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Disgraced Democrat Quickly Becoming Thailand’s Harvey Weinstein

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A disgraced high-ranking Democrat politician has quickly become Thailand’s Harvey Weinstein over sexual abuse cases.

A 17-year-old #metoo victim came forward with a molestation accusation against the disgraced former Democrat.

Prinn Panitchpakdi, a former deputy leader of the Democrat Party, acknowledged on Thursday morning that he molested a 17-year-old female apprentice three years ago.

After arriving with his lawyer at 8.45 am, he entered the police station without answering reporters’ questions.

Police interviewed the former Democrat leader, and he acknowledged a report of molestation made against him by the #metoo victim on April 18.

According to his accuser, Mr. Prinn offered to take her to the train station in his car in 2019; on the way, he grabbed at her breasts and tried to put his hand up her dress.

Former Democrat Leader Charged in Chiang Mai

Police said the victim was 17 years old at the time. There have now been seven #metoo complaints of sexual molestation against him.

In the northern province of Chiang Mai, Prinn was charged with indecency earlier this week.

The 25-year-old woman accused Prinn of indecently assaulting her on March 5 last year in Chiang Mai, after the two had met at a seminar where he was a guest speaker.

In multiple cases, Pinn now faces sexual harassment, molestation, and rape charges.

On April 14, he resigned from all positions in the Democrat Party, including the head of its economic team, to fight the charges. He, too, has denied all charges just like Harvey Weinstein did.

Prinn is the son of Supachai Panitchpakdi, a former deputy Prime Minister, former director-general of the World Trade Organization, and the former secretary-general of the UN Conference on Trade and Development.

Sexual harassment in the workplace

Thailand’s labor law, Section 16, prohibits an employer, chief, supervisor, or work inspector from subjecting an employee or intern to sexual abuse, harassment, or victimization.

Despite this, there is no clear definition of what constitutes sexual abuse, sexual harassment, or victimization in the law. Therefore, it may be unclear what kind of behavior is prohibited and punishable.

Additionally, the victim may not be aware of any legal recourse against the perpetrator. Such uncertainty might encourage silence.

Reporting an occurrence of violence or harassment against a boss or superior can also have adverse effects, such as losing one’s job or promotion.

Reporting a violation of Section 16 of the labor protection law, for example, does not offer the employee any compensation.

The #MeToo movement has shown us that women are not alone, and all we need to do is speak up. Situations like this are not uncommon. Stopping sexual violence and harassment can be accomplished by ending the culture of silence.

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