This Chiang Mai Bar is Trying to Bring Rights and Dignity to Sex Work

by Admin on May 21, 2019

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Can Do Bar is like many bars in Thailand where men can go to pay for sex.

But unlike most–or all–prostitute-centric bars in the world, Can Do Bar is a cooperative owned equally by each one of its sex workers.

Decisions, including profit-sharing, workplace benefits, hours and work conditions, are all voted on democratically in Can Do Bar.

The Chiang Mai bar’s main goal though is not selling sex, however. Instead, the collective owners of Can Do Bar want to end the social stigma associated with prostitution while at the same time creating a safe place for sex workers and a model for other sex worker establishments to follow.

The bar, established in 2006, sees itself as a part of the vanguard to promote the rights and dignity of sex workers.

On the second floor of Can Do Bar is an art space, where visitors can be educated on the hardships faced by sex workers in Thailand.

The main push of the bar is for the decriminalization of prostitution in Thailand.

According to criminal attorneys in Thailand, although bars, massage shops, and brothels are technically recognized by Thai labor laws,  typically they have their own labor codes that are rarely scrutinized by authorities.

This often leads to many cases of abuse of sex workers by their employers.

On top of that, sex work is still criminalized in Thailand, which makes it difficult for prostitutes to seek help when they are being unfairly treated for fear of prosecution.

Read the full story here.

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