11 July 2024

The Secretary-General of the Child Protection Foundation in Thailand’s Samut Sakhon Province, Montri Sinthaweechai, aka “Khru Yun”, reported to the Amphawa district police today (Thursday), to acknowledge charges of assault and illegal use of child labour.

Montri was accompanied by his wife, their son and Kaewsan Atibodhi, president of the Child Protection Foundation, as well as Panus Tassaneeyanon, a former member of the Constitution drafting committee, acting as Montri’s advisor.

Montri told the media at the police station that he was not concerned over the charges against him, adding “don’t worry, everyone is performing their duty.”

It is alleged that some children at the foundation had been beaten and others were taken to work at the resort of Montri’s wife.

An Amphawa district police officer told Thai PBS Online yesterday that Montri had contacted the police, offering to report today to answer the charges that children under the care of the foundation had been assaulted by staff and some were taken to work at his wife’s resort.

Reporters had been waiting at the police station for Montri to show up. Some parents were seen taking their children back home this morning.

Meanwhile, permanent secretary for the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, Anukul Peedkaew, said that they are considering revoking the license of the foundation, adding that the first priority for the ministry must be to ensure the safety of the children there.

He said that the Samut Sakhon governor has the authority to close the foundation.

A 38-year-old woman, who stayed at the foundation’s child care centre when she was aged 12-18, said that she and her friends were never been caned by the staff there, adding that the punishments were warnings or being made to clear the drains at the foundation or collect garbage.

Some of the children told Thai PBS yesterday that they don’t want to remain at the foundation, but don’t know what to do, because they want to finish their studies.

Police went to the foundation yesterday to look for evidence.