Child Protection Committee rescues 12 youths from dire conditions

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The Pattaya Child Protection Committee worked with local charities to assist a dozen low-income youths encountered when bureaucrats surveyed the city’s slum areas to determine factors putting kids at risk.

At an Aug. 31 Pattaya City Hall meeting, three committee members reviewed their efforts to boost the quality of life for the city’s poor children with Deputy Mayor Wutisak Rermkitkarn and representatives from local aid groups.

Research done by 21 groups showed most at-risk youths came from poor families that migrated to Pattaya to look for work and settled in isolated areas of the city that soon turned into slums.

Deputy Mayor Wutisak Rermkitkarn (right) leads a committee working with local charities to assist low-income youths. Deputy Mayor Wutisak Rermkitkarn (right) leads a committee working with local charities to assist low-income youths.

Committee member Theeraporn Srichan said many children in these ramshackle enclaves of temporary houses are often physically, emotionally and sexually abused, flock to drugs and are neglected by elders focused on finding enough food for themselves. Divorce and abandonment exacerbate their problems, she said, often leading to children being dumped on relatives and not being registered with the government for education and health care.

She said during their research, bureaucrats came across 12 children in dire straits and worked with charity groups to place them in the custody of the state and document their cases. She said more time is needed, however, to determine if the intervention was a positive for the youths.

The committee is continuing to discuss the problem in hopes of drafting a plan to address quality of life issues for at-risk youths.