Those with a guilty conscience often attempt to go unnoticed on judgment day. Unfortunately for Thailand however, the United Nations is not waiting that long and is pointing a reprimanding finger right now.
Every year, the UN Secretary-General – currently Ban Ki-Moon — publishes a report with individual countries’ records of violations committed against children by armed forces and radical groups. Thailand was included as part of the twenty-two countries covered this year. Interestingly enough, out of all Thailand’s regional neighbors — Myanmar, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and the Philippines – only Thailand refused UN access to independently monitor the region.
In an exclusive editorial to the Nation, Bede Sheppard, a senior researcher for children’s rights in Asia at Human Rights Watch, and author of the report “Targets of Both Sides: Violence against students, teachers, and schools in Thailand’s Southern Border Provinces,” highlights and applauds the UN for spotlighting the many violations against children in southern border provinces of Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat.
The question looming in the background: So how did the acclaimed international organization verify the situation without sending their own monitors? Simple, with the use of information provided by media and other civil society organizations. Applause is thus due to reporters and human-rights workers who helped the UN do its good work.
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