Effective application of Education For All policies is one of the best ways to address child labour and to invest in balanced social and economic development and to ensure that children whatever their origin have access to the type of education and support required for them to grow and develop into adults who can contribute to the society and have decent jobs.

It is the view of ILO-IPEC that tackling child labour and the international effort to promote Education for All are closely related objectives and that if the international community target of achieving basic education for all children by 2015 is to be achieved, child labour must be addressed.

Despite efforts in promoting Education for All, barriers to relevant and quality education services for migrant children, as well as Thai children in some communities, especially in more disadvantaged rural areas of the country remain.
Effective implementation of the policy in particular in what concerns migrant workers children in Thailand requires clarity of policies and implementing rules, adequate resource allocation and for formal schools to be better equipped to cater to the needs of migrant children.
Education policy and legislation in Thailand provide for compulsory education to age 15, and the provision of free education for up to 12 years of schooling. With regard to education access for migrant and stateless children, a Cabinet Resolution issued in July 2005 extended the right to formal schooling to all children in Thailand, regardless of nationality or legal identity status.

What do we do?

Access to education refers to educational opportunities and inclusive education. The IPEC project in Thailand promotes and supports making educational opportunities encompassing both formal and non-formal education available for children who stay outside of schooling and training, with special attention given to child workers or children at risk of child labour. This involves:
• Having curriculum and training materials suited to children’s needs;
• Teachers being aware of learning and development needs and specific vulnerabilities of children;
• Having a learning environment free from discrimination and disciplinary punishments; and
• Delivery of learning which meets applicable educational requirements.

IPEC promotes education both in formal and non-formal settings as a strategy to prevent children from becoming child labourers as well as to rehabilitate former child workers.
At the national level IPEC works with the Ministry of Education through the Office of National Education Commission (OBEC) and the Office of National Education Council (ONEC) by advocating for effective implementation of EFA Policy and organising orientation and capacity building trainings for educators and schools.

The project collaborates with several NGOs to provide educational services to children from vulnerable Thai and migrant families in selected provinces. Services provided through IPEC partner NGOs such as National Council for Child and Youth Development (NCYD), Labour Rights Promotion Network Foundation (LPN), Foundation for Child Development (FCD), Raks Thai Foundation, and Planned Parenthood Association of Thailand (PPAT) include:
• Developing or adapting training materials to suit the learning needs of children and youth;
• Providing transitional education for migrant children to prepare them for entering Thai formal education system and mainstreaming children into formal schools;
• Organising literacy, training and life-skills development classes, including Sunday classes for working children;
• Raising awareness on child labour, child rights and child protection among communities, children, parents, teachers and school managers.

Part of this work is to raise awareness among schools and local level education authorities on educational needs of the children staying outside of schooling and advocate for improved planning and educational service delivery.