Statement: The shooting incident involving a child perpetrator on October 3, 2023
Bangkok, October 3, 2023 - Following the shooting incident involving a child perpetrator that resulted in injuries and loss of life on October 3, 2023, Save the Children Thailand expresses its condolences for the losses incurred during this event. We want to stress the importance of monitoring the mental health of those that were present, or directly impactd by the incident, especially children and youth.
After the incident, several concerning issues are arising, such as the online sharing and dissemination of personal information and images of the child perpetrator. Save the Children Thailand calls for the cooperation of the public in refraining from sharing details of perpetrator and his family such as names, images, personal stories and their histories. We also request the media to report only the facts without sensationalising the news to garner attention from viewers. All these actions could have negative social consequences such as prompting imitation or generating anxiety among children and youth.
Additionally, the media should focus on reporting the prevention and healing measures for those affected, especially children and youth, focusing on encouraging parents and guardians to observe their children's behaviour to identify any abnormal reactions stemming from exposure to this incident, and provide emotional and psychological support. Parents should engage in open conversations with their children, listen without judgment, and communicate sincerely with children that adults are always there for them.
Save the Children Thailand emphasises the importance of conducting initial inquiries with child perpetrators following the established procedures including conducting the investigation in a suitable and private location, with the presence of social workers or psychologists throughout the process.
The issue that society should collectively question is what factors could influence a child to resort to violence. For individuals to arrive at a point of using violence, they may have undergone multiple negative experiences. These may have many root casues such as exposure to violent behaviours in their surroundings, mental health issues, or personal psychological well-being. Identifying those key factors would contribute to the prevention of future incidents of violence.
Save the Children Thailand continues to believe that every child deserves to grow up in a violence-free society. This is the responsibility of all of us to create a safe space for children to grow into responsible and quality citizens in the future.