Cooperation between Kesko and Plan helps children of migrant families to school in Thailand

Kesko and child rights organization Plan International Finland are cooperating to improve the responsibility of the fishing industry and the situation of migrant workers in Thailand. As a part of the project already 60 children from migrant families have been able to start school.

The public schools in Thailand started their semester in the beginning of May. It was an important step for 60 children of migrant workers from Cambodia, who were able to attend school in Thailand for the first time.

In the spring 2015 as a part of a project supported by Kesko, Plan founded two learning centers in the Rayong and Trat provinces where many migrant workers from Cambodia live. Generally the children of these families don’t attend school and instead help their parents fishing, processing fish and doing housework. Many of the migrant workers are undocumented.

The learning centers give the children of migrant families skills they need in the public schools in Thailand, and support the children to continue their studies. The students are aged 4-14 and receive education according to their age level in Khmer and Thai language, English and Math.

In the Trat province, the Plan workers helped 50 children from the learning center to apply for public school, and everybody was accepted. In the Rayong province 100 students handed in their applications, but only 10 were accepted due to tough competition and full classes. The rest of the children continue to study in the learning centers, and the Plan workers are striving to get them in to public schools at soon as possible.

"We are happy that thanks to our cooperation tens and in the future hundreds of children will be able to attend school and learn important skills instead of child labour", says Ossi Heinänen, Secretary General at Plan International Finland.

"We have a duty to take responsibility for human rights and especially child rights in the supply chain for our products. It is great to see that with the help of Plan employees this many children of migrant workers have been given the opportunity to attend school", says Matti Kalervo,Vice President for Corporate Responsibility at Kesko.

Kesko and Plan International Finland implement the project in cooperation with Plan International Sweden as a part of a bigger project in Thailand and Cambodia funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency SIDA.

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