Thailand - Criminal Code, B.E 2499 (1956)

Thailand - Criminal Code, B.E 2499 (1956)

  • Country: Thailand
  • Law status: Discriminatory law in force
  • Law Type: Rape

Sex discrimination in laws purporting to address violence, or silence on the issue within the law, can actually promote or perpetuate violence against women and girls because there is little to deter perpetrators from committing crimes or inadequate recourse for victims; intimate partner and sexual violence is disproportionately inflicted upon women and adolescent girls. 

Laws explictly allowing marital rape treat the wife as the property of the husband, and render her vulnerable to sexual violence and abuse within marriage. 

The Law: 

Section 277 of Thailand’s Criminal Code, B.E 2499 (1956) provides marital immunity for sexual intercourse with girls under the age of 15 who are said to ‘consent’, and allows a man who rapes a girl between the ages of 13 to 15 to escape punishment by marrying the victim.

Section 277: Whoever has sexual intercourse with a girl not yet over fifteen years of age and not being his own wife, whether such girl shall consent or not, shall be punished with imprisonment of four to twenty years and fined of eight thousand to forty thousand Baht. If the commission of the offence according to the first paragraph is committed against a girl not yet over thirteen years of age, the offender shall be punished with imprisonment of seven to twenty years and fined of fourteen thousand to forty thousand Baht, or imprisonment for life…..

The offence as provided in the first paragraph, if the offender being the man commits against the girl over thirteen years but not yet over fifteen years of age with her consent and the Court grants such man and girl to marry together afterwards, the offender shall not be punished for such offence. If the Court grants them to marry together while the offender is imprisoned, the Court shall release such offender.

Note: Section 27 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand: All persons are equal before the law, and shall have rights and liberties and be protected equally under the law. Men and women shall enjoy equal rights.

Link to full law

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