11 July 2024

It is time for Thailand to work harder to ensure a brighter and more equitable future for every child, according UNICEF Thailand in its latest report titled “UNICEF Thailand’s Seven Asks for the General Elections #VoteForEveryChild”.

UNICEF released the report in anticipation of the general election in Thailand, expected in May. It highlights seven pressing issues that affect the lives and well-being of children in the country and calls on political parties and decision-makers to prioritise these areas.

The issues include accessible, affordable and quality childcare services for all children under three years old, transforming education to equip children with relevant competencies and skills for the 21st century, universalisation of the Child Support Grant, addressing the needs of young people not in employment, education or training (NEET), inclusive services for children with disabilities, ensuring online safety for children and increasing investment in the social service workforce.

These issues are becoming even more critical as Thailand’s population is aging rapidly and birth rates are declining, the paper said. By 2045, Thailand’s age dependency ratio is projected to exceed 50%, making it imperative to invest in children and young people, to equip them with the skills and resources they need to lead the country towards a peaceful, equitable, sustainable and prosperous society in the future.

Kyungsun Kim, UNICEF Representative for Thailand, stressed that the upcoming election is a unique opportunity to shape a vision of a better Thailand, where children can thrive. “Ensuring every child reaches their full potential is imperative, no matter who they are or where they come from,” Kim said.

“It is time for us all, including all political parties and decision-makers, to stand up for a brighter and more equitable future for every child,” she added.

The report provides facts and figures, as well as recommendations in various areas to address these pressing issues. UNICEF Thailand hopes that the seven agenda for children will inspire political parties and decision-makers to prioritise the well-being of children and create a fair chance for every child in Thailand.