Khamis, 13 Jun 2013

Prostitution Is ILLEGAL In Thaland

Prostitution is illegal in Thailand, although in practice it is tolerated and partly regulated. Prostitution is practised openly throughout the country. Local officials with commercial interests in prostitution often protect the practice. The precise number of prostitutes is difficult to assess; estimates vary widely and are subject to national and international controversy. Since the Vietnam War, Thailand has gained international notoriety among travellers from many countries as a sex tourism destination. Sex with a prostitute under the age of 18 is prohibited.
The prostitution industry in Thailand is huge particularly in these city centres. No one denies this and it is estimated that the number of Thai girls or Thai ladies engaged in the Thai prostitution industry can be measured in the hundreds of thousands. One report in 2003 estimated that Thai prostitution is 3% of the overall Thai economy. Another economic estimate of the value of the industry in 2007/2008 is over $5 billion. There are four hundred thousand prostitutes in the Bangkok metropolitan area alone and this level of prostitution is replicated all over Thailand. Thousands of foreign men come every week to Thailand to meet Thai prostitutes thus fueling the prostitution industry but what is not often publicised is that the prostitution industry in Thailand essentially caters for Thai men of all backgrounds on a massive scale.

Background to prostitution in Thailand
In 1960 prostitution in Thailand was actually made illegal as the Thai authorities came under pressure from the United Nations. However, this law was countered in 1966 by a law which allowed for the creation of entertainment establishments offering 'special services.' This law was instigated as part of a government initiative to generate additional income from the large numbers of US armed forces stationed in Thailand and Vietnam at that time.This law, in effect, implicitly tolerates prostitution in Thailand. So much so, that Thai bar girls, who everyone knows are prostitutes, are displayed through glass windows in bars and entertainment centres without any interference from the Thai authorities.

Aids and health in Thai prostitution centres

Many foreign men who visit Thailand to engage with Thai prostitutes often frequent beer bars, go-go bars or entertainment centres where dancers can be chosen and a bar fine paid to the establishment if the man wishes to leave with the Thai girl. These establishments are part of the giant prostitution industry. Many are, in fact owned by westerners but all insist rigorous monthly health checks for the Thai bar girls who are effectively working as prostitutes. The onset of Aids brought about a new policy from the Thai authorities where practical help, assistance and protection for the Thai bar girls became the main priority of government officials. The same is true for foreign NGOs, many of whom, have a neutral stance to the prostitution itself and work to prevent Aids/HIV while providing assistance to the Thai girls working in the Thai prostitution industry.