Education Ministry under pressure to protect kids from sexual abuse

Education Ministry under pressure to protect kids from sexual abuse
Photo: Straits Times

The Education Ministry in Thailand has come under pressure from a wide network of organizations following many high-profile sexual abuse cases taking place on school property over the past few weeks.

A letter was handed to the Minister for Education, Nataphol Teepsuwan, on Friday by a representative of a network of 92 organizations calling for immediate action to be taken to prevent further incidents taking place.

The Education Ministry was also accused of standing by idly while these attacks happened and not supporting the victims and families in seeking justice.

Manager of the Women’s Wellbeing and Gender Justice Program, Waraporn Chamsanit, said that the ministry must initiate lawsuits against teachers who have been accused of sexual abuse and provide counseling for the children.

She also called on the ministry to immediately revoke the licenses of teachers who commit such crimes and sack them immediately rather than allow them to continue working while the cases are under investigation.

Recent high-profile cases of sexual abuse taking place on school grounds in Thailand include two young girls who said they have been gang-raped by a group of five teachers and two alumni over the past year in Mukdahan.

Another recent case is that of a temporary teacher in a Buriram school who admitted to sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl by luring her into the school via Facebook chats.

Mr. Teepsuwan responded to the letter by saying the ministry had set up a center to protect schoolchildren and offer assistance to victims and is drawing up further measures to prevent such incidents happening again. He said:

“Rest assured. The Education Ministry will not let wrongdoers remain in education circles and ruin the reputation of other teachers and schools.”

Source: Bangkok Post

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