The information below is based on the Report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict (A/70/836–S/2016/360) issued on 20 April 2016.
Violence in southern Thailand continued, notwithstanding the reinitiation of dialogue between the Government and an umbrella organization of armed groups.
Although no cases of recruitment and use of children were reported, according to information provided by the Government, an armed group trained children as young as 13 years of age in the use of weapons in Narathiwat Province early in January 2016. The United Nations continued to receive reports of children being detained for alleged association with armed groups.
The United Nations received reports of the killing of 4 children and the injury of 15 in shootings and improvised explosive device attacks in Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala Provinces. This is a significant decrease compared with 2014 (23 children killed and 65 injured).
Schools and education personnel continued to be targeted by armed groups. According to the Ministry of Education, as at November, two teachers and a student had been killed, and a teacher and two students injured, in such attacks. In addition, on 11 September, a bomb attack at the entrance of a community school in Pattani Province injured five students between 3 and 15 years of age; a criminal investigation is continuing. The authorities have provided security escorts to teachers in affected areas.
I welcome and encourage the continuing dialogue between the Government and the United Nations country team on strengthening the protection of children in the southern border provinces and on access to those areas to conduct independent verification and reporting of alleged violations against children. In December, during a consultation on the dialogue process, convened by the Internal Security Operation Command for Southern Thailand, civil society organizations and the United Nations raised the need to include children in the agenda of the dialogue process to strengthen their protection in the south, which I strongly support.