Parliament has voted against the Move Forward Party (MFP)’s proposal to establish an ad hoc committee to ensure the right to education for non-Thai students without civil registration.
On 18 October 2023, Parliament voted to reject the MFP proposal, by 245 out of 410 votes. The proposal aimed to establish an ad hoc committee to consider approaches for overseeing education for stateless students in Thailand. Parliament agreed to transfer the issue to other standing committees instead.
The MFP 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 criticism concerning children’s rights.
The MFP 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 it.
In Thailand, G-codes have been developed to assign identification numbers to non-Thai students who are not in the civil registration system. The system is applicable solely within the educational system.
Based on 2019 data, of 300,000 students born to migrant workers, around 100,000 were attending school, indicating that a significant number remain without access education.
Paramee Waichongcharoen, the MFP MP who proposed the committee, noted that the G-code student system involves many agencies, including the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security and the Ministry of Interior.
The establishment of an ad hoc committee is needed to bring together officials and experts from different ministries and agencies to discuss the matter jointly.
Paremee elaborated that not only migrant or stateless students are issued G-codes, but also some Thai students. Children with G-Codes are entitled only to the right to education, not other rights, such as the right to healthcare.
Significantly, these children are not allowed to leave their designated area without permission from the police. Unfortunately, many have been exploited when they need to leave their area, and some girls have been sexually harassed in exchange for permission to leave.
“These are diverse issues that we want to resolve, but we have been blocked for unknown reasons,” said Paramee.