Trafficking in Children
Unlawful transfer of possession, custody or control of child
12. —(1) Every person who takes any part in any transaction the object or one of the objects of which is to transfer or confer, wholly or partly, temporarily or permanently, the possession, custody or control of a child for any valuable consideration shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 4 years.
(2) Every person who, without lawful authority or excuse harbours or has in his possession, custody or control any child with respect to whom the temporary or permanent possession, custody or control has been transferred or conferred for valuable consideration by any other person within or outside Singapore shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 4 years.
(3) It shall be a defence in any prosecution under this section to prove that the transfer took place in contemplation of or pursuant to a bona fide marriage or adoption and that at least one of the natural parents of the child or the legal guardian was a consenting party to the marriage or to the adoption by the adopting party, and had expressly consented to the marriage or adoption.
(4) In this section, “legal guardian”, in relation to a child or young person, means a person lawfully appointed by deed or will or by the order of a competent court to be the guardian of that child or young person.
Importation of child by false pretences
13. Any person who, by or under any false pretence, false representations or fraudulent or deceitful means made or used either within or outside Singapore, brings or assists in bringing any child into Singapore shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 4 years or to both.
Power to examine children and persons in charge of them
14. —(1) A protector or any person authorised in that behalf by a protector in writing may require any child and any person who may appear to have the custody or control of the child to appear before the protector at any reasonable time and at any convenient place.
(2) The protector may examine the child as to his reasons for entering or being in Singapore and may examine the person respecting the child, and the child and that person shall be legally bound to answer such questions truthfully to the best of their ability.
Consent to marriage
15. No female below the age of 18 years who is or has been detained or in respect of whom a bond or security has been taken under the provisions of this Act shall contract any form of marriage without the previous consent in writing of a protector.
Power of protector to require security 16. If a protector has reasonable cause to believe that any child or young person —
(a) has been brought into Singapore either after having been transferred for valuable consideration or by fraud, misrepresentation or any false pretence;
(b) has been transferred to the custody or control of any person for valuable consideration either within or outside Singapore; or
(c) is being detained against his will by some person other than his parents or lawful guardian,
he may either —
(i) order any person in whose custody or under whose control the child or young person appears to be —
(A) to furnish him with copies of the photographs of the child or young person and the photographs of that person; and
(B) to furnish security to his satisfaction that the child or young person will not leave Singapore without the previous consent in writing of the protector, and that the child or young person will be produced before the protector whenever he requires it; or
(ii) in the first instance, or if default be made in complying with any order made under sub-paragraph (i), order that the child or young person be taken out of the custody of the person in whose care, custody or control the child or young person is and commit the child or young person to a place of safety or, on such security and on such conditions as the protector may require, to the custody of a relative or other fit person until the child or young person attains the age of 18 years or for any shorter period.
17. —(1) A protector or any officer generally or specially authorised in that behalf in writing by a protector may at any time visit and inspect the place where any child or young person in respect of whom security has been furnished under section 16 lives or is believed to live or to be.
(2) The protector or any such officer may inquire into the condition and circumstances of the child or young person and for the purposes of the inquiry, the protector or such officer may require any person to answer any question he may think proper to ask and that person shall be legally bound to answer such questions truthfully to the best of his ability.
(3) Any person who obstructs or hinders or attempts to obstruct or hinder a protector or any such officer in the exercise of the powers conferred by this section shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $1,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both.
Powers of arrest
18. A protector may, during or after any inquiry referred to in section 8, 14 or 17, arrest or cause to be arrested any person reasonably believed to have committed an offence under section 5, 6, 7, 11, 12 or 13 and seize and detain any article or document which he may have reason to believe relates to the offence.