FIRST DRAFT, LETTER OF COMPLAINT:
Dear ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights,70A, JI. Sisingamangaraja, Jakarta 12110, Indonesia
I am an English teacher from America.
For the past year and a half, I have been employed at _________ School on ______ Road in _________, Thailand.
I wish to lodge a formal complaint on behalf of my students regarding consistent and ongoing breeches of their legal rights and human rights at the hands of their teachers, the administration of the school, the educational ministries, and the municipal law enforcement authorities.
Corporal punishment is forbidden by law in Thailand, and yet my students have been and are continuing to be subjected to ongoing, illegal and systematic beatings, with no accountability whatsoever by the school administration for teachers who are breaking the law.
Please find enclosed video evidence of 5 teachers subjecting students to illegal physical beatings, as well as a comprehensive list of instances of illegal actions precipitated by teachers which I, according to sworn testimony, have witnessed personally.
I am appealing to you because the school administration seems to have no interest in reigning in physical brutality against children and ongoing assaults perpetrated against students.
The teachers of the school are belligerently committed to conducting themselves unprofessionally and with contempt towards
their students and the law. I was personally informed by an administrator
“The teachers don’t agree with the law, so they don’t follow it.”
And the local police, to whom I have formally complained on August 14, 2013, seem to be unable to curb the ongoing assaults against students
taking place on a continuous daily basis.
The failure of all parties listed herein to protect these children from illegal and ongoing assault constitutes a breech and violation of the General Principles of the ASEAN Charter on Human Rights, sections 2-5 entitling them to equal protection under the law, as corporal punishment is formally illegal in Thailand per Ministry of Education Regulation on Student Punishment (2005) and the National Committee on Child Protection Regulation on Working Procedures of Child Protection Officers Involved in Promoting Behavior of Students (2005), as well as pursuant to article 65 of Thailand’s Child Protection Act..
Continued subjection to physical assaults at the hands of teachers who have outright contempt for the statutory law, also violates the ASEAN Charter on
Human Rights section under Civil and Political Rights, section 14 which states that
“No person shall be subject to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
Public displays of Corporal punishment also breaches the ASEAN Declaration of Human Rights, regarding Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, section 27 subsection 3 which states that
“No child or any young person shall be subjected to … social exploitation”
Wherein students both who are subject to physical assault, and those who are not subjected directly to physical punishment are nevertheless still forced to witness these ongoing criminal actions on the part of their ostensible teachers.
Further violations such as these physical assaults listed herein, include breach of ASEAN Declaration of Human Rights, section 29, subsection 1, which states
“Every person has the right to the highest attainable standard of physical [and] mental …health.”
Furthermore, these instances of corporal punishment violate ASEAN Declaration of Human Rights Section 31, subsection 3, which states that
“Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and the sense of his or her dignity. Education shall strengthen the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in ASEAN Member States. Furthermore, education shall enable all persons to participate effectively in their respective societies.”
Finally, the subjection of students to corporal punishment, while not only violating Thai statutory law and the ASEAN Declaration of Human Rights, additionally violates the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child, to which the country of Thailand became a party on 2 September 1990, and which states in Article 19
“Article 19 (Protection from all forms of violence):
Children have the right to be protected from being hurt and mistreated, physically or mentally. Governments should ensure that children are properly cared for and protect them from violence, abuse and neglect by their parents, or anyone else who looks after them. In terms of discipline, the Convention does not specify what forms of punishment parents should use. However any form of discipline involving violence is
unacceptable. There are ways to discipline children that are effective in helping children learn about family and social expectations for their behaviour – ones that are non-violent…”
Failure of the administration of the aforementioned school, the teachers employed therein, as well as the local municipal authorities to (1) uphold and abide by the statutory law, (2) adhere to the standards set forth in the ASEAN Declaration on Human Rights constitutes a serious and ongoing violation of the students enrolled in __________School.
Therefore I urgently request your assistance in addressing these violations as expeditiously and effectively as possible.
cc: Asian Commission on Human Rights
cc: Offices of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra
cc: United Nations, UNICEF
cc: Offices of Provincial Government
cc: Offices of Municipal Government
cc: All relevant Print, Broadcast and Online media outlets
cc: Thailand Ministry of Education