Abandonment of Children

by Admin on April 18, 2013

Visitors to Thailand, and especially Bangkok, are often struck by the number of people who appear to be homeless.  The major streets of Bangkok have panhandlers, many of whom are children.  There are several possible reasons why people might be begging in Thailand.  Not all are Thai nationality. Some may be working in organized gangs.  However, many of the children seen begging, or living on the street, have been abandoned or orphaned1.

Thai society has historically had a problem with abandonment of children. Abandonment stems from many problems, including undesired pregnancies out of wedlock, family problems and more. Parents who abandon a child do have other options.   There are governments and private sponsored faculties for children who need care.  However, many parents do not avail themselves of these services and the children end up on the street.  Parents who abandon children are committing an offense under Thai criminals law.  The Thailand law sates as follows:

1)      Criminal code Section 306 : Whoever, abandons a child not over nine years of age in any place, with intent to wholly abandon such child in a manner so that such child shall be without a person to take care of, shall be punished with imprisonment not exceeding three years or fined not exceeding six thousand Baht, or both.

Section 307: Whoever, to have the duty according to the law or the have the contract taking care of the person in the helpless condition through age, because of sickness, infirmity in body or mind, abandoning such person in the manner likely to endanger his or her life, shall be imprisoned out of three years or fined not out of six thousand Baht, or both.

Section 308: If the commission of the offence according to Section 306 or Section 307 causes death or grievous bodily harm to the abandoned person, the offender shall be punished as provided in Section 290, Section 297 or Section 298.

2)      CHILD PROTECTION ACT, B.E. 2546 (2003) Section 25: Guardians of a child are forbidden to act as follows:

(1) Abandon a child at a nursery or health care facility, or with a person employed to look after the child, or at a public place or any other place, with the intention of not taking him or her back;

(2) Neglect a child at any place without arranging for appropriate safety protection or care;

(3) Deliberately or neglectfully withhold from a child things that are necessary for sustaining the child’s life or health, to an extent which seems likely to cause physical or mental harm to the child;

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Section 26: Under the provisions of other laws, regardless of a child’s consent, a person is forbidden to act as follows: (2) Intentionally or neglectfully withhold things that are necessary for sustaining the life or health of a child under guardianship, to the extent which would be likely to cause physical or mental harm to the child ;

If the offences under paragraph one carry heavier penalties under other law, penalties under such law shall be imposed.

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