Computer Violation Act – 23 August 2008
The Computer Violation Act, which took effect on 23 August 2008, requires internet service providers, businesses, schools, hotels, banks, government agencies, apartment and residential complexes, Internet cafes and game shops to retain Internet traffic data of users for a period of 90 days so that police are able to track down persons engaged in cyber crime. Internet cafés are mandated to collect the identity of computer users, log in time, and websites visited.
The Act also requires that all companies engaged in commercial and business services through use of computer systems set their computers to Thai Standard Time (TST), the official national time, which is 7 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). According to media sources, instructions for setting computers to TST can be found at www.navy.mi.th/hydro/time
Violators of the new Act face a fine of between 100,000 to 500,000 baht.
Anti-Human Trafficking Act 2008 – 8 June 2008
The 2008 Anti-Human Trafficking Act, which took effect on 8 June 2008, replaced the 1997 Measures in Prevention and Suppression of Trafficking in Women and Children Act, which protected the rights of women and children specifically. The new Act covers all persons.
The Act also attempts to prevent and suppress various activities related to human trafficking, namely the attaining and trafficking of persons in and out of Thailand for prostitution, slave labour, begging, organ amputation for profit, or other forms of exploitation.
The new law affords the establishment of a fund to prevent, suppress, and aid victims of trafficking.
Penalties under the new Act are more severe than under the former Act. Any person found guilty will be subject to imprisonment of 4 to 10 years and fined between 80,000 - 200,000 baht. The trafficking of children under 15 carries harsher penalties.
New Grounds for Divorce – 1 April 2008
Promulgation of the Civil and Commercial Code (16) B.E. 2550 (A.D.2007)
The Civil and Commercial Code has undergone revision related to grounds for divorce in Thailand, granting equal treatment under law for both men and women. The National Legislative Assembly promulgated the new law on 30 August 2550.
Section 1516 (1): A husband or wife that provides maintenance or honors another person as a spouse in an adulterous relationship, or has committed fornication with the person as a practice, may be subject to Thailand divorce proceedings on the part of the other spouse.
Alien Worker Act B.E. 2551 (2008) – 2 May 2008
The new Act, specifying alien work permit conditions and fees in Thailand, was announced in the Royal Gazette on 22 February 2008.
The following are some key provisions of the New Act:
• The new Act imposes a fine ranging from 2,000 to 100,000 baht upon a violating [foreign] employee, increased from 5,000 baht, and/or a five-year term of imprisonment, increased from three years.
• An employer hiring an alien without a work permit will face a fine of 10,000 to 100,000 baht, although the former three-year imprisonment has been eliminated.
• Labour officials are authorized to arrest (without a warrant) any alien suspected of working without a work permit.
• The new law will allow any alien worker who pleads guilty and voluntarily leaves Thailand within 30 days to be fined without a trial.
• A work permit of up to two years may be granted instead of one year under the old law.
• A work permit will no longer be tied to the duration of stay that is stamped on an alien's passport. In other words, work permit holders who do not have a one-year duration of stay will not need to keep extending their work permits by leaving and returning to Thailand on a "visa runs."
• The new work permit fee is 20,000 baht. Annual renewal will cost the same. In addition, any employer applying to hire alien employees who are not deemed skilled or expert will be charged a 10,000 baht fee per alien
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