Library of Congress

Law Library of Congress

The Library of Congress > Law Library > News & Events > Global Legal Monitor

Taiwan: New Amendment to Criminal Code on Child Abuse

(Dec. 11, 2012) On December 5, 2012, an amendment to article 286 of Taiwan’s Criminal Code was published in the Gazette of the Office of the President. The amendment expands the scope of child abuse violations that can be criminally prosecuted and increases relevant penalties. (Amendment to Criminal Law [in Chinese], 7061 THE GAZETTE OF THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT (Dec. 5, 2012) [click on “PDF” to view full text of amendment].)

According to the newly amended article, a person who abuses a minor under the age of 16 or who by other means acts in a manner that will impair the mental and physical health or natural development of such a minor will be sentenced to imprisonment for up to five years. (Id.)

The previous provision criminalized physical harm only, and did not punish impairment of mental health and natural development. Furthermore, the new provision punishes actions that will cause impairment rather than those that have already caused impairment as the previous provision did, which appears to mean that the law now focuses on such actions themselves without requiring the result of the actions as a condition to constitute the crime. (Id.; Criminal Code of the Republic of China (as last amended Nov. 30, 2011), Ministry of Justice website.) In addition, the new amendment removes as punishments a short-term of imprisonment and a fine of up to NT$500 (about US$17), which were available under the old law, leaving only imprisonment of up to five years as the punishment for this crime. (Amendment to Criminal Law, supra.)

People found guilty of seeking profits through child abuse will be sentenced to imprisonment for at least five years and a fine of up to NT$3 million (about US$103,200), a large increase over the NT$1,000 previously specified. (Id.)