Having a child is a dream come true for others, it completes their life and their family. However, life is not always perfect for others. Going to the mall and losing your child even just for a minute can wreak havoc on someone’s life, what more if your child was abducted and taken away from you for an uncertain number of days, it could potentially break the parents of the child.
Child Abduction seems surreal but it does happen in real life, and when it does, we have the Police and the law to rely on. Thailand has enacted a law to protect children especially in such cases where the lives of the minors are put in danger or the same situation.
Child Abduction is a serious offence and is penalized under the Thai Criminal Law, Section 313 which states:
“Whoever, in order to obtain a ransom:
1. Takes away a child not yet over fifteen years of age;
2. Takes away a person over fifteen years of age by using deceitful means, threat, doing any act of violence, unjust influence or mode of coercion by any other means; or
3. Restrains or detains any person, shall be punished with imprisonment of fifteen to twenty years and fined of thirty thousand to forty thousand Baht, or imprisonment for life, or death.
If the commission of the offence according to the first paragraph causes grievous bodily harm to such person taken away, restrained or detained, or is by acts of torture or hardly cruelty so as to cause bodily harm or mental harm to such person, the offender shall be punished with death or imprisonment for life. If the commission of such offence causes death to the person taken away, restrained, or detained, the offender shall be punished with death.”
Such accomplices or intermediaries of the person who abducted the child shall also be penalized under the following sections of the Thai Criminal Law:
“Whoever, to be a supporter to the commission of the offence according to Section 313, shall be liable to the same punishment as a principal in such offence.”
“Whoever, to act as the intermediary person, to demanding, accepting or agreeing to accept any property or benefit to which not to be entitled from the offender under Section 313 or from the person who will give the ransom, shall be imprisoned as from fifteen years to twenty years and fined as from thirty thousand Baht to forty thousand Baht, or life imprisonment.”
When spouses have mutually divorced or separated sometimes the custody of the child is divided equally to both parents. However, there are cases where one parent takes the child away without the consent of the other parent. If a parent abducts his or her own child it shall not be considered a criminal offence, thus it will be trialed as a civil matter between the parents.
The Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (HCCH 1980 Child Abduction Convention) is a multilateral treaty, which seeks to protect children from the harmful effects of wrongful removal and retention across international boundaries by providing a procedure to bring about their prompt return and ensuring the protection of rights of access. The "Child Abduction Section" provides information about the operation of the Convention and the work of the Hague Conference in monitoring its implementation and promoting international cooperation in the area of child abduction.
Thailand, parental child abduction is not a criminal offence. It is considered to be a dispute between the parents and a civil matter to be settled by a court of law. Thailand has signed the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of Child Abduction.
If your country is a signatory to the Hague Convention, then, the convention may work and take effect, however, if your country is not a signatory to the Hague Convention e.g. the United Kingdom, then it cannot operate between the two countries.
No one should be subjected to the torture of losing your child even for a minute. Juslaws & Consult have experienced lawyers who have handled child abduction and child custody cases.
Our service is not limited to Child Abduction cases, we can also provide further assistance with other legal matters and we are confident that we will be able to assist you with your legal needs. If you have any questions or inquiries do not hesitate to contact us and we will be more than happy to assist you.