Court awards tortured Karen girl B4.6m

The Kampaeng Phet Provincial court ordered a couple who deliberately splashed boiling water on their Karen housemaid to pay 4.6 million baht compensation to the girl.

The couple was tried in absentia as they skipped bail.

On Monday the court awarded 4,603,233 baht as compensation to a 12-year-old ethnic Karen named Air, for torture and cruel treatment inflicted on her by her employers.

The court ordered the defendants to award the plaintiff 303,233 baht for medical treatment incurred; 800,000 baht for future medical treatment; and 1 million baht for injuries disabling her from working for at least 50 years.

The court also said the plaintiff is entitled to 600,000 baht for agony incurred during her ordeal; 700,000 baht for the loss of ability to reproduce; and another 700,000 baht for loss of beauty.

The court also ordered the defendants to pay 500,000 baht to cover the plaintiff's transportation costs for treatment at Ramathibodi Hospital.

The employers also face charges of assault, taking a child aged under 15 from her parents, and conspiracy in human trafficking.

The Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF), who provided a summary of the outcome, has been providing legal representation to Air.

Attorney Orawan Wimolrangkharat said the two employers, Natee Taeng-on and Rattanakorn Piyaworatham, are now the suspects in a separate criminal case as they have been alleged of committing bodily harm.

Air is now under the care of officials in Phitsanulok, under the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, Ms Orawan said.

Air's custodian, Mo Wateng, filed the case on her behalf.

Air was taken by her parent's ex-employers from the house of her parents, who were Myanmar migrant workers at a sugar cane plantation in Kamphaeng Phet, in 2009.

She was forced to work as a housemaid at Mr Natee and Ms Rattanakorn's house. Air fled the house and was helped by police in the province on Jan 31 last year.

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