Thailand's worst secret to be legalized

Thailand's darkest secret is being legalized

Thai media reported that Thailand is preparing to completely legalize entertainment for adult tourists, in simple terms – prostitution, the spread of which in the kingdom, as the press assures, is the country's worst secret. Prostitution will be allowed for persons over 20 years of age. The 1996 law that prohibited this will be revised. Moreover, its revision is supposed to deal with another violation of the law – primarily with bribes that officials take from people who provide sex services. Involving minors, however, will still remain illegal.

“Voluntary sexual services without criminal punishment should be allowed from the age of 20,” Thai media quoted the main provision of the law. They add that the Ministry of Security led a commission to develop the new law, which in turn “is a landmark turn in Thailand's attitude towards prostitution, the spread of which is probably the country's best-kept secret.” At the same time, the current law on the prevention and suppression of prostitution was adopted back in 1996.

“The Committee's top priority has become to protect and legalize independent sex workers who are at least 20 years old and who voluntarily provide sexual services. It will still be against the law to have sex with prostitutes under the age of 20. In addition, under the new bill, migrant workers will be prohibited from engaging in prostitution. Freelancers will be granted employment rights and welfare benefits, but will not be considered sex workers. They will also have access to fair compensation, but must undergo a medical examination to make sure that they do not have infectious diseases, ”Thai media explain the provisions of the new law.

Also, “to clear my conscience” the new draft clearly states that it only applies to voluntary services and that the government continues to take a hard line on forced prostitution. “Procurement and trafficking in persons or forcing a woman into prostitution is still a violation of the Trafficking in Persons Act,” the agency said. Any person who entices or coerces into prostitution of persons under 20 years of age will be subject to criminal liability, as specifically specified, this includes parents' awareness of illegal prostitution involving their children. “Detention, mistreatment, torture, threats and forcing people into prostitution will continue to be investigated and severely prosecuted,” Thai media added.

They also note that the bill will be finalized and presented to the new government around in August of this year. At the same time, the initiators of the new law – and this is the Civilized Party of Thailand – intend to fight another evil in this way. “Decriminalization is, at least in part, an attempt to reduce corruption. If sex for money were legal, government officials would not be able to force sex workers and those involved in the industry to pay illegal bribes,” the initiators explain.

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