Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Photo Courtesy of Thairath
THAILAND – Thai kids are posting bulletins on the internet and social networks, inviting other kids to run away from home and share their experiences. The rate of child runaways has spiked recently due to the use of internet in this way.
The Ministry of Mysterious Disappearances (yeah, there’s one of those now) has been co-operating with the police to investigate the increasing rate of disappearances. The ministry has categorized individual cases into seven types: 1. Kidnap 2. Trickery 3. Intentional 4. Internet Influence 5. Crime and Murder 6. Accidents and Natural Disasters 7. Disappearance due to Brain Dysfunction.
The head of research at the Ministry said that the majority of males and females who disappear tend to be between the ages of 8 and 17 years. From this data, 8 to11 year-old boys appear to be more prone to disappearing because parents usually think there’s no danger to males. While females in the 11-17 age brackets are most likely to disappear – there is also a high-correlation between this figure and the recruitment age in the sex industry and victims of rape.
The ministry has also suggested that the internet is a major contributing factor to these occurrences. Teens frequently use the internet to chat with strangers.
Children with family problems are especially vulnerable to predators on the internet because they tend to have less or no friends and a high imagination. This group is usually the target of crime. Geographic areas that are most affected are populated areas and city centers.
According to the Ministry, since 2003 there have been a total of 1,527 reported victims (523 males and 1,004 females). The ministry has managed to find and help 954of these people.
The latest concern is the online trend where teenagers are encouraging each other to run away from home and share their experiences online. An extraordinary number of teenagers have participated, which shows that this new generation is keener on running away from home.
The Ministry said the police should focus more on these teenagers because these cases are often taken lightly. “We should stop this before all kids run away from home,” said the Ministry’s head of research.
Writer: Adrian Tse & Chet Chetchotisak
Posted by Adrian Tse at 10:30 AM