Educational seminar pushes rights for migrant children

Access to further education opportunities for migrant children was the subject of a seminar held in the Thai border town of Mae Sot this week.

The Thailand based educational organization, Bridging Education Access to Migrants (BEAM), and the Burma Migrant Teachers Association organized a seminar in Mae Sot on November 12 to look at the further education needs of children from Burma.

U Thein Win, the coordinator of BEAM spoke to Karen News.

“Migrant children living in Thailand don’t have clear access path for their study. Whether they study in Thai schools while they are living here or in Burma schools if they return to their country. The purpose of this seminar is to find the solutions to the problem.”

The one-day seminar was attended by 22 Burmese educational organizations, including members of community-based-organizations and from non-governmental-organizations in Thailand.

Dr Cynthia Maung, the founder of the Mae Tao Clinic and a committee member of the Child Development Center spoke at the seminar and said that there needs to be a long-term strategy and planning to grant genuine education rights for migrant children.

“We see only business cooperation among ASEAN countries. We need to keep trying to get rights for migrant workers and children.”

Saw Doh Doh, the secretary of the Karen Refugee Committee Education Entity – education sector of the Karen Refugee Committee – that is working on getting high school and post ten education in seven refugee camps on the Thai-Burma border said that their organization would adopt and implement the seminar’s recommendations.

This is the first time a seminar was held in Thailand to draft education policy for migrant children from Burma.

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