In order to ensure the rights and well being of all children in Thailand, there is a need for greater capacity among local service providers, including government authorities. At the same time, the most vulnerable children and families have to be empowered by giving them the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to help themselves and to insist on the fulfilment of their rights to basic services, such as health care and education.
Nowhere is this more obvious and more necessary than in remote and rural areas, where resources and services are at their most limited. Disparities in wealth, education, health care and other essentials mean that children in many of the isolated parts of the country continue to suffer severe hardship. For the most vulnerable groups, including the children of ethnic minorities, refugees and migrant workers, this hardship has been compounded by years of marginalization and discrimination. They have been largely excluded from the development process and lack the means to demand their basic rights or to act on their own behalf to reduce poverty and provide essential services.
In remote and rural areas, the ability of even the most dedicated service providers has been severely constrained by a lack of funding and shortages of skilled staff. Lacking sufficient training and resources, these local governments have been struggling to implement social policies and strategies agreed upon at the national level that do not take into account the capacity gap at the community level.
• Sustainable development will only be possible if local communities are empowered to help themselves