Situation Analysis of Children and Women in Thailand 2011

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The well-being of children and women in Thailand has improved since UNICEF’s previous analysis of their situation was published in 2005. Poverty levels have continued to fall: the number of people living below the poverty line went from 28.4 per cent in 1992 to 8.1 per cent in 2009. Thailand also achieved the Millennium Development Goals well before the 2015 target date. Not everyone, however, has benefited equally from this progress and wide disparities in socio-economic indicators remain, with children often faring the worst. Poverty is widespread in the rural North-East, North and far South of the country. For instance, 13 per cent of the population in the North-East in 2007 were considered poor while in Narathiwat and Pattani, two predominantly Muslim provinces in the far South, 20 per cent and 19.7 per cent, respectively, of people were poor. In Bangkok, less than 2 per cent of people were living in poverty. Comparatively, the national average in 2009 was 7.7 per cent.  Among the most vulnerable are children of ethnic minorities, migrants, people who live in remote border areas and those who lack a nationality due to non-registration of their birth. Even as Thailand attains upper-middle income status, children and women still face a complex and inter-connected set of challenges. These include increasing disparities, the uneven quality of education, urbanization, the rapid ageing of the population, climate change, gender discrimination and the impact of migration. This report highlights those critical challenges that will need to be overcome in order to realize the national vision for children and their rights to development, protection and participation.

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