Estimates of the number of child laborers in Thailand range between 4 and 5 million. An estimated 1.4 million work in unregulated manufacturing, often sweatshops. Garments, gem polishing, leather bags, shrimp and seafood processing, and rattan and wood furniture are all areas in which child labor is found, according to the U.S. DOL.

CLC Joins other NGOs in Applauding Downgrade of Thailand in 2014 Trafficking Report Rankings

Letter to Secretary of State John Kerry regarding Thailand’s downgrade in the 2014 TIP Report
Publication Date:
June 20, 2014

Dear Secretary Kerry:

We write today to applaud the U.S. State Department’s decision to downgrade Thailand to Tier 3 in the 2014 Global Trafficking in Persons Report. This decision is justified and an important step in international efforts to persuade the Royal Thai Government to begin making the difficult, but necessary, changes needed to bring themselves into compliance with the minimum standards of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.

We also believe the Tier 3 ranking, as well as the research and recommendations contained in the report, will be an important informational tool for international and Thai institutions, companies and investors that continue to press Thai authorities to move beyond their current approach. It comes at an opportune time. In the last year, reports from, CNN, BBC, Reuters, The Associated Press and The Guardian have drawn unprecedented attention to the issue. To truly make sufficient progress in addressing human trafficking, the Thai Government should implement reforms in the areas highlighted both in the 2013 TIP Report and our last letter to you. These reforms have been repeatedly recommended by the U.S. State Department, other governments, NGOs, trade unions, and international bodies: improving victim identification and protection; fighting corruption; reforming immigration policies; and revising labor laws.

Given these priorities, we believe the United States should also emphasize to Thailand the importance of ratifying the International Labour Organization’s new legally-binding protocol to Convention 29 on Forced Labor in its upcoming discussions with the Thai Government.… Read the rest

Thai government urged to stop using child soldiers in militias


Posted : Thu, 03 Mar 2011 10:08:49 GMT
Asia World News | Home

[from www.earthtimes.org]

Bangkok – The Thai government is exposing children to “significant risks” by recruiting them in the war against Muslim insurgents in the south of the country, a coalition of humanitarian non-governmental organisations alleged on Thursday.

The Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers and the Justice for Peace Foundation (JPF) said children between the ages of 9 and 17 were taking part in weapons training under the government-established Village Defence Militias, known locally by the Thai initials Chor Ror Bor.

“Children under the age of 18 are exposed to significant risks due to their association with Chor Ror Bor,” the coalition said.

“The militias are armed with a mixture of shotguns and automatic weapons,” the coalition’s Arachapon Nimitkulpon said at a press conference. “On occasions the militias are required to take part in military operations,” including searches for insurgent suspects.

Over the past four years, more than 4,000 soldiers, militia members, police, Muslim insurgents and civilians have been killed in violent incidents in Thailand’s three southernmost provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala.

The Village Defence Militias were set up in 1985 as a successor to a network of local village volunteer groups established in the 1960s to combat communist insurgents.

In a report issued Thursday, the coalition and the JPF said field research in southern Thailand in mid-2010 found children were formal members of the government militias or were performing some duties associated with militia membership in 13 of the 19 villages visited by researchers.

Read the rest