ILO-IPEC in Thailand reinforces its collaboration to address child labour and forced labour with stakeholders in Songkhla Province of Thailand

On February 5, 2014, IPEC Thailand team paid a courtesy call to the Governor of Songkhla Province, Mr. Krissada Bunraj, and met with the Provincial Office of Labour Protection and Welfare as well as representatives from shrimp and seafood industry in the province to reinforce collaboration on work against child labour for 2014. Areas of collaboration mainly include the launch of Good Labour Practice (GLP) training in the South and joint awareness raising campaigns on child labour and developing child labour monitoring systems (CLM).

News | 05 February 2014
The team visited also a migrant learning center in Muang District of Songkhla operated by Planned Parenthood Association of Thailand (PPAT) with the support of ILO-IPEC. The learning center started in August 2013 and now serves 29 mostly Cambodian children aged between 6 – 12 years old. The parents are migrant workers working in a fish pier nearby the area.

The learning center provides the children with a classroom and a teacher who help them to learn how to read and write Thai. This is a way to prepare them for being enrolled into one of the Thai public schools. The center also has a small play area where children have an opportunity to access age appropriate development tools under supervision of the teacher.

“I can see that the children are happy, and it is clear that their parents are even happier as they can send children to our center,” said Mohammad Yusoh Salae, PPAT staff member who oversees the learning center. “Parents are very responsible for sending their kids to the center. The center has also received support from employers who allow them to use their vehicle as a school bus for sending off and picking up the children.”

PPAT plans to refer these children to be enrolled in a nearby Thai public school in the next school year in May after their progress is assessed and they are ready to confidently sit in classroom with Thai children.
Access to education is a key strategy for the ILO-IPEC project in Thailand. Being in school prevents children at risk from being drawn into child labour before the legal age. Children who are already working can also be withdrawn from hazardous conditions of work and reintegrated to school.For children of migrant workers, it is important that they go through transitional classes prior to being enrolled into Thai schools. This is to ensure that they can catch up with the class and prevent them from demotivation and dropping out. This learning center is one form of transitional education for migrant children.

The ILO-IPEC project (2010-2014) in Thailand aims to address child labour and forced labour in shrimp and seafood processing areas and help to create an industry that is free of child labour and forced labour and offers decent working conditions and opportunities to Thai and migrant workers. Special attention is given to the situation of Thai and migrant children at risk of entering or/and involved in hazardous child labour. The ILO-IPEC programme is financed by the US Department of Labour.