Draft bill exempting offenders under 12 from punishment endorsed by Cabinet
Thailand’s Cabinet has approved a draft bill seeking to increase the minimum age of criminal offenders from 10 to 12 years old, in accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Following the Cabinet’s approval on Tuesday, the draft will be forwarded to the Council of State for screening, before submission to government whips and then to the House of Representatives for debate.
While the potential revision of the country’s Criminal Code will exempt those under 12 from punishment, when convicted by a court, the court is empowered to take any of the following steps to deal with offenders aged from 12 to 15, or their parents:
- Warn young offenders before setting them free.
- Return young offenders to their parents or guardians, with a condition that they must prevent them from committing further offences for a specified period.
- Impose probation conditions on the young offender.
- In the case of young offenders without legal parents or guardians who are able take care of them, the court can place the youth under the care of a person or an organization appointed by the court for a specific period.
- The court can send the young offenders to a school or training centre, designed to train young offenders, for a specific period, but not until they are 18 years old.