Many Thai activists met on Thursday, March 16th, to discuss the possibility of the law on the protection of sex workers. The law would ensure those working in the trade would be equally protected and would not be stigmatized by society, said the group.
It would also essentially allow legal prostitution in Thailand, a long debated item that officially doesn’t exist but is Thailand’s worst kept secret.
The meeting was hosted by the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand (FCCT), with the goal of calling out to the public that it is time for Thailand to revoke the crime of prostitution and return dignity to sex workers.
The event was attended by several private organizations as well as representatives from the International Labor Organization. The group said sex workers should be recognized as employees rather than criminals because the trade has been around for a long time. However, the laws surrounding it are too archaic, as they have not been revised since 1996, thus sex workers are often exploited, and someone always seeks to benefit from them.
By enacting new legislation that protects sex workers, voluntary engagement in the sex trade would no longer be a criminal offense, the group stated. The law, which is currently waiting to be proposed to the government, will prevent exploitation and empower this marginalized sector of society. The activist group called on the new government to prioritize this issue and enact the necessary reforms to ensure the safety and dignity of sex workers.
“This is a good law that will make this country a bit more dignified,” the activists said.