Help Children in Thailand
Thailand, which means “land of the free,” is home to forested hills, fertile rice fields and rugged coastlines, as well as magnificent Buddhist temples. Once known as Siam, the Kingdom of Thailand remains a constitutional monarchy, sometimes disrupted by military coups. It is the only southeast Asian country to have avoided colonial rule.
With an emerging economy, Thailand has increasingly attracted migrant workers from neighboring countries, mostly from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. It also serves as a safe haven for refugees and asylum seekers. According to the UN, there are some 4.9 million non-Thai residents now living in the country.
Despite progress, challenges remain for ensuring vulnerable children’s rights and protecting them from abuse.
Challenges for Children in Thailand
Children in Thailand, especially migrant and refugee children, are vulnerable to physical and sexual abuse, neglect, hazardous labor and trafficking. Deserving of protection and access to full rights, the children of Thailand need your help.
- 1 child in 111 dies before their 5th birthday
- 11% of children suffer from stunting due to malnutrition
- 12% of children are out of school
- 14% of girls (ages 15-19) are married, and 1 in 22 girls gives birth
- 7% of people live in poverty
Our Results for Children in Thailand
Thanks to you, we’re working to ensure all children, including the most vulnerable, can grow up healthy, educated and safe – including the 1,335,000 children in Thailand we helped last year.
We’re able to ensure child refugees like 10-year-old Kay Klui Paw can continue their educations, because of supporters like you.
- 14,000 children healthy and nourished
- 949,000 children educated and empowered
- 160,000 children protected from harm
- 86,000 children lifted from poverty
- 365,000 children aided in crisis
Our Work for Children in Thailand
Save the Children has been a leading charity for children in Thailand since 1984. We work to reach the most vulnerable children – including migrant, refugee and ethnic minority children, as well as children affected by conflict, trafficking survivors, children with disabilities, and urban poor and street children – through programs in health, education, protection and emergency response.
Thanks to generous donors like you, we were there after the monstrous 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed an estimated 5,000 people and, more recently, the devastating floods of 2017, delivering emergency relief to some of the most affected and hardest-to-reach families.
Here are some recent examples of our work:
A healthy start in life
- Together with local partners, we’re working with vulnerable migrant children and families on programs that promote the survival of infants and mothers
- We’re developing community-based health programs for migrant communities and ensuring they gain sustainable access to health care services
- We’re focused on helping promote the right to health care and development for families in remote areas that lack access to government services, including through mobile health care services
The opportunity to learn
- We’ve launched two early childhood care and development pilot programs aligned with the country’s strategy to reach more children, including using our Emergent Literacy and Mathematics approach
- Through our REACT and Expanding IMPACT project, we’re focusing on young migrant children in border communities
- We’re working with a coalition of charity partners through our Basic Education Support Towards Transition (BEST) program to support basic education and literacy in Thailand’s refugee camps, including helping build and repair schools, provide text books and train and develop teachers
- We’re supporting the Ministry of Education to develop a child safeguarding policy within the education system, including raising awareness of child protection issues among educators in the camps, so cases of abuse are more effectively handled and coordinated with law enforcement
- We’re improving the well-being of 5,000 children in 50 schools, including improving opportunities for learning about nutrition and physical activity, as well as strengthening school systems
Protection from harm
- We’re helping identify the most vulnerable children who are abused, exploited and neglected, providing support and safe family settings, as well as involving children in making decisions about issues that affect their lives
- We’re ensuring vulnerable children are able to access the justice system and are assisted by trained social workers
- We’re supporting solutions for abused and exploited children in refugee camps
- We’re improving the quality of services and standards of care for survivors of trafficking through ensuring quality, rights-based and gender-sensitive support that meets the national standards for rehabilitation and reintegration
- We’re working to reducing violence against children by raising awareness of and advocating for law reform to ban physical and humiliating punishment in all settings, while promoting positive discipline
- When crisis strikes and children, especially migrant and refugee, are most vulnerable, we help ensure they have access to nutritious food, clean water, safe spaces to play and learn and health services – we also preposition stocks of essential relief items ready to be mobilized at any time
- We’re implementing disaster risk reduction programs across the country to help children and families better prepare for future disasters
- We’re playing a strategic role in providing technical input and pilot implementation evidence on disability-inclusive disaster risk reduction to the country’s Ministry of Education, including rolling out guidelines to nearly all special education centers, so they can prepare their students and staff to face disasters and protect themselves
How to Help Children in Thailand
You can create change that lasts a lifetime for children in Thailand – in so many ways.
Support Save the Children’s mission. Donate to help children in Thailand and around the world grow up healthy, educated and safe.
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Sources: Facts and statistics have been sourced from Save the Children’s monitoring and evaluation experts, as well as our thought leadership publications, including our Global Childhood Report 2020. Other sources include CIA World Factbook and BBC Country Profiles.
Photo: Egan Hwan / Save the Children.
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