Supporting and protecting
children and families who are
part of a migrant community
Protéger les enfants immigrants illégaux
CCI became partners with the Foundation for Child Development (FCD) in December 2009, to reopen and manage the Santikham Center which is a shelter for child laborers mainly from the immigrant community in Bangkok suburbs.
Thailand, a country bordering Laos, Cambodia, and Burma, is a haven for hundreds of thousands of children who immigrate there each year seekingf better living conditions.
Coming from neighbouring countries, accompanied by their families or alone, these children quickly see their dreams turn into nightmares. They end up being exploited by employers, or else caught up in prostitution rings or drug trafficking networks, deprived of an education.
Although Thai law prohibits and punishes these practices, far too many children are coerced to work, and are victims of physical or sexual violence, or abuse.
Indeed, it is illegal for children to work for a living under Thai Law. However some families need their children’s income to survive. In Thailand, those immigrants who are considered ‘illegal’ have no access to any services whatsoever. Therefore they cannot receive medical care, plus schooling for children and social security are basic services that are denied them. Consequently, entire families find themselves caught a cycle of exploitation, each member sometimes holding down two jobs just to survive.
Children who attend the Santikham Center or participate in FCD activities have the opportunity to follow workshops where they learn about their rights, the prevention of child trafficking and sexual exploitation, on hygiene and health, etc. They are also encouraged to express themselves through artistic, sporting and cultural projects. There are also facilities where children may play, rest and have fun. In short, take the time to be children.
Children from different backgrounds (street children, working children, illegal migrant children, etc.) come together to learn to live together, and develop knowledge and skills. The FCD also offers medical follow-ups and support in administrative and legal procedures, as needed.
At the same time, the FCD carries out public awareness sessions on fighting child labor and trafficking in its environment.
- Teach children about their rights through activities that promote diversity, tolerance and mutual respect.
- Offer training, workshops and recreational spaces to assure children’s health, safety and development.
- Support education by giving scholarships to children in need.
- Train young leaders to work directly with working children, and ensure their safety within monitoring groups in the event of parents’ absence or suspected cases of abuse.
- Inform parents about the importance of obtaining a birth certificate for their children.