Activist charged with assault and child exploitation

Secretary-general of the Amphawa district Child Protection Foundation in Samut Sakhon Montree Sinthawichai, his wife and son, met police investigators at Amphawa district police station today to hear charges against them.

Montree, better known as Khru Yun, is accused of assaulting children and using child labour.

Previously, activists from the Zendai Foundation took children under Montree’s care to file a police complaint against him, accusing him of beating children under his care and making them work at a resort run by his wife.

The allegations prompted the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security to take the children into its care and to set up an investigation.

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Montree smiled and showed no signs of stress when he turned up at the police station on Thursday. He spoke briefly with reporters, saying everyone was just doing their duty.

It has been reported that parents had gone to the foundation to pick up their children when news of the allegations broke.

Samut Sakhon deputy governor Sirisak Sirimangkhala said the Child Protection Foundation’s licence would expire in January. He will recommend to the governor that it not be renewed.

A 38-year-old woman, who stayed at the foundation’s child care centre when she was aged 12-18, said that she and her friends were never been caned by the staff there, adding that the punishments were warnings or being made to clear the drains at the foundation or collect garbage.

Some of the children told Thai PBS yesterday that they don’t want to remain at the foundation, but don’t know what to do, because they want to finish their studies.

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Jon Whitman

Jon Whitman is a seasoned journalist and author who has been living and working in Asia for more than two decades. Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, Jon has been at the forefront of some of the most important stories coming out of China in the past decade. After a long and successful career in East sia, Jon is now semi-retired and living in the Outer Hebrides. He continues to write and is an avid traveller and photographer, documenting his experiences across the world.

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