Missing children in Thailand a result of domestic violence

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“Jiji” has been missing since 18 September 2010. Her parents made a report to the police immediately after she disappeared but the police were reluctant to take a missing person report until a full 24 hours had passed. (Photo from the BBC)
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A study has found that 86 per cent of missing children in Thailand voluntarily leave their homes to escape domestic violence.
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The Mirror Foundation, an NGO based in Thailand, has revealed that the foundation received 424 reports of missing children in 2016, with the number of missing girls almost three times higher than boys.
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The majority of the missing children documented by The Mirror Foundation suffered from domestic violence. Missing children were commonly aged between 13 and 15.
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Kanokwan Luangmongkhonloet, the director of Maha Sakakhram Child Shelter, said children are likely to leave their family when they feel that their house is not their home. Homeless children face heightened risks of early pregnancy and human trafficking.
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The shelter work closely with parents, and cooperates holistically with specialists such as psychologists, police officers and teachers, in order to secure healthy environments for children.
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Ekkalak Lumchomkhae, a worker at The Mirror Foundation, observes that social media increases the chances of finding missing children. The downside is that pictures and personal details of children can be shared online endlessly, even after they are found.
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Social media campaigns to find missing children can affect children’s rights and make it difficult for them to reintegrate into society. Ekkalak suggests that parents should first report missing children to the police and wait for an investigation.
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“The online method should be used only when a police investigation is impossible, when children are missing for too long or when the children are kidnapped,” said Ekkalak
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-Prachatai English