This profile was prepared when Khemporn Wiroonrapun was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2002.
The New Idea
An experienced advocate for child workers in Thailand, Khemporn is exposing the growing, yet overlooked, problem of immigrant child labor and debt-bondage. Because illegal immigrants lack protection from the Thai government, they face greater discrimination and more adverse circumstances than Thai workers. Khemporn and her staff at the Bangkok-based Foundation for Child Development reach children directly through prevention, rescue, rehabilitation, and repatriation. Additionally, FCD partners with government agencies, lawyers, national and regional civil society and youth development organizations, and the media to develop effective responses to this issue in Thailand and in neighboring countries. By documenting case studies, collecting and analyzing data, and uncovering migration trends and causes, Khemporn is deepening the public's understanding of the complex set of circumstances that give rise to immigrant child labor and debt-bondage.