Public Hearing Examines Issues Faced by Children in Thailand, Including HIV/AIDS, Lack of Sex Education
Thailand's Office of Welfare Promotion, Protection and Empowerment of Vulnerable People earlier this week held a public hearing to discuss various risks facing the country's children, including HIV/AIDS, Thailand's The Nation reports. The office plans to present a draft report on the state of child rights in the country. The report will be sent through the Foreign Affairs Ministry to the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of the Child in July, according to ministry deputy director Saran Samarnphan. Young people were among some of the attendees at the public hearing, according to The Nation.
Youth representative Natkamon Tumpaeng said that the government has not provided adequate sex education to young people, which has resulted in unwanted pregnancies and the spread of HIV. He said, "Without sex education, many youths have clearly engaged in unsafe sex." Passacha Pachuen, a public relations official for a council on children and youth in the Surin province, said that at many schools, teachers are forcing sex on students. "Many teachers demand sex or other favors from their students in exchange for good grades," Passacha said. In addition, Amnat Siangsawas, the deputy chair of the council of youth and children in the city of Nakhon Sawan, said that a lack of resources often leads many children into the labor market, where they are being exploited. Amnat added that officials should "put in place mechanisms that will help them" (The Nation, 5/13).