Thailand

Optional Protocol:
Acceded February 2006
Compulsory recruitment age:
20
Voluntary recruitment age:
18
Thailand

Recruitment and use of children in Thailand takes place within the context of an armed separatist struggle in its four southern border provinces. There are long-standing reports that children have been targeted for recruitment by armed opposition groups and that they have been used in various roles including for intelligence gathering, diversion tactics and arson attacks.

Children suspected of links with armed groups have been detained under security laws including for purposes of intelligence gathering and possibly as a method of demobilizing children from association with armed opposition groups.

Research in 2010 by Child Soldiers International and a local partner NGO, Justice for Peace Foundation, revealed that boys were also recruited and used by village defence volunteers (Chor Ror Bor), a government-established civil defence force which forms part of state counter-insurgency forces in the conflict affected areas. In response, various measures were taken by the Thai government to prohibit and prevent children from joining or being used by Chor Ror Bor units. However, independent monitoring of association with these and other armed actors in southern Thailand is still lacking.

Our work in Thailand aims to:

  • Encourage national and international scrutiny of the involvement of children with armed opposition groups in southern Thailand with the view to develop preventative strategies and implement programs for children’s release and recovery.
  • Advocate for legal reform to criminalize child recruitment and use by armed forces and groups.
  • Ensure that administrative detention of children under national security legislation in southern Thailand is prohibited.
     
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Further Reading:

Displayed below are Reports and News Items from our archive relating to Thailand.