Bangkok-headquartered Charoen Pokphand Foods (CPF) has partnered with Songkhla’s Fishermen Life Enhancement Center (FLEC) to promote education among migrant children as a sustainable solution for eliminating child labor abuse in Thailand.
FLEC committee member Nattaya Petcharat says the campaign is also in line with the Thai government’s effort to provide the children living in Thailand with the equal educational rights as local students. She noted that FLEC Center is a collaboration between seven partners from various sectors with the mutual goal of tackling and preventing all kinds of labor abuse in the Thai seafood industry, and proactively protect migrant workers as well as their family from exploitation.
The “Learning Room for Children and Migrant Workers Families” program is part of FLEC Center to offer basic education for migrant children and leading them to formal school in the province. Since 2016, a total of 240 migrant children have had access to formal education in Thailand. More than 90 percent of them have passed the basic education assessment criteria, and 45 were enrolled in the Municipal School 2, in Songkhla Province, together with Thai students.
The FLEC Learning Center is open every day, even during the Covid-19 crisis, to look after the children while their parents are working. During the height of the pandemic, the learning center also organized a rotating group of students to study and assign homework, offering uninterrupted learning.
So far this year 42 children, ranging between 4-15 years old, have joined the class at the FLEC Center. Nattaya said that the Center provides suitable courses for their ages. For example, Kindergarten class aims at encouraging independence and Love of Learning. Meanwhile, Children in Elementary school and higher levels are learning core subjects including Thai, Mathematics, and English. Moreover, there are Khmer reading and writing classes for Cambodian students.
“Children of migrant workers at the FLEC Center have learned the Thai language. They are more assertive, talk to people outside their families, and more importantly, children can take care of themselves while their parents go to work,” said Nattaya. ”Thanks to the preparation class, 15 migrant students at FLEC are able to enter public schools this year.”
FLEC Center is a joint human rights project between seven organizations, including the Fish Marketing Organization; Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives; Department of Labour Protection and Welfare; Family Planning Association of Thailand; Stella Maris Centre Songkhla, PTT Global Chemical Public Company Limited, G.E.P.P. SA-ARD Co.,Ltd and Charoen Pokphand Foods (CP Foods), targeting to tackle an abuse of human rights in the fishery industry and improve wellbeing of those who work in the seafood industry.