Having a child is a dream come true for most people; it completes their life and their family. However, life is not always perfect. 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 minors are put in danger.
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:
Section 314 “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.”
Section 315 “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 divorced or separated, custody of the child is sometimes divided equally between both parents. However, there are cases where one parent takes the child away without the other parent's consent. If a parent abducts his or her own child, it shall not be considered a criminal offense; thus, it will be trialed as a civil matter between the parents. Only where sole custody is involved can the police step in, and criminal law be enforced.
If the child was abducted in another country, the parent first needs to establish lawful custody of the child in a Thailand court and then obtain a court order to get the child back from the other parent in Thailand.
There are several elements to consider in cases of international child abduction, and one of those considerations should definitely be the Hague abduction convention. This is arguably one of the most important civil aspects of international child abduction.
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. In 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.
Kidnapping is probably the worst fear for most persons, especially so if their child is the one abducted. When seeking legal assistance from countries outside of your own, it is important to begin by trying to understand how law enforcement works in the country, what kind of power the police have, and whether they are trustworthy, but also what the legal limitations of the specific complaint might be.
The first step for a parent should be finding a reputable lawyer who can explain laws and their differences to you in a language you can understand. Someone whose business is trusted, whether in Bangkok or elsewhere in Thailand. It could be challenging to get used to how disputes are handled by a lawyer in Thailand compared to what you are used to in your part of the world. Here at Juslaws, we run a reputable business ad have the resources to make sure that you fully understand the complaint you are filing and how that will work in a Thailand court.
We take your claim seriously and employ as many of our resources as possible to make sure that Thailand laws are followed to the letter. A Thailand court might function differently than what you are used to, but that does not mean that you cannot have justice and that our legal business cannot assist you in getting your child back from Thailand if they were unlawfully taken. We handle the data and information that we are given with the greatest care.
Thailand can be the land of dreams and is a well-traveled tourist destination. However, when traveling to Thailand, it is important to know the safety information related to the parts of Thailand you will be seeing. Make sure that you keep your children safe during your Thailand travels. While Thailand is not an unsafe place, the threat of kidnapping is a global problem, and Thailand is not unaffected by it.
No one should be subjected to the torture of losing a 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.