More than 19,000 children - up to 52 a day - were taken to hospital in 2013 for physical and sexual abuse, a study by the Public Health Ministry has found. The study was cited at the launch on Monday of a new campaign to boost awareness on the adverse impact violence has on children.
The "End Violence against Children" campaign, launched by United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) and the Social Development and Human Security Ministry, urges parents, guardians, teachers and ordinary people to change their attitude and stop all forms of violence against youngsters. The campaign also highlights positive discipline as an approach to raising children.
The campaign, conducted under the slogan "Parenting without Violence", is also introducing the concept of "CUTE" - confidence, understanding, trust and empathy - as a way of caring for children.
In addition to the Public Health Ministry's study, which collected data from 631 hospitals in 2013, the campaign also highlighted several other studies led by Unicef Thailand that prove that children regularly face violence at home, school, care centres and juvenile centres.
One study found that more than 50 per cent of the Thai children surveyed had experienced some form of violent punishment by their parents, caretakers or teachers.
Many children suffered injuries and often believed that it was their fault.
Often accepted by adults, kids
Bijaya Rajbhandari, Unicef Thailand's representative, said: "Violence against children continues because it is often accepted by adults and the children as part of life.
"Violence against children is a serious problem in our society.
"It doesn't only harm the well-being of children, but it also undermines the productivity and prosperity of the country as a whole."
Violence affects children's physical and mental health in many ways.
Those who have suffered from violence have an increased risk of mental health disorders, depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicide, he said.
Violence impairs their ability to learn and socialise and increases the chance of them engaging in risky sexual behaviour and becoming violent adults, he pointed out.