HOST International has invited the Royal Thai Department of Children and Youth (DCY) to Sydney and Melbourne to learn about the Australian service system for vulnerable migrants and displaced people.

The delegation from Thailand consists of heads of department, case managers and shelter staff who work within Bangkok and its surrounding areas.

Department of Human Services in Melbourne

HOST has been working with DCY to support the design and implementation of community-based protection for children in the context of migration in the Bangkok region.

The purpose of the visit is to provide an overview of the Australian service system for people needing protection and for the delegates to meet Australian representatives that are involved in the direct implementation of services for displaced people.

“Vulnerable migrants are still a relatively new topic in Thailand,” explained Ms Onnucha Mongkonrattanachat, Superintendent of Phayathai Babies Home at Thailand Department of Child and Youth.

“We are quite impressed with how organisations here in Australia value and respect the rights of displaced migrants. Visiting a range of government and non-government organisations has been an eye-opening experience in seeing how they help them resettle in a new country.”

The team will identify case management practices and resources in non-detention settings, as well as other key areas where they’d like to learn more about, such as protection around vulnerable migrants.

Earlier this year, seven government ministries signed the Memorandum of Understanding on the Determination of Measures and Approaches Alternative to Detention of Children in Immigration Detention Centres (MOU), with DCY being the primary government agency responsible for its effective implementation.

Thailand is also working towards developing their own domestic National Screening Mechanism. They have begun drafting legislation for this, where persons in need of protection would be given legal status and the right to remain temporarily within Thailand.

Centre for Multicultural Youth

“DCY advocates for the best interests of all children in Thailand, whether Thai nationals or migrants,” says Jason Spierings, Country Manager at HOST International Thailand, who accompanied the Thai delegates on their trip from Bangkok.

“Coming to Australia to observe the local system will play a role in how Thailand shapes the legislation for the screening mechanism to ensure the protection of children.”

HOST International is working collaboratively in partnership with DCY and other government entities to ensure successful implementation of the MOU.