UNICEF calls for the protection of children and young people amid protests in Thailand
BANGKOK, 18 August 2020 – UNICEF is concerned about the potential harm that children may be facing amidst the ongoing protests in Thailand and calls on all parties to uphold children and young people’s right to freedom of expression, and to protect them from all forms of violence and intimidation.
Children’s rights to participation, peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, including in peaceful protest, are enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the most widely ratified human rights treaty in the world. Thailand has ratified the CRC in 1992, committing to guaranteeing that children’s rights are fulfilled, including their right to participation, expressing their opinions in a peaceful manner, and for their voices to be heard.
UNICEF urges all actors to ensure that children and young people are safe at all times, and that they are able to voice their opinions peacefully about issues that affect their present and future, without fear or intimidation.
UNICEF reiterates that schools and learning institutions should be safe havens for children, where they can constructively voice their opinions and their ideas be acknowledged. Schools and learning institutions should provide a safe space for students to exchange ideas and engage in meaningful discussions, where they can build their communication and negotiation skills, and contribute to finding peaceful solutions to challenges they face.
Any child who comes into contact with the law must receive timely and appropriate treatment and support, and through appropriate juvenile proceedings, without the use of violence, intimidation or threats.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.
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