26 Feb 2015
Thailand share the concern with the international community when it comes to the plight of children affected by armed conflict. Thailand condemns all violations and crimes against children in situations of armed conflict and support the effective implementation of relevant UNSC resolutions on this issue.
Thailand has been active and supportive of various international efforts in child protection. Thailand, as State Party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the first country to sign its Optional Protocol, is fully committed to fulfilling our obligations under these instruments. We also have close and constructive cooperation with relevant UN agencies on child protection, under their respective mandates, and continue to enhance such cooperation for the best interest of the child.
Thailand commends and supports fully the “Children, Not soldiers” campaign initiated by the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict together with UNICEF.
Thailand advocates the issue of mainstreaming child protection into relevant UN peacekeeping, peace-building and political missions. In armed conflict situations, peacekeepers are often at the forefront in protecting children. We underscore the importance of having clear mandate and guidelines for their effective operations. Peacekeepers and peace-builders also need specific pre-deployment and in-mission trainings on issues concerning children affected by armed conflict.
We also envisage the increasing role of female peacekeepers in child protection and rehabilitation during and post armed conflict. Thailand has intensified our national efforts to increase the numbers of female peacekeepers. They will be specifically trained in international humanitarian and international law on the rights and the protection of women and children in order to be able to contribute effectively on cases involving violence against women and children who need special care and treatment.
At national level, Thailand enhances child protection in the country in an effective and sustainable manner, through law enforcement and various protective mechanisms. As a State Party to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, prohibiting the recruitment or use of children as soldier, Thailand has clear rules and regulations to ensure that children under 18 are not conscripted, recruited nor be involved in combat. The Royal Thai Government is also in the process of amending the Child Protection Act B.E.2549 (2003), Section 26, to explicitly criminalize the involvement of children in the armed forces or armed groups.
Thailand reaffirms our decisive determination and systematic efforts to promote and protect children and their rights. We will continue to work constructively with the international community and the mandatory UN bodies as well as civil society to better safeguard our children.