Hot! Thailand Plans to Legalize Prostitution

In the bustling red light districts of Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket, help wanted posters decorate neon lit windows of go go bars offering 30,000 baht per month base salary plus all the private tips a girl can earn.

Many people who have close dealings with bar girls in Thailand will tell you the uncomfortable truth: For a certain type of female, working in a go-go bar provides an unparalleled opportunity to make good money for doing what they love: dressing up in edgy outfits, drinking, partying, hanging out with friends and making lots of money. Other benefits include international travel and meeting a rich husband. A bar girl does not need to sit at a desk or stress out over documents or cash registers, or drag a broom around a room, Every night is a new adventure.

Nevertheless bad bars, club owners and pimps do exist, and are responsible for a great deal of harm.

The Thailand Sex Worker Protection Bill is intended to make prostitution legal and prevent workplace hazards and abuses.

The very nature of the business of prostitution, that is, it is technically illegal in Thailand, invites corruption. The bar girl employees can and are exploited. More often than not , Thailand strict labor laws are often violated, to the bar girl employees disadvantage. And being in a gray area industry, a sex worker may be unable or reluctant to enforce her legal rights. Normal regulations concerning hygiene and safety in bars clubs and massage parlors often go underhanded. Dance floor accidents and transmittable diseases are an ever-resent occupational risks.

The new Prostitution Legalization law is being promoted by the Department of Women’s Affairs and Family Development..  According to criminal defense attorneys at Chaninat and Leeds law firm,  The new law would, in theory, overrule the 1996 Prostitution Suppression Act, and greater protection for sex workers.

The new law would require that all sex workers and their clients must be at least 18 years of age. Discriminatory practices against sex workers would be prohibited and wage fairness would be enforced.

The new law also enshrines the right of a sex workers to refuse to provide services at any time. .

The new law also requires bar and club owners offering sex services to seek a special license, in a bid to ensure proper protection for sex workers.

Prevention of child abuse and trafficking of minors I a major objective of the new law. The new prostitution law penalizes anyone who pays for sex with a minor aged 15 to 17 with a jail term of between one and three years, plus a fine of 20,000 to 60,000 baht. This penalty will be applicable even if the minor is a consenting partner.

Those who pay for sex with a minor below the age of 15 would be subject to a two to six years in prison and a fine of 40,000 and 120,000 baht.

Meanwhile, anyone who procures a minor aged 15 to 17 for sexual services, even with the youngster’s consent, is subject to a sentence of five to 15 years as well as a fine of 200,000 to 400,000 baht.

If a parent or guardian of a minor involved in prostitution, is complicit in in such a transaction with their child, they face up to 20 years in jail and a maximum fine of 400,000 baht.



Credit photo by : Juan Antonio Segal

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