Promotion and Protection of the Rights of the Children in Street Situations in Bankok, Thailand

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Teologiska institutionen

Abstract: This thesis aims at describing how the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is reflected in the overall operation of the Non-Governmental Organizations and government agencies working with children in street situations in Bangkok, Thailand. It describes children in different street situations in Bangkok; intervention approaches and working methods of the agencies that provide the services for them as well as similarities and differences in each group of the children. As the CRC sets a framework for interventions concerning children, it was interesting to explore whether the practitioners in Bangkok apply the convention in their interventions. This is a descriptive research applying the qualitative data collection methods by which literature review was conducted and semi-structure interviews were carried out according to a written interview guide with professionals represented NGOs and government agencies who directly work with children in street situations, followed by a deductive content analysis of the transcribed interview texts. The field observations were conducted in different areas of Bangkok in order to understand the working environments of the organizations and the conditions of the children. The findings revealfour groups of children in street situations in Bangkok with one being migrants. Their dwelling areas are determined by its socio-economic activities while the livelihoods of each group of children are different. In order to respond to their situations and promote as well as protect their rights, the NGOs and government agencies coordinate in a Network for Street Children in responding to their situations through a Street Teacher Approach. They conduct street/community outreach and responsive actions aiming at protecting, advocating for rights to education, eliminating child labor exploitation, being their significant other,facilitating durable repatriation for migrant children in street situations etc. The rights concept is universal but the childhood concept is culturally relative. The actors in Bangkok bridge the two concepts by taking the situation and the best interest of the child into consideration: they prioritize the child’s well-being which entails rights protection and promotion.

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