MOST OF THE 60,000 children living in camps at construction sites in Thailand have been deprived of a proper childhood, according to the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef).
“In my mind, that is not childhood,” Unicef Thailand Representative Thomas Davin said, as he and Baan Dek Foundation released a report, A Framework for Action, to highlight the many problems children in construction-site camps were facing.
Also present at the launch were representatives of Sansiri Public Co Ltd, one of the property firms that has made efforts to improve the living conditions of the long-suffering children.
“Some real estate companies have provided education and a clean space for these children in the camps,” said Nicola Crosta, Founder of the Baan Dek Foundation.
He believed many problems still existed.
“About 90 per cent of children at these camps do not have access to education,” he lamented.
“The challenging thing about the kids getting a proper education is mobility, because they move around.
“In terms of health, about 20 per cent of children haven’t had any vaccination, because their parents do not know whether their kids have been vaccinated for what and when.
“In addition, 93 per cent of kids are being exposed to domestic violence, which is a very high rate.”
According to the new report, many sites lack adequate showers and toilets and since existing facilities are not separated by gender, children are at risk of sexual abuse.
Davin urged property firms to pursue solutions, emphasising that helping these children would benefit them, too.
“When they help these children, workers would be more loyal to them,” he said.
The just-released report said the solutions from the property firms would lead to positive brand perceptions among investors and improved labour retention and productivity.
The 12-point Framework for Action gives companies a set of 12 concrete actions that companies can take to make a big difference to the lives of the children of migrant workers they employ.