The world is not always a very nice place. There are not-so-nice people in the world and a fair number of those not-so-nice people break the law from time to time. However, there is one group that is often considered to be perfectly innocent, and for good reason. That group is children. Sure, kids don't always do the right thing, but most people assume that there is no real malice in them, at least not in very little kids. Malice is something reserved for older people.
However, that is not to say that kids never break the law. In fact, depending on where the kids are, they could actually be breaking the law quite a bit. It turns out that there are laws all over the world that can best be described as strange. Most kids probably are not even aware of the laws they are breaking. Heck, most adults are probably not even aware of them. Nevertheless, they ARE technically breaking the law. Here are 15 illegal things kids around the world do on a daily basis.
15 Thailand: Stepping On Money
The odds are that everyone has come across a coin or dollar bill on the ground and thought nothing of it. There is a good chance that money might actually be stepped on with little or no notice. Kids are likely more prone to do such things, since they might not realize the value of a bill or coin yet. However, depending on where they are, the kids might actually be doing something illegal by stepping on that money.
There is a place in the world where it is technically a crime to step on money. That place is Thailand. It stands to reason that kids probably break the law rather frequently in Thailand because of this strange law. The penalty for stepping on money in Thailand is unclear, but a fine would be appropriately ironic.
14 Italy: Not Walking Your Dog 3 Times A Day
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Most kids want some kind of pet to love and spend time with. Often, that pet is a dog. If the dog belongs to a kid, parents may say that it is the kid’s responsibility to take care of it. That means the kid has to take the dog out for walks so it can get exercise and go to the bathroom.
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If that child lives in Turin, Italy, he better hope he walks that dog three times a day. The reason is that it is actually illegal to not walk your dog at least that many times a day. Apparently, Italy takes the care of dogs very seriously -- possibly a little too seriously. While I appreciate the concern for dog welfare and believe that dogs should get their daily exercise and bathroom breaks, it seems like a strange thing to create a law over.
13 Australia: Changing A Light Bulb
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Everyone uses light bulbs. They're in almost every room all over the world. We rely on them and turn them on and off throughout the day and night. The only trouble is that light bulbs do not last forever. Light bulbs need to be changed from time to time. Changing a light bulb is a pretty simple job -- so simple a child could do it, and many probably do.
However, if that child is in Australia, he would technically be breaking the law. It is actually illegal for anyone in Australia to change a light bulb who is not an electrician. That means even adults are likely breaking the law in Australia when it comes to changing light bulbs. Presumably, this is a law that is not strictly enforced.
12 Bangladesh: Cheating On Final Exams
Being a kid is not all fun and games. There is also a great deal of responsibility that comes along with childhood. For example, like it or not, test-taking is a pretty big part of being a child. Of course, whenever there is a test, it stands to reason that there will be those willing to cheat on a said test.
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Cheating on a test is never a good thing. At the very least, cheating is frowned upon and can have serious consequences, like expulsion from school. However, in Bangladesh, they take it to another level. It is actually illegal there for a child to cheat on their final exams. Not only that, but a child as young as 15 can be put in jail for cheating on finals. Now if that isn't an incentive to study and not cheat, I don't know what is!
11 Switzerland: Flushing A Toilet After 10PM
One of the benchmarks in a young child's life is becoming potty-trained. Of course, even then it is not uncommon for a child to have an accident during the night while sleeping. That is why many parents likely encourage their kids to get up and go to the bathroom at night if they need to. Naturally, if they use the toilet, they should flush it as well.
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But in Switzerland, flushing the toilet after 10 PM is a crime. So Swiss parents need to be sure to tell their kids that if they do get up late at night to use the bathroom, to be sure not to flush it. At least, they should tell their children that if they actually want them to be law-abiding citizens. Again, we're thinking this law isn't strictly enforced.
10 Canada: Reading A Comic
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One of the great joys of childhood is reading comic books, or sometimes labeled “graphic novels.” Their popularity has fallen a bit in this digital age, but more than a few kids can still be found reading comic books. However, in Canada, kids better make sure they are reading the right kind of comic book. Certain types of comic books are banned there.
Comic books in general are not actually banned in Canada. The kind that are banned is any comic book (or “graphic novel”) that portrays illegal activity. Considering that most comic books involve a superhero battling a super villain, that law seems to eliminate the vast majority of comics. Most of the famous super villains tend to do illegal things. They are villains, after all.
9 China: Being Dumb And Going To College
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In America, it is safe to assume that a great many people value a college education. Most parents want their child to go to college. In fact, they may want their child to go even if he is not all that bright. A college degree is seen by many as a ticket to higher paying careers and more opportunities in one's professional life. However, the people of China seem to have different priorities.
In China, it is illegal for anyone to go to college who is not intelligent. That begs the question of just how intelligent they have to be, and by what measure intelligence is determined. The answers to those questions are unclear. What is clear is that a kid better hope he is not dumb if he goes to college in China, because if he is, he will be breaking the law.
8 Japan: Being Fat
It goes without saying that Americans, by in large, like to eat. As an unfortunate result of this, America has a rather well-known obesity problem. It can be assumed that's what happens when a country has an overabundance of fast food. This obesity problem extends to America's kids as well. For their sake, hopefully Japan's kids don’t have any weight problems. Otherwise they may have some legal issues.
Odd as it may seem, it is illegal for anyone to be fat in Japan. That includes children, which seems especially cruel. This is particularly strange considering that Japan gives the world Sumo wrestlers. These wrestlers are, quite famously, hugely overweight! With Sumo wrestling being so popular, we suppose there are exceptions to this law for those who practice the sport.
7 Milan: Not Smiling
Hopefully everyone’s childhood is a happy one. If anyone has reason to smile, it would very likely be kids. Nevertheless, kids can be disappointed rather easily. As a result, it is not uncommon for a child to frown, even though it probably will not last too long. There is a reason the phrase, "Turn that frown upside-down," is so common.
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With any luck, kids in Milan do not feel the need to frown all that often. It is illegal for anyone not to smile in Milan, and that includes kids. Apparently Milan wants everyone to be happy - or at least look as though they are. Fortunately, the law does not extend to every circumstance. The Milanese are allowed to frown at hospital visits and funerals, thank goodness. It would be just plain cruel to force people to smile at a funeral.
6 Russia: Being Emo
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When kids start to enter their teens, they tend to grow and change. Sometimes the changes can be a phase, and other times they can be long-lasting. One such change is that a kid may become what is known as emo. Among other things, being emo is defined as wearing a lot of black or dark colors and being kind of sullen and seemingly disinterested in life.
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Emo culture exists in all parts of the world. However, it might not last much longer in Russia if lawmakers have their way. A law has been proposed in Russia that would ban being emo. Lawmakers believe emo is a threat to national stability. The law assumes that emo culture promotes things like depression and suicide. Though it seems awfully drastic, if this law is passed, emos may go extinct in Russia.
5 Malaysia: Wearing Yellow
Now that it is summer, people usually want to wear light and festive-colored clothing. One such color might be yellow. Yellow is a fairly popular color for kids to wear, especially at this time of year. It is the color of sunshine, after all, and there is plenty of that in the summer.
However, kids better refrain from wearing the color yellow in Malaysia. Believe it or not, people are not allowed to wear yellow clothing there. The reason is that yellow was the color worn at one time by protesters against the country's prime minister. It seems Malaysia does not want anyone to be associated with protests against the prime minister in any fashion - pun intended. Imagine having to check your local laws before getting your child dressed for school?
4 Singapore: Chewing Gum
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If there is one thing kids love, it's candy. Most kids also love gum, which could be considered a form of candy. Chewing gum might not be allowed in school, but it is allowed most other places. However, a lot of people have the habit of throwing out their gum on the sidewalk or other unsavory places. So, it’s no big surprise that a country might outlaw it.
That country is Singapore. Actually, not all chewing gum is illegal in Singapore. What is illegal is selling non-medical chewing gum. It is actually punishable by a heavy fine. So if a kid bought regular chewing gum in Singapore, they would be taking part in a crime. It is also important to note that a person selling legal medical gum in Singapore still must check people's IDs or face up to two years in jail.
3 Florida: Passing Wind After 6PM On A Thursday
There are things in life that everyone does, but that no one really wants to talk about. One such thing is passing gas. Everyone does it, but they are usually too embarrassed to talk about it and most try to do it only in private. That very much includes kids - only they may not have the sense to avoid doing it in public.
In Florida, however, passing gas can actually be a crime. Evidently Florida really values manners more than anyone thought. It turns out that in Florida, it is illegal to pass gas after 6:00 PM. What is even stranger is that it is illegal only on Thursdays. Luckily, this is only illegal to do in public. So when Thursday rolls around, kids better hope that they aren’t gassy in public. If they are, they better at least be silent about it!
2 Around The World: Plagiarizing Online Content
In the world today, pretty much anything can be put online. For lots of examples, a person just needs to look at all the videos on YouTube. A great many of those videos were probably put up there by kids who are too young to remember a time when there was no YouTube. The problem is that depending on the content of those videos, posting them could be breaking the law.
If a kid makes a video that has a clip of their favorite movie or favorite song, they are actually committing a crime. Materials like movies are copyrighted. That means that kids need permission to do anything with them, like posting them online. Since kids almost certainly do not have permission to use copyrighted material, by using it they are actually committing a crime called copyright infringement.
1 Around The World: Getting Married Without Permission
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One of the definite signs that a person is not a kid anymore is getting married. However, not everyone who wants to get married is legally an adult. Teens younger than 18 have been known to want to get married. In much of the country, that is totally legal - as long as the youngsters have their parents’ permission.
Of course, teens have to know not to attempt to get married without their parents’ permission. This is totally illegal, and more than likely their plan to get married will fall through. After all, it would be nearly impossible to find anyone to serve as a justice of the peace for a pair of minors looking to get hitched, not to mention securing a marriage license. Nevertheless, teens have tried to do it. It seems some people are just in a hurry to grow up no matter what.
Sources: DailyMail.co.uk, Wikipedia.org, FindLaw.com