Holding Hands Year 5 (the 4th batch)
Youth short films to create understanding towards the problems of child labor in Thailand Friends Without Borders Foundation
Supported by International Labour Organization
Friends Without Borders Foundation, established in 1999, is a Thai non-governmental organization that works to promote a peaceful society of diversity that respects human rights of all indigenous peoples, migrant workers and refugees in Thailand. The main programs are alternative media production and human rights & communication capacities building for local communities and Thai youth.
In 2010, the Foundation initiated a project called, “Holding Hands”, which aims to promote friendship and cooperation between the youth of different backgrounds, film directors, communication arts academics and media to produce digital films that promote human rights in Thailand. In the first year, The Foundation worked with Chiang Mai Rajapat University and Extra Virgin Co,ltd. In 2011, Holding Hands project committee was established with representatives from the National Human Rights Commission, Thai Director's Association, Thai Film Foundation, Film Archive and ThaiPBS. The project continued to 2012 and for the 2013 Holding Hands project, the Center for Ethnic Studies and Development, Chiang Mai University worked with the Foundation to support groups of ethnic youth to tell their stories via short films. By the beginning of 2014, Holding Hands has supported 28 youth short films, 12 short films done by professionals and one documentary. Some of them are shown and awarded in national and international film festival and television channels including local cable channels.
In 2014, the Foundation works with the International Labour Organization (ILO), Maha Sarakham University and Rangsit University for a campaign to end the use of child labour under 15 years of age and to protect child workers aged between 15-18 years so that they work in proper conditions according to international standards and Thai laws.
The use of child labor from neighboring countries is one of the human rights concerns that Thai society do not aware and clearly understand; some understand that children are forbidden to work at all. In fact, child labor does not include children who learn occupational skills by practicing, or help their parents work during free time. Moreover, the society does not aware of or pay attention to the problems being faced by migrant children.
The use of child labour under 15 years of age is also considered trafficking in persons. The US Trafficking in Persons reports during 2011-2013 categorize Thailand in the Tier 2 Watch List , which means the country that has not had spend efforts to conform with minimum standards on the elimination of human trafficking. Recently, the US Ministry of Labour present the list of goods that were produced by child labour and forced labor, which include fish, shrimp, garments, sugarcane and pornography in Thailand. It should be noted that most of these child labour and forced labour are migrants from neighboring countries.