Development and Education Programme for Daughters and Communities

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Development and Education Programme for Daughters and Communities (DEPDC) is a non-profit, community based NGO (non-governmental organization) working in Thailand to prevent child exploitation and prostitution and defending vulnerable minor's rights. The DEP, later the DEPDC, was originally founded in 1988 by Sampop Jantraka,[1] as a response to the practice of selling young children into the sex industry. Women and children of Thai nationality are being increasingly victimized, but additionally and especially vulnerable to this type of exploitation are children of refugee, or "stateless", status, who have no citizenship and therefore no access to education, health care or legitimate work opportunities. The DEPDC offers free education, vocational training and full-time accommodation for young girls and boys, and helps combat human trafficking in the Mekong Sub-Region.[2]

Founder Sompap Jantraka has been twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work. He grew up impoverished in Southern Thailand. In 1988, while working to identify why women and children went into prostitution, he decided that working to eliminate this epidemic was to be his life goal.[citation needed] He used the money that he earned as a researcher to pay families of girls that would have otherwise been sent to a life of sexual slavery, but instead were allowed to stay home and obtain their education.

The DEPDC's stated mission is to "aim to instill self-confidence and positive attitudes among the children as well as improve the material, social, and spiritual quality of life for these children and their communities." [3]

The projects of association are sponsored and supported by ILO, UNICEF, USAID, Oxfam Netherlands and others. In addition, The Thailand Project: Higher Education as Humanitarian Aid [4] proposes to partner non-governmental organizations with American universities with the goal of offering educational opportunities to stateless young women like those who attended DEPDC in order to give these individuals the tools to return to their home country and work to combat the conditions that cause child exploitation and prostitution.

DEPDC originally started in 1989 by helping nineteen girls; their program has now expanded to helping over 400 girls find alternatives to entering the sex trade. DEPDC works with community leaders to identify which girls are going to be at a higher level of risk to enter the sex trade, they then work with the family to gain their trust and support. Gaining the family’s trust and support is crucial to the success of the girls; however, they program does offer alternative living arrangements for girls that are not allowed to stay with their family.

References[edit]

  • Participation and Learning: Perspectives on Education and the Environment, Health and Sustainability; Alan Reid, Bjarne Bruun Jensen, Jutta Nikel, Venka Simovska, page 27
  • Child labour in a globalized world: a legal analysis of ILO action; Giuseppe Nesi, Luca Nogler, Marco Pertile, page 381
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  • Trafficking of human beings from a human rights perspective: towards a holistic approach; Tom Obokata, page 59
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  • Combating trafficking in South-East Asia:a review of policy and programme responses; Annuska Derks, International Organization for Migration, page 35
  • Community action on HIV for Indian NGOs; Debabrata Roy, Voluntary Health Association of India, page 70
  • To Japan and back:Thai women recount their experiences; Therese M. Caouette, Yuriko Saito, International Organization for Migration, Mekong Study Centre 1999, page 11
  • The bulletin, Volumes 6036-6044; J. Haynes and J.F. Archibald, 1996, page 69
  • En route pour l'Asie:Le rêve oriental chez les colonisateurs, les aventuriers et les touristes occidentaux; Franck Michel; L'Harmattan, 2001, page 174
  • My name Lon, you like me?: a true story; Derek Sharron, page 198
  • Directory of support groups for migrant women workers and trafficked women and children in South and Southeast Asia (1999); Global Alliance against Traffic in Women, Asian Migrant Centre (Hong Kong), 1999

External links[edit]