Advocating for Migrant Teenage Girls in the Mekong
In Bangkok, the Sisters advocate on behalf of migrant children, and have set up School based Protection Centres. These provide education and skills training for migrant girls, particularly from the Mekong Region.
This is the reality of young migrant workers and their children. Migrant girls and children living in Thailand come with their parents or with peers. Their nationalities are varied. They come from Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Most migrant girls and children who are victims of trafficking are undocumented migrants and are placed in the worst forms of child labour such as forced begging and the commercial sex trade.
School based Protection Centres
Realizing that the school-based protection approach is a good response to this need, our lay Mission Partners and Sisters in Phuket met to discuss the possibility. Our children from the Charity School in Ho Chi Minh have regular classes in agriculture. The sisters have a piece of land where the children cultivate fruit-trees and vegetables. The fruit and vegetables are for local consumption.
Most of the children in this project lack opportunities to attend government schools because they do not have documents or are school drop outs. Also, there are negative attitudes towards migrants in the destination areas.
The School-based Protection Program for migrant children aims to encourage local schools, the private sector and local NGOs to protect migrant children from neglect and exposure to abuse and exploitation.