An 11-year-old Thai girl married in June to a Malaysian man 30 years her senior was brought back to Thailand with her parents this week, where they will receive government support services until the girl reaches age 16, a Thai official said Friday.
The governor of Narathiwat province in Thailand’s mostly Muslim Deep South appeared to be trying to calm international outrage that ensued after the man’s second wife shared information about the marriage on Facebook in June. But he stopped short of declaring the marriage void, saying its status would be assessed five years from now.
“The girl and her parents crossed back to the province and officials under the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security are taking care of their mental and emotional needs,” Narathiwat Gov. Suraporn Prommul told BenarNews Friday.
He said the family was now staying at a ministry facility where doctors, psychologists, social workers and others were treating them and helping them find education and work opportunities.
“Into the future, we look to improve their livelihood, education and mental wellbeing,” Suraporn said. “Because the girl did not have compulsory basic education like others, the government sector must find a solution for her and enable her to live a normal life.”
Full story: BenarNews
Matahari Ismail and Mariyam Ahmad
Narathiwat and Pattani, Thailand
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