Buying chewing gum and flowers from children only ensures that they'll be made to work until 04:30 every morning. No matter how big their eyes are and how sorry you feel, its kinder not to buy. Childwatch - Phuket
Although the original aim of the organisation was to curb the onslaught of local and foreign paedophiles, after a meeting of educationalists at the University in November, it became obvious that the target group was much wider that that alone. There were two areas which particularly concerned us.
- Child Labourers: In Phuket a number of children of migrant workers, who have no right to attend a school, are working on building sites alongside their parents. There are also children being used as "sympathy salespersons" by their parents to get donations from tourists, many until the early hours of the morning.
- Sex Workers: In Thailand there are a large number of sex-for-sale outlets. Many of these employ, and in some cases, enslave young children for their customer's pleasure. In some cases, these children are sold to the brothels by their relatives or tricked into working in the sex industry by pimps who offer jobs in restaurants in the city.
We are also very concerned about parental abuse and are determined to find ways to help the victims.
Plan of Action
Following the meeting in November we had the names of about thirty local people who had volunteered to help the Child-Watch Phuket Organisation. A plan was laid to acquire a mobile telephone which could be used as a hot-line to report cases of abuse of children. A date was then set to train the volunteers in how to react to various cases and how children could best be helped. A second meeting was called to which representatives of local Government administration and community groups were invited.
The results of that meeting were as follows:
- An academic committee was elected to oversee the running of the project
- Full support was given by the local police, social security and regional education office
- It was agreed to find funding to hire a full-time project officer; buy an office computer; a telephone; stationery and provide printing costs.
By August 1996 the organisation had:
- Opened a youth training centre in Rawai with a full-time staff member in attendance
- Provided vaccine shots and clothing donations for the children of illegal labourers
- Increased its network of volunteers to one hundred and ten people
- Followed up on 4 cases of child abuse
- Hired a full-time administrative officer
- Set up classes for migrant children
If you are willing to donate and help us please contact us -
Child Watch, Building 3, 3 rd floor, Phuket Campus, A. Kathu, Phuket 83120
Tel: (076) 202 559, Fax: +66 76 202 559
E-mail: C/O childwatch-phuket.