MFP proposes ad hoc committee for migrant students’ access to education

Cover photo: MFP's media team

Move Forward Party (MFP) MPs have proposed the establishment of an ad hoc committee for migrant students without civil registration, aiming to address the problem of their lack of access to education.

On 10 August 2023, a group of MFP MPs, led by Natthawut Buaprathum and Paramee Waichongcharoen, announced the Party’s proposal for an ad hoc committee to oversee educational strategies for migrant children who lack civil registration or Thai nationality.

The proposal stems from a case involving 126 Myanmarese students who were discovered at a school in Ang Thong Province. They were repatriated to Myanmar by the Thai authorities, sparking criticisms concerning children’s rights.

Natthawut, MP for Ang Thong Province, stated that it was revealed that the school where these students were studying was unable to issue G-codes that have been developed to assign identification numbers for students without civil registration, as all of the students came from neighbouring countries.

He stated that it is necessary to consider this case as a lesson learned regarding whether children's rights, the principles of the Education for All policy, and government policies on the need to respect stateless people were violated or not.

He said the Party expects parliament to expedite consideration of this issue and hopes to gain support from other parties.

Natthawut highlighted the importance of revealing the exact number of children unable to access the education system and lacking G-Codes. Children with G-codes are required to declare their legal status. But it has been found that out of over 90,000 people with G-codes, only around 30,000 have proceeded to register for their 13-digit identification numbers.

He remarked that the Party is determined to push for the establishment of an ad hoc committee, promoting a policy to grant legal status or Thai citizenship to those who rightfully deserve them.

MFP MP Paramee stated that the party reached a consensus that a systemic and sustainable solution is essential. Currently, even the exact number of children with G-codes remains uncertain, and the relevant agencies are unable to provide answers.

Based on information from 2019, of 300,000 students born to migrant workers in Thailand, around 100,000 with G-Codes were attending schools, showing that a significant number remain unable to access education. The establishment of the ad hoc committee will help obtain precise figures and identify responsible agencies.

MFP MP Manop Keereepuwadol, who chairs the Party’s network on ethnic minorities and indigenous people, stated that while waiting for the establishment of the ad-hoc committee, the Party will address these concerns. He noted that those who are facing problems with their personal status and citizenship can seek assistance from the Party.

Last month, despite objections from several organisations, government authorities, led by Deputy National Police Commissioner Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn, insisted on deporting the students to Myanmar, forcing them to leave the school. At the same time, legal action was initiated against the school director for illegally bringing migrants into the country.

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