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TIJ Joined Hands with Five Partners to Promote the Ethics and Psychology for Child Rights Protection
According to UNICEF, globally three in four children between the age of one and 14 have been subjected to at least one form of psychological aggression or physical punishment by household members in the past month. Out of every 100 children, 4.2 are subjected to severe physical punishment. Meanwhile, the research on trafficking in persons of TIJ and UNODC revealed that there are many children from Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar trafficked into Thailand for the purpose of exploitation. Most of them were for sexual exploitation purposes. Moreover, reports of online child sexual abuse and exploitation in various countries have increased significantly.
“Violence against children doesn’t only negatively affect the children, but also the family, society and country. It is to destroy social development, as well as community and national economy,” said Ambassador Adisak Panupong, Special Advisor, Thailand Institute of Justice (TIJ).
Citing a UNICEF report, he added, “The economic costs to the region of Southeast Asia and the Pacific due to violence against children is estimated at 209 billion US dollars per year, which is around 6.43 trillion baht.”
From 1-4 July 2009, Thailand Institute of Justice (TIJ) will host the event “Child Rights Ethical Standards and Psychological Analysis for Law Enforcement Workshop” in Bangkok. Recognizing the challenges in child rights and law enforcement, the mission of the workshop is to enhance law enforcement professionals’ capacities on the rights of child victims and witnesses and psychological analysis, as well as develop a draft code of conduct in the treatment of child victims and offenders. Moreover, TIJ aims to create a network of law enforcement professionals for international cooperation in combatting exploitation of children.
In this endeavor, TIJ joined forces with the Department of Special Investigation (DSI), the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency (NCA), the children rights advocacy group ECPAT, the anti-human trafficking group A21 Foundation and the German-Southeast Asian Center of Excellence for Public Policy and Good Governance (CPG).
Violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of children are pertinent challenges that need participation from all sectors. Such abuses impact the development of children and effect their adulthood, this includes the ability to learn, to form relationships, to work and to function as a member of society.
Law enforcement officials come into contact with traumatized children on regular basis. This includes child victim, child witness and child offender. The danger is where victimized children may face secondary or further abuses from a criminal justice system in which law enforcement officials lack the sensitivity and understanding both on the ethical and psychological levels.
“Just improving the law does not lead to children gaining trust in criminal justice,” said Ambassador Adisak, pointing to the complexity of the issue. “Solving the problem must be done in conjunction with building the expertise and capacity of criminal justice officers. Furthermore, there must be an integrated multidisciplinary justice system, supported by increased capacity in crime prevention and criminal justice, as well as international cooperation.”
Ambassador Adisak continued, “In the past, Thailand has identified this urgent issue and in 2013, Her Royal Highness Princess Bajrakitiyabha, in the capacity of the Thai ambassador to Vienna, played a crucial role in proposing the ‘United Nations Model Strategies and Practical Measures on the Elimination of Violence against Children in the Field of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice’, or the “UN Model Strategies”, which covered the mechanisms to accommodate child’s rights, as well as encouraging the protection of children who are victims, shielding them from further abuses in the justice system.”
All children have rights, but there continues to be a lack of understanding of the promotion and protection of their rights. With the vision of creating rule of law and sustainable development, TIJ, in collaboration with local and international agencies, aim to drive the agenda of children rights in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice.