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A key focus of the Child Protection Department is to ensure that procedures and activities of the clinic and its partner organisations are protecting the fundamental rights of children. Provision of birth registration and legal documentation to displaced children, supplying boarding house students with monthly dry food rations, provision of psychosocial support to family and children, and monitoring and evaluation of the programmes run by the clinic are comprised in the responsibility of the Child Protection team.
Dry Food Programme
Poor economic conditions and the lack of educational facilities are forcing students to leave their hometowns in Burma, and seek education and protection along the Thai-Burma border. Boarding houses ensure children access to education and protection.
Mae Tao Clinic has transitioned part of the programme to Burma with existing organisations already working inside the country for sustainability. As the political situation is improving in Burma, which makes it easier for large donors to work directly with local agencies inside the country, 12 boarding houses in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) areas have been transitioned to the Karen State Boarding House Working Group inside Karen State. The Pa Hite Nursery School has been transitioned to Karen Women Organisation’s Early Childhood Development programme inside Karen state.
In 2017, the Dry Food Programme provides food rations to 1,952 children and staff at 23 boarding houses in migrant communities (Thailand) and 15 boarding houses in IDP areas (Burma) managed by the Karen Women Organisation (KWO). The programme provides boarding house children with basic food provisions every month. Children living in the boarding house are protected from child labour and trafficking.
Within the Child Protection Programme, Mae Tao Clinic continues to provide birth registration for newborns born at MTC. In 2017, 1,957 newborns at the clinic received birth certificates from the Thai authorities. This birth certificate is crucial as children of migrant workers have access to Thai healthcare and education services with this certificate: Since 2015 Thailand Health and Education department allows migrant children to access health insurance and educational support if the child has received a birth certificate. In August 2017, the Mae Sot Birth Registration Network Team (MSBRNT) was formed to fully understand and enable the laws on birth registration among CBOs. MSBRNT liaises with birth registration service providers in Mae Sot, jointly addressing pending challenges and ensuring that migrant children are registered and protected.
The Child Protection Referral System
The Child Protection Referral System manages suspected child abuse cases and refers them to relevant social services. As part of the women and child protection system, a Gender Based Violence (GBV) and Child Protection Case Management Network were formed. Within the Child Protection Referral System network, a total of 48 cases were referred in 2017: 12 sexual abuse cases, 10 physical abuse cases, 18 cases of neglect and 1 case of exploitation. 12 cases have been treated under the Gender Based Violence Network. In the same year, Mae Tao Clinic detected and referred 19 child protection and 2 GBV cases for follow-up medical and legal care.
Our child protection department delivers training and supervision on Internal Child Protection Policy (ICPP) case management tools for teachers and boarding house caretakers since August 2014. The monitoring tool in the ICPP is used to highlight areas in need of more attention. ICPP training has been integrated into different levels of training: community health volunteer training; staff orientation workshop; and Community Health Worker training. In addition, the ICPP code of conduct has been integrated into the Mae Tao Clinic staff manual. Child Rights and Child Protection awareness training for children and child care skill training have been delivered; 101 students have received child friendly training and day-care staff were trained for 8 days, respectively in 2017.
(Updated on 24 October, 2018)