Women’s rights groups in Thailand used the International Women’s Day to campaign for the legalization of sex work, hoping to create a safer environment for women in the industry.
The groups also called for a range of broader measures to support women in the sex industry. This includes extending paid maternity leave to 180 days, period leave for workers who suffer from menstrual pains, and monthly financial assistance of 3,000 baht for each month of pregnancy.
They are also demanding safe, free, and easily accessible abortion service access, and recognition of 8 March (International Women’s Day) as a public holiday.
Still illegal in Thailand
Thailand is a popular destination for tourists who want to explore its famous Red-Light District filled with go-go bars, brothels, massage parlors etc.
Despite its popularity, sex work is officially still illegal in the country, and sex workers face danger without the basic rights and protections offered to people in other industries.
In a recent interview, Supachai Sukthongsa of the Service Workers IN Group (SWING) said that the move to legalize sex work in Thailand is not just about money. It’s just as much about health concerns, noting that many sex workers experience stress symptoms and anxiety attacks related to their lack of safety in the industry.