Girl 'Raped' In Welfare Centre As Her Mother Serves Jail Term

(30 August) A woman was
released from her brief jail sentence only to discover that her 4 year old daughter had been
repeatedly raped at the state-owned welfare centre in Chonburi Province where she had left her to
stay while she served her jail term, according to her complaint to the police.

According to
the woman, she had been found guilty of drug smuggling and handed down a brief jail term about 2
months ago. Before she went to prison, she said, she had left her daughter in the care of the
welfare centre.

After having served her sentence, she asked the welfare centre to hand her
back her daughter as she sought to build a new life. On 29 August, an official at the centre brought
the girl home, but her mother noticed that the girl had become visibly depressed.

Later, the
mother discovered bleeding injuries on the girl′s body. Alarmed, the mother asked her daughter
what happened, and the girl told her she had been repeatedly raped by the older male kids at the
centre ever since the first day she spent there.

The mother then alerted the police, and the
girl was admitted to the hospital.

The Police promised they would legally prosecute against
everyone involved to the incident. Pol.Col. Supphachai Phuikaewkham, director of Bang Lamung Police
station, had spent several hours to comfort the mother.

The officer also handed the mother
2,000 baht from his personal pocket money to help her start a new life after
imprisonment.

Minister of Social Development and Human Security, Ms. Paveena Hongsakul, vowed
that all suspects must be held responsible for what happened. The Ministry is also working to review
the practices and standards in all welfare centres owned by the state, she said.

The measures would include more training and more rigorous
evaluation of the child welfare officials? attitude toward their roles, Ms. Paveena
said.