Category Archives: Reports
It has been a busy last few weeks. We had a group of CIS Abroad of 19 students from the United States and 1 from Canada. They helped with teaching, playing and cleaning with the children. Together with the two professors of their University and our staff we put a lot of effort in cleaning a part of our Mae Sai grounds. We were very thankful for all their hard work and wish them all the best in continuation of their travels around Thailand and Cambodia where they learn about all the steps of the human trafficking, so they can in turn make a difference. There was also some fun, as on their day of they went to several tea plantations in the mountains that are run by ethnic minorities. Besides this they also got a brief bamboo flute instruction from our founder.
Another interesting moment came a few days ago, when it was the Thai day of the teachers. During this day the children sang songs and made symbolic offerings of flowers and incense to the staff of DEPDC in the morning. It went on with the teachers thanking the children in their turn with kind personal words for all the students.
But that’s not all; we were also presented with a large donation from Xin Yuan Trading Company (Thailand) Limited Chiang Saen, Chiang Rai. Who donated toothpaste, toothbrushes, school supplies and food for the children. For which we are very grateful of course and so are the students.
And a quick final note: We are in need of new volunteers, our current volunteer is leaving in a few weeks and we haven’t got a lot of serious applications. If you know anyone willing to volunteer at this organization for 6 months, without having to pay all kinds of fees (what is a strange, but common practice at a lot of NGO’s). The only thing you need to pay for is your costs to get here and your food during your time here. Working here can
After these few weeks of vacation the school has finally started again. The children were enthusiastic to start and even more so when they got a few presents. A former student from the first student batch donated 200 t-shirts for the children. Now all the students have a few clean white and black shirts, as can be seen in the picture. As these children mostly come from underprivileged families, new clothing is a rarity. Some of the children were given shoes and underwear, as their family couldn’t afford these basic necessities. They were also given backpacks, pencils and notebooks to write their homework in, this made possible by Lianne Rivera, a person who raised funds in the US. And even though we are a school and education is our main focus, we realize that we have to provide the conditions for children to be educated.
Starting the new school year also involves some extra cleaning. The whiteboards get an extra scrubbing and so do the desks. After this the students are eager to start learning again. During the English class the students were yelling out the answers with a lot of enthusiasm. And after a few months off, they is some need for revision, but we’ll manage. Yes, to conclude, we are ready again for a new school year, thanks to all your generous donations.
The U.S Department of State recently released it’s annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015. As you all know human rights are at the core of DEPDC/GMS’s mission to prevent human trafficking through education and awareness raising. Although the report highlights certain areas of progress in the vast, ongoing issues of human rights in Thailand it also illustrates that many of the causal factors that lead to the high prevalence of human trafficking remain and there is much more work to be done.
In the past, many of our posts have been written to portray the underlying causes of human trafficking. A couple of the issues we address quite frequently are the lack of citizenship and statelessness within many of the hill tribe members in Northern Thailand and the surrounding areas. Lack of citizenship and statelessness present an array of problems that perpetuate the cycle of poverty and under education in Thailand. This cycle of poverty and under education is deeply connected to the commodification of women and children and the reason DEPDC/GMS continues in the battle of prevention. In the 2015 report these specific issues were addressed and it is clear that these problems continue to exist and how they correlate to human trafficking and exploitative labor.
“Noncitizen members of hill tribes faced restrictions on their movement, could not own land, had difficulty accessing bank credit, and faced discrimination in employment. Although labor laws give them the right to equal treatments as employees, employers often violated those rights by paying them less than their citizen coworkers and less than minimum wage. The law also limited noncitizens in their choice of occupations. The law also bars them from government welfare services, such as universal health care.”
In a different section the report also states:
“Stateless persons had difficulty accessing credit and government services, such as health care. Although education was technically accessible for all undocumented and stateless children, it was usually of poor quality. School administrators placed the term “non-Thai citizen” on these individuals’ high school certificates, which severely limited their economic opportunities.”
From this information it is then no surprise that the report also concluded that child prostitution remains a problem. More specifically, children from poor families, especially boys and girls coming from migrant populations and ethnic minorities, are more vulnerable to the persuasion tactics of human traffickers.
While this information is discouraging and saddening it strengthens our resolve at DEPDC to continue our work in education, community awareness, and empowerment for the population of at-risk youth that we serve. Our many programs and activities directly target these specific human rights violations by providing opportunities that would otherwise not exist for the majority of these children.
From the bottom of our hearts we thank you for supporting us and our mission. The fight is far from over but we stand strong in knowing our international community stands with us. If you’ve ever considered getting involved and volunteering, please don’t hesitate to visit the volunteer information page on our blog and get in touch. Or if you can’t volunteer but feel like you’d like to make a contribution, please visit our GlobalGiving donations page here to pick which of our programs you’d like to contribute to. Thank you for reading and we wish you all the best.
To view the entire Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 for Thailand please follow this link: http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm?year=2015&dlid=252803#wrapper