What is Child Protection?
UNICEF uses the term ‘child protection’ to refer to preventing and responding to violence, exploitation and abuse against children – including commercial sexual exploitation, trafficking, child labour and harmful traditional practices, such as child marriage.UNICEF’s child protection programmes are aimed at helping children who are victims of – or who are vulnerable to – violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect. These children include orphans, street children, children who do not have birth certificates, stateless children, children in conflict with the law, and children affected by armed conflict. Unless they are given protection, these children are at risk from a variety of threats, including severe injury and death, poor physical and mental development, HIV and AIDS, educational problems, displacement, homelessness and vagrancy.
Our Child Protection Programmes in Thailand
UNICEF’s child protection work focuses on strengthening child protection systems and building the capacity of families, communities and the government in preventing and assisting children vulnerable to violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect.
Our goals for 2007-2011
• A Child Protection System established in Thailand’s four regions and works effectively in monitoring, reporting and responding to children who are at risk or become victims of violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect. This includes children affected by violence in the southern border provinces
• Universal access to birth registration and improved assistance for civil registration of children in the four regions
• Development of a better juvenile justice system that promotes prevention, diversion, restorative justice and reintegration for children in contact with the law.
• Every year, at least 6,000 children are abused, and most suffer sexual abuse
• More children and women from neighboring countries are being trafficked or exploited in Thailand or through Thailand to other countries
• About five per cent of all birth each year, approximately 40,000 children, are not registered
• Without a birth certificate, children can be denied the right to health care and an education, and they become more vulnerable to exploitation and abuse
• An estimated of two million stateless people are living in Thailand, many of whom are children
• In 2009, there were about 46,000 children and youth in conflict with the law
• 10 years is the age of criminal responsibility in Thailand
• More than 4,000 children have been orphaned due to the violence in the southern border provinces
• More than 60,000 children are living in the nine refugee camps along Thai-Myanmar border. About 7,400 of them are separated children
• Child protection laws are in place, but need more effective implementation
• Local communities and officials must be empowered to protect children