Section Code: 0001 - 0006

Child Protection Act of 2546 (2003)

Bhumibol Adulyadej, Rex
Given on the 24th Day of September, 2003
Being the 58th Year of the Present Reign

His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej is graciously pleased to proclaim that:

Whereas it is deemed appropriate to revise the law governing the protection of children.

This Act contains provisions relating to the restriction of rights and liberties of individuals, which Section 29, together with Sections 31, 34, 35, 36, 39, 48 and 50 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand facilitate by virtue of provisions of law.

Article 1

This Act shall be referred to as the “Child Protection Act of 2003”.

Article 2

This Act shall enter into force one hundred and eighty days from the date of its publication in the Government Gazette.

Article 3

The following shall be repealed:

  1. Announcement No. 132 of the Revolutionary Council dated 22 April 1972;
  2. Announcement No. 294 of the Revolutionary Council dated 27 November 1972.

Article 4

In the Act,

  • "Child” means a person below 18 years of age, but does not include those who have attained majority through marriage.
  • “Street child” means a child who has no parents or legal guardian, or whose parents or guardian either fails or cannot afford to take care of the child, causing such child to wander from place to place; or a child who develops a vagrant lifestyle likely to be harmful to his or her safety.
  • “Orphan” means a child whose father or mother has died, or who has no evidence of parents or whose parents cannot be traced.
  • “Child in difficult circumstances” means a child staying with an impoverished family or abandoned by his or her parents or whose parents are divorced, imprisoned or separated causing difficulties to such child; or a child who has to shoulder familial responsibilities beyond his or her age, ability and intellect; or a child who cannot help him or herself.
  • “Disabled child” means a child who suffers some form of defect, physically, mentally or intellectually, regardless of whether such defect occurred at birth or thereafter.
  • “Child at risk of wrongdoing” means a child who behaves inappropriately, who is engaged in occupational activities, or in the accompany of persons, that appear likely to induce such child into committing unlawful or immoral acts; or a child who is in the environment detrimental to such child, as stipulated in the ministerial regulations.
  • “Pupil” means any child who is studying at the primary or secondary levels, either general or vocational, or the equivalent, in public or private institutions.
  • “Student” means a child who is studying at the tertiary level or the equivalent, in public or private institutions.
  • “Parents” means biological father and mother of a child, regardless of whether they are married or not.
  • “Guardian” means parents, persons providing care, adopter and guardians according to the Civil and Commercial Code, including step parents, guardian of a child's safety, employer, as well as any other person providing care or shelter to a child.
  • “Foster family” means a person who takes on and cares for a child as his or her offspring.
  • “Unlawful care” means failure to care for, nurture or develop a child in accordance with the minimum standards as stipulated in ministerial regulations, to such an extent that it appears likely to be harmful to the child's physical and mental wellbeing.
  • “Torture” means any commission or omission of acts which cause the deprivation of freedom of, or mental or physical harm to, a child; sexual abuses committed against a child; inducement of a child to act or behave in a manner which is likely to be mentally or physically harmful to the child, unlawful or immoral, regardless of the child's consent.
  • “Tracing and observation” means an act of searching and gathering facts relating to a person in order to make an analysis in accordance with the social welfare, medical, psychological, legal and other principles relating to that person and such person's family.
  • “Nursery” means a place which provides care for at least six children not over six years of age who are not related by kinship to the owner or operator of such nursery, not including health care facilities or schools, whether public or private.
  • “Remand home” means a place where a child is temporarily sheltered and cared for with the intention of tracing and observing the child and his or her family so as to develop guidelines for appropriate provisions of assistance and safety protection to each individual child.
  • “Welfare centre” means a place which provides care and development for over six children in need of assistance.
  • “Safety protection centre” means a place, which provides education, discipline and occupational training to a child who is in need of protection in order to correct his or her behaviour, and provide treatment and rehabilitation for the child's physical and mental conditions.
  • “Development and rehabilitation centre” means a place, school, institution or centre established for the purpose of treatment and rehabilitation of the physical and mental conditions of a child who is in need of special welfare assistance or protection, as well as providing such child with education, guidance and occupational training.
  • “Observation centre” means the Central Observation and Protection Centre for children and juveniles with jurisdiction over Bangkok Metropolis, Provincial Observation and Protection Centres, and Observation and Protection Centres under the Juvenile and Family Division of Provincial Courts, established under the Act Instituting the Juvenile and Family Courts and the Juvenile and Family Procedures of 1991.
  • “Fund” means the Child Protection Fund.
  • “Committee” means the National Child Protection Committee.
  • “Competent Official” means the person appointed by the Minister to perform in accordance with this Act.
  • “Provincial Governor” applies also to the Governor of the Bangkok Metropolis or his or her designate.
  • “Permanent Secretary” means the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, including a person designated by the Permanent Secretary.
  • “Minister” means the Minister in charge of the enforcement of this Act.

Article 5

The Courts having power by virtue of the Act Instituting the Juvenile and Family Courts and the Juvenile and Family Procedures to hear juvenile and family cases shall have the power to hear such cases under this Act. In provinces where no juvenile and family court or division exists, a Provincial Court shall have the power to hear such cases under this Act.

Article 6

The Minister of Interior, Minister of Social Development and Human Security, Minister of Education and Minister of Justice shall be responsible for the enforcement of this Act, and shall, in relations to their respective Ministries, have the power to appoint competent officials and issue ministerial regulations or regulations to enable the implementation of this Act.

Ministerial regulations or regulations shall be enforced from the time of its publication in the Government Gazette.