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Warning: please keep your eyes on your children

Welcome to Forumosa's corner for moms and dads to talk about the issues involved in parenting in Taiwan.

Warning: please keep your eyes on your children

Postby 914 » 14 Nov 2012, 21:01

The following has been circulating in parenting groups. Several parents have encountered suspicious activity, including attempted kidnapping at local playgrounds. The ones mentioned in the link are ZHONGCHENG PARK and Tianmu Sports Park in Tianmu. The two people to watch out for are a woman in her 40s, shoulder length hair, carrying a Coach purse, and a man about 30, strong build, hair dyed orange-y. The suspicious vehicle is a white Mitsubishi with spoiler. The posted link is in Chinese. Please, watch your children closely at all times, and please be extra cautious when you are watching more than one. ... A.940.html
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Re: Warning: please keep your eyes on your children

Postby thomas.thomas » 17 Dec 2013, 13:35

I am based in Xinzhuang, New Taipei City and recent news has it that five kids were kidnapped in the area.

My understanding is all of them were Taiwanese but nonetheless those snatches do happen.

Being a father, I am vigilant every time I am out with them. Having said that, I wouldn't get paranoid but you know what's Taiwanese people are like, they enjoy coming up and chatting with everyone, kids included.

So let's be watchful.
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Re: Warning: please keep your eyes on your children

Postby *monkey* » 17 Dec 2013, 14:14

That old chestnut about the evil Taiwanese bogeymen coming to snatch away our handsome, fair-skinned children ...

It does the rounds every year, doesn't it?
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Re: Warning: please keep your eyes on your children

Postby headhonchoII » 17 Dec 2013, 17:23

The worry I hear is in terms of kidnapping and assumptions that you will have money. That's actually something to be careful about because there are a lot of people on the edge in Taiwan, along with the usual people desperate to have kids and paedos.
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Re: Warning: please keep your eyes on your children

Postby TheGingerMan » 17 Dec 2013, 18:59

The way I feel is that one can only watch one's kids for a certain amount of time without becoming overly suspicious to the point of paranoia.
Far better to teach the younglings about what to do if a stranger makes an attempt at abduction. Let them know of that which they should be aware, the possible early warning signs. Loss of innocence, I know, but we live in strange and dangerous times.
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Re: Warning: please keep your eyes on your children

Postby Nuit » 19 Dec 2013, 20:01

Kidnapping is extremely rare, but it does happen. There was a case last month in Malaysia, a British mother had her 20 month old son abducted - he was missing for 18 hours before being found.

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Re: Warning: please keep your eyes on your children

Postby Icon » 20 Dec 2013, 12:21

Coming from a place where child kidnapping is more commonplace, I have always felt that Taiwan is a paradise in this sense as this is not such a major issue. It is quite rare, which is a unique blessing. Among crimes, this is one most despicable and devastating, even if it is what we call back there "express kidnapping" -less than 24 hours. However, it is still present. I find it hard to believe foreign kids will be especially targeted, as conspicuous, we do have many cases of one parent "absconding" with the kid in case of divorce. Nevertheless, mixed babies I believe would be more coveted, as they are so pretty.

From local website for missing children:

Missing Children Search

Missing children has long been a social problem in Taiwan. Children become missing due to kidnappings, child trafficking and most recently the increasing rates of teens running away from home.

In response to a growing need for a coordinated search effort for missing and abducted children, CWLF pioneered the Missing Children Search Committee as well as the Missing Children Hotline in September of 1992.

CWLF also:
•created and coordinates a network consisting of governmental authorities, police officers, members of the media, private companies and the general public to collaborate in CWLF’s missing children search efforts.
•runs the Missing Children Data Resource Center in Taiwan in collaboration with the Taiwan Provincial Government, a central database system for tracking and compiling all information related to the files of missing children.
•incorporates a preventative approach by promoting the safety and protection of children by educating both parents and children on how to stay safe and be aware of potentially dangerous situations.
Missing Children Hotline: 0800-049-880
Missing Children Website:

From the local press:

According to the latest statistics provided by the Child Welfare League Foundation, over the past two decades 1,625 families asked for the group’s help in finding missing children.

The group said it has helped find 1,388, or more than 85 percent of them.

The foundation said its recent statistics showed that teens had a higher rate of disappearance than younger children, with nearly 7,000 teens under 18 reported missing in just the first half of the year.

The number of girls who went missing has also gone up over the past two decades, with three times more girls missing than boys last year, the group added.

Since 1992, the year the foundation started keeping records, 1,499 missing minors have been found in Taiwan, but less than 8 percent of cases were assisted by tip-offs from the public.

As of the end of August, 239 minors in Taiwan remain missing since 1992, and 73.6 percent of those have been missing for "a long time," making them particularly difficult to locate.

The China Post/Asia News Network

Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Around 27 per cent of parents said that their children have gone missing in public places, according to survey results from the Child Welfare League Foundation (CWLF), yesterday.

The CWLF yesterday launched a new mobile phone application that provides information for parents on how to prevent their children from going missing in public places.

According to the CWLF's survey, those parents whose children have gone missing said that the incidents usually happen in shopping malls, supermarkets and department stores.

The survey also said that nearly 37 per cent of children went missing at supermarkets or shopping malls while about 25 per cent of children went missing at department stores.

The CWLF said that the nearly half of the children who first went missing were between the ages of 2 and 4 years old, and the major reasons why most children go missing is either from being separated from family members or being distracted by objects in public places.

According to the CWLF, over 52 per cent of parents do not know that they can call the police immediately after their children go missing. The survey also suggested that 12 per cent of parents seldom take front and clear pictures of their children while 10 per cent of parents do not remember special characters of their children. ... ercent.htm

So "misplacing" the kids is common, and increasingly dangerous.
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Re: Warning: please keep your eyes on your children

Postby Petrichor » 21 Dec 2013, 12:29

The problem with statistics on missing children is that they include children who've run away and got lost, either because they've wandered off or because their parents have misplaced them, as well as children who have actually been abducted. Hopefully the latter is a very small number in Taiwan. What the statistics don't include is kidnappings that are resolved without reporting to the police.

We lost our son at the Big Buddha in Hong Kong when he was three. He just ran off and was out of sight within seconds. The problem was that you can't see more than a few feet ahead because it's a big circle, and there are loads of entrances to the inner area, so once he was gone it took us more than ten very scary minutes to find him. What was surprising was the attitude of the staff when we asked if they'd seen him. They just said they hadn't and otherwise didn't really react. In the end it was other foreigners who helped us find him by telling us they'd seen him just a few seconds before.

In the UK a report of a missing toddler would be taken very seriously indeed, for various reasons I suppose. Parents might try to sue, or it would look bad in the media if a child came to grief at a particular venue, but also perhaps because it feels less safe for children there with constant media reports about paedophilia etc. When I reported my son lost at IKEA when he was two (I did my best honestly but he was a little bugger for running off) there was an immediate announcement over the PA and hoards of IKEA staff appeared from nowhere to search for him. He was found in about five minutes.

Maybe the staff at the Big Buddha were unconcerned because they didn't think anything harmful was likely to happen, maybe they simply didn't care or thought we were bad parents for losing him in the first place and didn't deserve any help. I don't know. But it was a very different reaction. On the other hand, when my son got bitten by a stray dog here lots of Taiwanese people offered to help. Taiwan feels like a safe, child-friendly society, and I would be surprised if kidnappings were commonplace. When I told a Taiwanese friend my IKEA story she said that the staff wouldn't take a missing child so seriously here, however.

The video Nuit posted is terrifying. It's interesting that many people ran over to help but didn't lend a practical hand in the end. Bystander effect maybe.
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Re: Warning: please keep your eyes on your children

Postby Dr Jellyfish » 21 Dec 2013, 16:57

The video Nuit posted is terrifying. It's interesting that many people ran over to help but didn't lend a practical hand in the end. Bystander effect maybe.

I don't know why the bystanders didn't just pile on the guy, or why no one tried to open the door and take the child out of the passenger seat.
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Re: Warning: please keep your eyes on your children

Postby headhonchoII » 21 Dec 2013, 17:10

I read that they had the kid half way out of the car but one of the kidnappers had a machete, so it wasn't a fair fight.
It was also a taxi driver and civilians who found the kid, not the cops.
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