6 June 2024

The Mirror Foundation has proposed that the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security step in to regulate temples providing shelter to children, mostly ethnic children, who are either orphans or whose parents cannot afford to look after them, following the kidnapping of a 14-year-old boy from a temple in Sing Buri province.

The boy was recently rescued by the police in Prachantakham district of Prachin Buri after he had been abducted and retained for 13 days from a temple in Sing Buri province. The alleged abductor, identified as “Phan”, was arrested.

According to the police, Phan was previously arrested in 2014 in Prachin Buri province and sentenced to 14 years for kidnapping a boy. He was, however, released after having served only eight years behind bars.

Eakalak Loomchomkhae, an official of the Mirror Foundation, which is dedicated to the tracking of missing children, said, in most cases, temples which provide shelter to children, many of them ethnic people, do not have sufficient personnel to look after them. He suggested that the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security intervene, to control such facilities and ensure better safety and proper care for the children.

In the latest abduction, the temple’s abbot reportedly admitted that he found out about the disappearance of the boy two days after his abduction.             ิ

Eakalak said that a limit should be set for each temple sheltering children and if they do not have sufficient personnel, they should not accept more children.

The boy in question is currently being cared for at a welfare home, before being returned to his family. The home has turned down his mother’s request to take her child back until he is fully recovered mentally.

According to Eakalak, the suspect claimed that he had no intention to harm the boy, adding that he took the boy to several places, using his motor tricycle, travelling only at night to avoid police detection.