By Wannapa Phetdee
A series of special reports by the Kom Chad Luek newspaper has bagged the Best Child Rights Reporting Award 2007 from the Media Development Foundation of Thailand's Isra Institute.
The winner is entitled to a Bt50,000 cash prize and an honour plaque, under the support of Unicef Thailand. The awards presentation took place at the Century Park Hotel.
"The Kom Chad Luek editorial desk will use this Bt50,000 to establish a fund for teenage mothers in slum communities," Punnee Amornviputpanich of the special reports desk said upon receiving the award.
The fund will provide interest-free loans to teen mothers so that they can start a business or buy milk for their children, Punnee said.
The award-winning series, titled "Problems of Teen Mothers Abandoned in Slums throughout Bangkok" tells of problems facing teen mothers in slum communities across Bangkok. The special report with seven chapters ran in Kom Chad Luek from May to June. Its first chapter was also published in The Nation.
As a result, there was collaboration between organisations and foundations to assist those young parents after some chapters have been published.
Both dailies are part of the Nation Multimedia Group (NMG).
"I've decided to cover these problems to reflect them in public for I felt slums' teenagers having children were too young to look after their children while they themselves were facing problems, too," Punnee said. "I don't want others in society just think they are pitiable and that don't further how they would help them."
"People obtain information in regards to child's rights from the media what children have as their rights, such as labour children protection and sexual violation protection, but only minority of them truly realise child's rights," she said, adding that she wanted people to prevent those children's rights as they protect their own rights.
In addition, Punnee received two awards in the past. She got outstanding news for her news relating aids in 2004. Another was consolation prize of environmental conservation news in 2006 for her news uncovering huge ornamental fish trade, which thousands of those fish were killed during its transportation.