Child rights advocate on child labour charge

Montree “Khru Yun” Sinthawichai, secretary-general of the Child Protection Foundation in Amphawa district of Samut Sakhon, reports to police to hear two charges on Thursday. (TV capture)

A prominent child rights advocate accused of physically assaulting children and using child labour reported to police in Samut Sakhon to hear the charges on Thursday.

Montree Sinthawichai, known as Khru Yun, is secretary-general of the Child Protection Foundation in Amphawa district of Samut Sakhon.

He, his wife and their son met police investigators at Amphawa district police station to acknowledge charges of child assault and using child labour.

Mr Montree hit the headlines when activists from the Zendai Foundation took children to file a police complaint against him.

He has been accused of assaulting children under his care and taking them to work at a resort run by his wife.

The allegations prompted the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security to take children into its care and to set up a fact-finding committee to investigate the Child Protection Foundation.

Mr Montree smiled and showed no signs of worry when arriving at the police station on Thursday. He spoke only briefly with reporters, saying everyone was just doing their duty.

Thai media reported that some parents arrived at his foundation in Amphawa district to pick up their children following news of the allegations. 

Samut Sakhon deputy governor Sirisak Sirimangkhala said the Interior Ministry had the authority to examine the registration of foundations. Provincial authorities were tasked with renewing operating permits of child welfare centres in the province annually.

The Child Protection Foundation’s licence expires in January, he said. He would recommend to the governor that it not be renewed. 

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