In Thailand, we worked with local organisations to document violations of children’s rights, supporting local advocacy initiatives to strengthen child protection.


Malay Muslims in Thailand’s southern border provinces form a large, distinct majority in the region, which for more than a century has sought independence from Thailand. A number of separatist groups have waged an insurgency since the 1960s, and in 2004 the violence escalated dramatically. Separatist groups have orchestrated numerous deadly attacks targeting the security forces and civilians. State security forces have also committed human rights violations when attacking suspected insurgents. More than 6,400 people have been killed in the violence to date.

The issue

Years of armed violence in southern Thailand has had a huge impact on children. They have been killed in indiscriminate attacks, and recruited and used by military groups outside government control and in some cases by self-defence militias associated with the government. Armed groups have attacked schools and killed teachers, while the Thai military have occupied schools, undermining children’s right to education. Child Soldiers International has documented the recruitment and use of children by both sides of the insurgency.

Our impact

In 2011, we published a report on the association of children with state backed village defence militias called Chor Ror Bor in southern Thailand. Following the launch, the Thai government amended a 2008 regulation on the Chor Ror Bor to explicitly prohibit the recruitment of children below 18.

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