Connect with us

Phuket

Babies thrown away throughout history

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

image
image

PHUKET: Child welfare and safety issues have been much in the news recently and our special report this week explores for our readers some of the options available locally to young mothers who are either unwilling or unable to support children they have given birth to.

Few news stories generate greater emotional resonance than reports of abandoned babies. Yet it is very easy to forget that child abandonment issues are nothing new.

Starting from the very beginnings of recorded history in ancient Egypt is the story of Moses, who the Book of Exodus recounts to have been a foundling. In many cultures since then it was considered acceptable for people willing to take in homeless children to essentially keep them as slaves.

Reminders of this harsh reality from the not-too-distant past remain with us through folklore, including many of the fairy tales that we read to our own children, and are in Thai soap operas as well.

The fact is that child mortality rates now stand at record lows – levels that our more ancient ancestors, who lived as hunters and gatherers, could probably never have imagined.

Yet these reduced mortality rates, coupled with increasing urbanization, vastly improved medical services and other benefits of modernization over the past few centuries have also kept the numbers of unwanted or abandoned children far higher than could ever have been sustained by more traditional societies.

One now largely forgotten chapter in the history of how humanity has dealt with child abandonment comes from the US, where for almost eight decades, starting in the 1850s, an Orphan Train Movement saw some 250,000 orphaned, abandoned or otherwise homeless children transported from squalid East Coast cities to foster homes in rural areas. For some, it was a passport to a promising new life, but for many others the result was a life of mistreatment, abuse and servitude.

The point of this brief historical review is not to dwell on the fact that misery, like everything else, is relative; nor is it to imply that the two apparently aborted fetuses and three newborns found dead on Phuket last year are to be considered acceptable.

Rather, it is to keep the issue in perspective and to appreciate how far we have come. This allows us to look to the future with some sense of purposeful optimism, not dystopian fear fueled by information overload.

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forum
🔔 Subscribe to our daily newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Media5 hours ago

No sex please, we’re Thai

Events6 hours ago

An aquatic meal with Olga Belka – taking art to new depths

Transport9 hours ago

Hua Lamphong (Bangkok Train Station) – History and future | VIDEO

Sponsored3 days ago

CBRE recommends top 5 luxury condominiums in Phuket with fantastic locations

imageimage
Thailand10 hours ago

Bug-eating challenge with Natty, feat. Mark Abbott | VIDEO

Coronavirus (Covid-19)11 hours ago

UPDATE: Israel bans ALL foreign entry over Omicron

Thailand13 hours ago

New variant could dampen Thailand’s reopening enthusiasm

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Coronavirus (Covid-19)14 hours ago

UPDATE: Latest news on Omicron – what we know

Tourism1 day ago

Songkhla prepares for tourism across the Southern land border

Thailand1 day ago

French expat being denied re-entry to Thailand over repeated criticism of the Thai monarchy

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

COVID-19 SATURDAY: 6,073 infections, 32 deaths, provincial data

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Omicron causing concern, Thai authorities ban travellers from 8 countries

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Thailand’s nightlife venues and bars told to keep closed until January 16

Protests1 day ago

Amnesty International under investigation for defending activists

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 days ago

New Covid-19 strain named “Omicron” and a variant of concern

Thailand2 days ago

Entertainment venues will not open before January 16

Thailand3 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism9 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism9 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism9 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending