The recent unrest in Bangkok, Thailand has had a direct effect on children and youth in the capital and also affected the services that Peuan Peuan (Friends in Thai) team has been able to provide.
This conflict has had a direct impact on children: some schools close to the conflict areas have been closed since mid-April and since May 10 all schools in Bangkok have been closed. Children who have been living in the protest areas have been exposed to violence and may be experiencing trauma.
For Peuan Peuan, which protects and supports migrant children and street children in Bangkok, the demonstrations are affecting its work in many ways:
- The Outreach team can not work in certain key areas, which means children are often deprived of the only support they receive from adults (medical, recreational, counseling)
- The procedures for repatriation of illegal immigrant children, including children in Cambodia, have slowed down, which is likely to extend the period that children will spend in detention (Peuan Peuan also works in some Government centers for children victims of trafficking and illegal migrants).
- The Peuan Peuan Center in the heart of Bangkok was closed from May 14 until May 24 for safety reasons as it is located less than 500 meters from areas where fighting has been ongoing since that date. A location north of the city is ready to be used if any emergency housing is needed for children and youth. Since then, the hotline received 4-5 calls each day from youth and mothers who were staying in combat zones. The Peuan Peuan team encouraged these people to leave combat zones and established a collaboration with the Red Cross which facilitated the evacuation of the combat zones.
The Peuan Peuan team will continue to monitor the situation and will continue to provide as much support as possible to children and youth in Bangkok, until services can resume as normal.