Prostitution is illegal in Thailand, but the consequences are low, and there are many grey areas in the law that offenders take advantage of
Under Section 5 of the Prevention and Suppression of Prostitution in Thailand Act of 1996, a person who posts an advertisement offering sexual services can be fined 1,000 baht.
Pimps and gang members are also mentioned in the law. Under the law, they face a fine of 20,000 baht and up to 10 years in prison for enticing women into prostitution.
The law also refers to the seriousness of child trafficking crimes. It emphasizes that anyone found guilty of sex with minors will face much harsher penalties and longer prison terms. Prison terms range from five to 20 years and fines range from 100,000 to 400,000 baht.
These provisions do not include rape, physical assault or any other serious offence. If someone is found guilty of these offences, the punishment can be much more serious, including longer prison terms.
Thailand was once considered a haven for paedophiles and human traffickers in Southeast Asia, but now it has really cleaned up its act, with many trials in recent decades and severe punishments for those caught.
Thailand changed its tactics against sex trafficking in 2008. The definition of human trafficking was broadened by the Anti-Human Trafficking Act to include trafficking for labour exploitation and trafficking of male victims.
All of this is a big step in the right direction. Activists have long been pushing for the definition of human trafficking to include both genders, as women are not the only victims of trafficking and violence.
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