(b) Allowing the views of the child in proceedings
The Second Optional Protocol to the CRC asserts that States shall take appropriate measures
to allow the views, needs and concerns of child victims to be presented and considered in
proceedings where their personal interests are affected, in a manner consistent with the
procedural rules of national law.415 Furthermore obliging States to recognise the vulnerability
of child victims and adapting procedures to recognise their special needs as a witness.416 The
Trafficking Protocol also calls for States to ensure measures that provide to victims
assistance to enable their views to be presented and considered at appropriate stages of
proceedings.417 Under Thai law, to protect victims, children are allowed to provide testimony on video418 or in the presence of an official experienced in work concerning children.419 There
are no provisions explicitly concerning the views or opinions of the victims in proceedings in
the Anti-Trafficking Act, Gov MOU, Gov-NGO MOU, Criminal Code, Child Act or
(c) Legal assistance and interpretation
The COMMIT MOU and the MOU with Lao PDR call upon States to make available legal
assistance,420 the COMMIT MOU further calling for information in a language the victim
understands.421 The Trafficking Protocol obliges States to consider implementing measures to
provide inter alia counselling and information, in a language that the victims can
The MSDHS shall consider to provide assistance as appropriate to a trafficked person on
inter alia the legal proceedings.423 Presenting information in a language the victim
understands is not covered in the Anti-Trafficking Act, Gov-NGO MOU or Gov MOU. In the
case of Samaeson however, involving adult and child victims of trafficking from Burma, interpreters took statements from victims.424 It is not mentioned in the case whether any other
linguistic assistance was offered.
MOU's with Burma and Cambodia, and the Agreement with Vietnam assert that victims have
the right to claim compensation from the offender of any damages caused by trafficking in
persons.425 The Trafficking Protocol obliges States to ensure that its domestic legal system
contains measures that offer victims of trafficking the possibility of obtaining compensation
for damage suffered.426 The Second Optional Protocol to the CRC further adds that child
victims may seek compensation without discrimination.427
Under the Anti-Trafficking Act the inquiry official or public prosecutor shall, in the first
chance, inform the victim of their right to compensation for damages resulting from the
commission of trafficking in persons.428 Cases of Thai429 and Non-Thai victims have resulted in the claiming of compensation. In the case of Weerapong Saelee & Anoma
Siriyoowattananon the victims were Burmese women and children and the judgement
included the compensation payment to victims of 500,000 Thai Baht.430 Media reports also
assert that a 12 year old Karen girl was awarded $140,000 compensation after suffering
abuse whilst working as a maid.431
MOU's with Cambodia and Burma, as well as the Agreement with Vietnam, also require
appropriate measures to ensure effective legal remedies for victims to claim restitution of any
disputed personal properties that have been confiscated or obtained by authorities in the
process of criminal procedures, and payment for unpaid services from the offender.432 There
is no specific provision concerning these measures under Thai law. The reasoning resulting
in the monetary sums for compensation in the case law examined in this study are not offered
and thus may or may not have taken into consideration the above.
The next chapter consists primarily of empirical research, presenting the views and
experiences of those who have lived or worked with the target populations.
4) EMPIRICAL RESEARCH
This section will present the perceptions of those who have either worked with or lived with
the target populations. Names of interviewees will be given only where express consent to do
so has been given and documented.
Data presented in this section includes four interviews with Burmese refugees living in
Malaysia, who travelled through Thailand, three Karen individuals interviewed in 2009 and
one Shan individual interviewed in 2011. This author interviewed these individuals in
Malaysia, prior to embarking upon this research.
Interviewed for the purpose of this research: Mr. Ehkusoe, a Karen individual who lived in
one of the Thai-Burma border refugee camps from 1999 – 2009.433 Mr. Chatchai Thepsena,
the head of programs at a childrens' foundation in Thailand who worked with refugee
children between 1996 and 2004, and stateless children between 2005 and 2012.434 And Mr.
Duncan McArthur, an aid worker, working eleven years for the Border Consortium, who
provide inter alia shelter and food assistance to 120,000 people living inside refugee camps
along the Thai-Burma border.435
Finally e-mail correspondence with a Karen individual currently living in one of the camps
along the Thai-Burma border will be taken into account.
Certain claims made by interviewees will be supported, challenged or substantiated by UN,
Government or NGO reports or other journals. This section cannot represent the views of
other NGO's working with the target populations, the Royal Thai Embassy in London or the
UNHCR in Bangkok who were all contacted regarding this study and either did not provide
an interview or did not respond to the invitation to take part.
A LIFE IN THAILAND
1 Birth Registration
One camp was home to roughly 2,000 children, and an interviewee claimed that a Thai
Government recognised birth certificate was easy to obtain in the camp.436 Another
interviewee however explained that although the NGO's providing health care in the camps
could provide hospital registration, he was unsure if they provided birth certificates, if not
birth certificates they were "something comparable" that were universally accessible.437 According to another interviewee, not specifically concerned with those living in the camps, the target populations face difficulty in getting births registered as their parents are not
The interviewees experiences are varied. The UNHCR however report that since 2010 non-
Thai babies have enjoyed the right to birth registration, both inside and outside the camps.
The birth registration acts as an application to gain a birth certificate, with reportedly 5,000
babies from the nine refugee camps receiving their birth certificates as of September 2012.439
The right to be registered after birth440 is progressively being realised.
Many of the target populations cannot access standard eduction.441 There is a minority
amongst the target populations, living outside the camps, who gain access to State
education.442 The target populations can access primary and mid-level education but they
cannot finish secondary education without being of Thai citizenship.443 Schools in the camps
are run by volunteer organisations, the main teachers are refugees and there is no help from
the Thai Government.444 In one class there are between 50 and 70 students to one teacher.445
The condition of the schools has resulted in an ongoing need for educational materials, building repair, furniture and teacher's salaries and training, with many children still unable
to attend.446 Free, compulsory primary education for all447 has not been achieved.