protection are to be divided into
three groups i.e. those affected by family factors, by regulations of the state and
by all factors.
Children in the first category (orphaned, abandoned, neglected, homeless, abused
and sexually abused) must be provided with alternative family care, effective and
quality adoption and protection against further abuse.
Rights of children in the second category (displaced, migrant, hill-tribe and
stateless) should be guaranteed through issuance of birth registration or
certificates to ensure access to basic social services. Nationality should granted to
children of ethnic minority families who have lived in the country for generations
as well as to children of Thai parents who failed to register their birth.
The third group of children includes trafficked children, children with physical and
emotional disability, working children, children in juvenile justice system, poor
children, children of construction workers and children with drug, alcohol and
smoking problems. This group should be provided with comprehensive support
e.g. detection, withdrawal, rehabilitation, reintegration and job skills training with
full participation of children, families and communities to ensure smooth
reintegration. Data collection and monitoring of child labour should be made
more effective. Public infrastructure should be renovated and social services be
geared towards the needs of children with disability. More importantly, children
and youth should have the say in planning and implementation of justice system
concerning them. Welfare of children working in both formal and informal
manufacturing, service and agricultural sectors should be protected and there
should be progressive implementation of the national plans to combat trafficking
in children and women and to eliminate the worst forms of child labour, according
to the ILO Convention No. 182.
Additionally, the Thai NGOs and young people are concerned with the welfare and
safety of children in especially difficult circumstances not listed above. The last
two recommendations are therefore that:
3.17) Efforts should be made to design comprehensive plans and actions to ensure
coordinated relief and reconstruction efforts in communities of the six Southern
provinces of Thailand destroyed by the tidal waves by the end of 2004 to ensure
rights to survival, development, education and participation of children affected
by the natural disaster. These plans must not be discriminatory in any kinds
being they races, backgrounds or legal status, and must respect human dignity of
the children concerned. Effective coordination among all parties concerned being
government, NGOs and private sector is needed to ensure that the children are
cared for through proper rehabilitation programs and protected from potential
risk; abuse, violence and economic exploitation. Mechanism to systematically
assess needs and assure sustainable assistance is necessary. Information on the
national resources situation and environmental hazards should be developed and
distributed through communities and schools.
3.18) Rights to protection and non-discrimination are ensured for children and youths
affected by the violence in the South of Thailand which continues since early 2004
and where satisfactory resolves have yet to be reached. The safety of these
children and their rights to non-discriminatory treatment, to protection and to
development are to be guaranteed without discrimination on ground of races and
religions. In case of children and youth who are in conflict with laws, their rights
to fair trial, privacy and protection must be fully respected.
Children‟s Report on Child Rights and Children‟s Issues, presented to the United Nations
Committee on the Rights of the Child by the Working Team for Child Rights and
Children‟s Issues, Thailand.
Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child: Thailand. Unedited
Version Crc/C/15 /Add.97. 9 October 1998. Committee on the Rights of the Child.
Nineteenth Session. Consideration of Reports submitted by States Parties under Article
44 of the Convention.
Mekong Children‟s Forum on Human Trafficking. Making History. People, Process, Participation.
Bangkok. International Labour Organization & Save the Children UK, 2005.
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Report on the Sub-Regional
Workshop on the Implementation of the concluding observations of the committee on
the rights of the child, organized by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human
Rights (OHCHR), with the support of UNICEF, and hosted by the Government of the
Kingdom of Thailand. Bangkok, 11 - 13 November 2004
Preliminary reports of the development of national policy and plan for World Fits for Children
(WFFC). July 2004. Bureau of Welfare Promotion and Protection of Children, Youth, the
Disadvantaged Persons with Disabilities and Older Persons, Ministry of Social
Development and Human Security.
Thailand Country Progress Report. Post-Yokohama Mid-Term Review of the East Asia and the
Pacific Regional Commitment and Action Plan Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of
Thailand Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - 2002. Released by the Bureau of
Democracy, Human Rights, and Labour. US Department of State. March 31, 2003.
Thailand‟s Act on Child Protection B.E. 2546. 24 September 2003.
Thailand‟s Second Report on the Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child,
submitted to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child by the Sub-
committee on the Rights of the Child, the National Youth Commission, the Office of
Welfare Promotion, Protection and Empowerment of Vulnerable Groups, Ministry of
Social Development and Human Security.
The Department of Labor's 2003 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor. US Department
of Labor, Bureau of International Labor Affairs‟ International Child Labor Program (ICLP).
Report required by the Trade and Development Act of 2000. 2004.
United Nations Secretary-General‟s Study on Violence against Children. Questionnaire to
Governments - Thailand. Draft response as of May 20, 2005.
(ร่าง) สถานการณ์เด็ก โดยกระทรวงพัฒนาสังคมและความมั่นคงมนุษย์
ปัญหาและมาตรการด้านการดาเนินงานเพื่อพัฒนาเด็ก 10 ด้าน
เอกสารจากการประชุมเตรียมแผนโลกที่น่าอยู่สาหรับเด็ก กรกฎาคม 2547
สิทธิเด็ก บทความโดย นายวันชัย รุจนวงศ์ อธิบดีกรมพินิจและคุ้มครองเด็กและเยาวชน กระทรวงยุติธรรม
Alternative NGO reports (1) NGO report on Norway‟s 2nd report
http://www.crin.org/docs/resources/treaties/crc.24/NorwayNGO.pdf and (2) NGO report
on South Korea‟s 2nd report
ILO-IPEC Sub-Regional Project to Combat Trafficking in Children and Women in Greater
Mekong Sub-Region at
NGO Guide on reporting to the CRC (NGO Group for the CRC)
Thailand‟s Department of Juvenile Observation and Protection at http://www.djop.moj.go.th
The (updated) Fact Sheet on the Human Rights Committee
Thailand‟s core document
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
US Department of Labour, Bureau of International Labour Affairs,
US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour at
Table of Content
Summary of the report 1
1. Situation of the Children of Thailand 5
2. Responses to the Committee‟s Observations and Recommendations 11
3. Overall Recommendations 22