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Thai media has reported on the perennial issue of Thai women offering sex for money in Thailand.
And an exasperated official in one town has said the problem just won’t go away.
Without a viable alternative for the women the sex industry will just continue unabated no matter how many crackdowns or arrests there are.
High profile figures like tourism minister Kobkarn Wattanavarangul called last year for an end to the sex trade.
But the business continues regardless of her comments with women seeing it as an easy way to make money when there are no other better alternatives.
Thai Rath reported on the issue under their “Soi of Sex Life Revealed” feature. This has been a long running feature centered around the activities of a group of prostitutes based in a soi in Muang district of Rayong.
The place has been raided many times but the women just keep coming back. There are complaints that the women openly sell sex in the street.
In many parts of Thailand this kind of activity has been on the wane in recent years. But it still exists and laws are in place to counteract it.
The laws have wording regarding soliciting for sex that is “too open”, notes Thaivisa. Such laws were promulgated in 1996.
While much prostitution is tolerated in a more private setting when it is too overt the authorities are more obliged to act.
This is the case in the street in downtown Rayong where on October 4th yet another raid took place and 13 women were arrested.
In a fourth report in the long running feature Thai Rath caught up with district chief Insri Kertmanee who led the latest raid of local officials and police.
He was asked:
Why are the women standing in the street offering sex totally unafraid of arrest? Even when the authorities come to this area often?
He replied: “It’s a tough question to answer. You see, it’s their livelihood. But it is our job to keep checking up on the situation. So we keep coming.
“We try to stop it but frankly there is often a lack of hard evidence to prosecute”.
Thai Rath asked what was a (permanent) solution then?
“We are constantly in talks with various human rights and protection agencies. They tell us that if we make arrests the women will simply go back to selling themselves just as before.
“They tell us that to really help these women they need alternative work. They need a better job to do. But that job has to give them a realistic income.
“If that is not the case they will just gravitate back into selling sex”.