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Thailand in the 21st Century: Discriminatory Policies and Cultural Practices Force Tens of Thousands of ‘khun mae wai sai’ to Leave School Each Year

Kateratorn, Juthaporn

The purpose of this study was to explore the roles of educational policies and cultural practices in limiting opportunities and violating rights of pregnant and parenting school-aged adolescents in Thailand. Cultural attitudes continue to play an important role in restricting khun mae wai sai’s [adolescent mothers] right to equal educational opportunity. Analysis of the study was based on a close examination of past and existing policies regarding school-aged adolescent mothers in conjunction with major themes uncovered from in-depth personal interviews with various stakeholders. A total of thirty one individuals from three major ministries overseeing the issue of adolescent pregnancy participated: principals and teachers, government officials, and NGOs workers were interviewed in Bangkok and other nearby provinces. Policies and programs aimed at preventing unintended adolescent pregnancies and/or providing protection for adolescent mothers and their babies that have been successfully implemented in other countries were identified and suggested for possible implementation in Thailand. The result of this study suggests that the Thai government along with the help from other stakeholders are crucial to guarantee that the educational rights of pregnant and parenting adolescents and their children are protected and realized.

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Academic Units
Institute for the Study of Human Rights
Thesis Advisors
Holland, Tracey M.
Degree
M.A., Columbia University
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