Although Thailand’s economy has experienced a notable improvement, poverty is still an issue and the people there will work at whatever they can to avoid poverty or at least stay as far up financially as they can. Many women there willingly work in the sex trade to make ends meet because it pays better than any other job.
Prostitution in Thailand
Though prostitution is illegal in Thailand, it is openly tolerated by the authorities due to the fact that so many women rely on the sex trade to support their families. Many make an average of 10,000 Thai Baht per week, which amounts to $280 and is still considered a good income for this part of the world.
The Thai minister of tourism, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, has proclaimed that she wants the sex industry of Thailand to be gone. This has resulted in the police launching various raids on the bars and clubs in a proclaimed effort to end trafficking, breaches of licensure, and sex work that is under age.
Loss of Income for Women
Of course, this ends up shutting down some of the main operations where the sex trade is the main form of income for so many women. It is causing the trade to become cheaper and less available, driving women out of it and back into poverty. The businesses stay down until the owners have gone through court hearings.
It should be noted that the sex workers who do not want to see the sex trade ended are those who are doing this willingly. It is important to understand that most sex workers in Thailand are doing this voluntarily in a rather successful effort to support their families.
Advocacy for Sex Worker Rights
There are advocates for the rights of workers in Thailand’s sex trade and they claim that this crackdown on the industry has the potential to destroy the financial well-being of the women who work in it whether it is intentional or not.
There is currently no system in place that will assist women who have been forced out of sex work. As these numbers of women are expected to rise, this represents a growing financial crisis for Thai women and their families. This could push thousands of families into deep poverty.
Many Sex Workers are Proud
Many of the local sex workers in Thailand are rather proud of their jobs. Normally, even working two ordinary jobs, it was impossible for them to support their families. These women speak about how they are satisfied with this line of work after having worked a variety of other, less-paying jobs.
There are women who started out doing this only part time but then they ended up making more in a week than they would normally make in a month so they have gone full time. They are able to support their children to go to university, help their parents with care, and send their brothers off to be monks as tradition favors in Thailand.
For most of these women, the new take on the sex trade in Thailand is bad news.