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A project for creating a safe space for children and youth in protests launched

27 March 2021, the working group on “Child in Mob”  officially launch the recruitment of volunteers to work in protesting sites to create a safe space for children under 18 years who have been exercising their right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

A participant taking photo at the launching event.

All members of the public are invited to participate in this project as volunteers and to donate to promote the protection and enhancement of rights and freedoms of children and youth.

Piyanut Kotsan, a representative of the Child in Mob project reveals that the Child in Mob volunteers are a group of volunteers deployed in protesting sites, one of several missions of the Child in Protest project which is a collaboration of various organizations including Amnesty international Thailand, Child Line, Hinghoy Noy Club, Krukor Sorn, Kor Kan Sitthi Dek, Kru Angun’s Garden Project, Backyard Politics, Freelance Psychotherapist, volunteers and those interested in the rights of the child.

This project aims to raise the awareness about the emergency situation, how to protect and create a safe space for children under 18 years to exercise their right to freedom of expression and peaceful and unarmed assembly.

“What underpin our volunteers’ outreach work are laws that protect children and international human rights standards based on the four key principles, namely, no discrimination against children, best interest of the child, the child’s right to live and to develop and the child’s right to be heard. 

“Our Child in Mob volunteers therefore work to create a safe space to ensure children can exercise their right to freedom of peaceful assembly. When whatever harmful incidence happens in protesting sites, the children warrant protection according to international laws and standards.

“During a public assembly, a ‘Child in Mob’ booth will be set up right by the medic tent in protesting sites. Our volunteers will wear volunteer signs designed by the project and reflective pink vests to identify themselves as “Child in Mob” volunteers. They will help to put a sticker on any child’s shirt and give them information or booklet and a wristband as well as Child in Mob flags.”

A Child in Mob staff holding a handful of manual leaflets and wristbands. (File photo)

The project’s representative also invites members of the public who are interested in the right of the child and their freedom of expression to become Child in Mob volunteers. They will receive a manual explaining how to work, will receive training and personal protective equipment. Prior to every mission, there will be a briefing to ensure their understanding about safety and communication. 

In addition, people can make a donation to help promote the protection and enhancement of the children’s rights and freedoms. The donation will be used to purchase self-identifying paraphernalia for the children present in protesting sites including wristbands which do not just identify the children but help other adults to notice that there are children in the demonstration.

It also helps to remind media when they take or publish photo of an underage. It can even help to prevent sexual and physical harassment during the public assembly as well. 

The donation will be used for producing and publishing volunteer manuals and producing and distributing manuals for child human rights defenders throughout the country. The manual will serve the interest of those involved with the work to help children. 

People can also help to support welfare of the volunteers by donating to the procurement of personal protective equipment including helmets, Child in Mob vests, tear gas goggles and first aid kits. They can help to reduce exposure to risk of the volunteers when they travel to their work sites and any risk there by helping to buy them life or personal accident insurance policies. 

Those who are interested, may make a donation to this project by wiring it to the account of Amnesty international Thailand, Bangkok Bank, saving a/c no. 129-5-62892-7, Lat Prao. Please also send a copy of transfer slip to membership@amnesty.or.th.

During the event, there was also a public discussion on “When a small butterfly flaps its wings: The right of the child, hope, dream, impact, when a child wants to be socially engaged” with speakers from children’s organizations, academics, youth representative, parent, and lawyer to reiterate the importance of the right of the child which is part of international human rights. 

There is also an exhibition “Silent voices matter”, featuring art works from ten young artists whose works convey the silent voices reflecting the reality faced by Thai children that have to be told to society. The exhibition is available for public viewing at Lido Connect, Siam Square, Pathumwan, Bangkok, from 27 March-25 April 2021. 

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