National Children’s Day: Thai police takes opportunity to raise awareness of child abduction

Photo courtesy of Matichon

Statistics show that the number of missing children has increased in the past five years.

Child abduction is still a large concern in Thailand with the perpetrator often being a repeat offender. The mother of a missing girl, nicknamed Cartoon, opened up for the first time in 10 years to stop any more children getting kidnapped.

The Mirror Foundation is collaborating with police to raise public awareness of missing children before National Children’s Day this Saturday, January 13.

At the Child and Women’s Welfare Supervision Division (DDS) on Phan Fa Road, Bangkok at 10.30am today, January 11, Police Lieutenant Colonel Marod Kwanmuang, Deputy Superintendent of the Royal Thai Police, and Ekkalak Lumchomkhae, Head of the Missing Persons Information Center announced the statistics of missing children for last year.

Tukkata (nickname), the mother of a six year old girl, Cartoon (nickname) was abducted and raped by Nui also known as Ding Tang, a serial killer who had murdered three children, in a deserted forest area next to the Bearing BTS station at 11pm on December 6, 2018.

Ekkalak from Mirror Foundation stated that statistics on missing children in 2023 reported a total of 296 cases, which is an increase from data gathered over the past five years and was 17% higher than the previous year, 2022.

Runaway children

For more than 58% of the cases, or 172 cases, the missing children had run away from home, followed by those with an intellectual disability or mental disorder. More than 19%, or 56 cases, were children who vanished with no known reason. Moreover, five children from the total number of cases were abducted in the past year.

The highest number of missing children was found in the age range of 11 to 15 years, with a total of 138 cases, followed by those aged 16 to 18 years, with a total of 96 cases, and for the category of birth to the age of 10, with a total of 62 cases.

Those aged 11 to 15 were mostly children who were affected by family violence, which makes them more prone to trusting strangers they met online. From the data, these children were more likely to meet and run away with someone they met through Facebook, Instagram, TikTok or dating applications, reported Matichon.

Children who run away from home are prone to many dangers including threats and sexual exploitation. Deception and violent attacks are also common. For instance, last year, a teenage boy who ran away from home and disappeared was found murdered.

Age range of missing children in 2023
Age (years) Boys Girls Total
11-15 50 90 140
16-18 31 63 94
0-10 33 29 62

Table from Matichon

Raising awareness

Police Lieutenant Colonel Marod, Deputy Superintendent of the DDS, said child abduction is a serious issue for society. It is also an issue of severe concern globally.

In Thailand, although most missing children belong to the category of those who run away from home of their own accord when a missing child is reported to the police, every case would be taken into account with the same level of concern. The child’s welfare and safety with the danger of falling prey to sexual harassment or human trafficking would be of utmost importance.

Pol. Lt. Col. Marod takes the opportunity of the upcoming National Children’s Day to remind the public of the seriousness of child abduction and the issue of missing children.

Crime NewsThailand News

Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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