Indonesia Criminalizes Polygamy as Thailand Prohibits Adultery

by Admin on May 9, 2023

The new criminal code in Indonesia, which will come into effect in three years, forbids extramarital sex and cohabitation. The new law applies to all nationals, foreigners, and visitors inclusively. Travelers to Indonesia are unaffected by the new law for the most part as prosecution would necessitate a charge by the parents, children, or husband or wife of the accused couple. Couples having extramarital sex are liable to imprisonment for one year or less and cohabitation is prosecuted by imprisonment for six months or less.

Thailand formerly has a tradition of  so-called “minor wives”, and ancient Thai law allowed for polygamy.  However, under current Thai law, polygamy is illegal, and adultery is a ground (reason) for divorce.  Thai law as specified in Section 1516 of the Thailand Civil and Commercial Code forbids adultery and regular sexual intercourse by a spouse with a person other than their wife or husband. Therefore, adultery is a legal cause for divorce in Thailand. This is especially strict for the Royal Thai Police and the Royal Thai Army who give heavy sanctions to members who committed adultery. The husband or wife of such members would be entitled to alimony. Another organization with harsh rules on adultery is the Civil Service Commission where its employees risk dismissal if it is found that they are adulterous.

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