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Thailand’s Prostitution Suppression Act Comes Under Fire

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The recent online streaming of a couple’s adult interactions has renewed calls for sex work to be recognized by law and protected. The calls come after the couple was arrested for having adult relations live stream on OnlyFans.com. An adult streaming platform where people can share erotic photos and videos for a fee.

Their arrest has reignited debates on Thai social media over traditional Thai values and American liberal views of how far extramarital activities can go under Thai law and how the sensitive issue should be handled.

Ms. Supensri Phungkhoksoong, the Director of the Social Equality Promotion Foundation, feels people can do whatever they choose with their bodies if what there doing doesn’t harm others.

However, she says such freedoms can also imperil others. From her experiences rescuing victims of sexual abuse, Ms. Supensri says many sexual offenders admit they aroused after watching online adult videos.

The adult extramarital acts online were between two consenting adults. But when these acts are publicized in exchange for money, people wish to emulate them. Such acts can also invite serious crimes where unsuspecting women and children fall victim.

Limited employment opportunities

Welfare protection for women and children is very weak in Thailand, she said. There are frequent reports of young molested and raped by relatives, young students by their teachers and above all, women by men who succumbed to their primal urges.

The Director of the Women and Men Progressive Movement Foundation Jadet Chaowilai said the recent streamed adult show showed women had limited options with regards to employment opportunities.

Members of the oldest profession in Thailand should be legalized, above all so they can pay proper income tax. The police chasing and arresting them is not the solution, he said.

Mr. Jadet said physical relations are natural and shouldn’t be suppressed. The question is how to protect these workers from harassment, threats and exploitation. Furthermore, thus enabling them to do the profession safely and hygienically.

He said police could do little to weed out pornographic streaming online. Instead, the police were overzealous in busting the adult content creators. “It’s high time Thailand changed its views and legalized adult intimacy workers,” he said.

Thailand’s male-dominated society fails to offer diverse job opportunities for women. Women always find the glass ceiling hard to break through, Mr. Jadet said.

More youth attracted to adult streaming

Meanwhile, The director of Service Workers in Group Foundation Surang Janyam, said the adult content which the couple produced was no different from that found in porno CDs and videos.

Furthermore, more of our youth are likely to create similar streaming content for sale if they are lured by the money the industry can offer, she said.

“Catching streamers won’t solve the problem. It’s the lack of being able to make an income that’s driving our youth to produce the content,” she said. The poorer young people in Thailand get, the more lively the adult entertainment industry becomes.

Ms. Surang insisted adult entertainment should be decriminalized and Thailand’s Prostitution Suppression Act scrapped.

Mai Chanta, a member of the Empower Foundation, said the act outlaws prostitution in Thailand. This allows corrupt and unscrupulous authorities to demand bribes from these workers so they can continue their trade.

“Adult industry workers have zero bargaining power because the law is not on their side, she said. So many people have tried for years to abolish the Prostitution Suppression Act, even more to no avail,” she said.

Source: Bangkok Post

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