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Is sex tourism legal in Thailand?

Thailand Tourism at a glance:

Friends, as you well know that Thailand tourism is very popular all over the world, mainly because of its sex tourism or sex trade. There are many things to visit in Thailand – such as beautiful sea beaches, temples, old monuments or historical monuments etc. But still it is believed that the main thing people go there for is sex tourism, everything else is secondary or not as important.

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Why do people visit Thailand?

Indians today visit Thailand most of the time, the reason for which is very obvious such as proximity to India, cheap flights, low cost travel etc. But is the sex tourism the main reason for going to Thailand? I think this is only true up to some extent. Nowadays even people with whole family have started going to Thailand, so I do not think it logical to think so. But it is definite that some people go there only for that ‘thing’. And about other genuine travelers, I do not think they would be interested in all these things.

Income generated from sex tourism?

Now let’s get to the point. Thailand has a large share of tourism in the economy and an estimated 10% contribution. Many people think that Thailand has nothing but tourism, it is not so at all. Thailand also has a number of industries apart from tourism. Due to the popularity of sex tourism, people think that prostitution or sex tourism in Thailand is legal, but you will be surprised to know the truth that it is not, but if the law is talked about, for a long time, sex tourism is illegal there, however, it is obvious that even then everything is going on indiscriminately.

Laws related to sex tourism in Thailand

If you talk about sex tourism laws in Thailand, you will be surprised to know that it has been illegal for a long time, since the 1960s. Earlier, during the US-Vietnam War, when the American army used to come here to have fun, the prostitution was started, slowly, when this business became quite infamous, the United Nations stopped it in 1960. After this some more laws came, but it is not possible to discuss all the laws in just one post, yet I will definitely discuss below the most modern law which is currently in force.

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The Prevention and Suppression of Prostitution Act 1996

This act has been in force since 1996, according to which prostitution in Thailand is prohibited, but still it is another fact that not all laws are strictly followed due to promotion of tourism. I will discuss some points here which are more important and if a tourist is not aware, he could get into some trouble.

1. No Public Nuisance

This law means that any sexual activity is prohibited in any public place. If a sex worker is found to be doing such an act, then no action is usually taken on the customer, but there is a provision of a thousand Thai bhat or 1000 THB penalty on the sex worker. But if the sex worker is a minor, then it will be the customer who will be penalized.

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2. No Establishments, Human Trafficking

This means that no institution or shop or business or company of any kind can be established to sell sexual services. No one can be forced to get into such business. It is forbidden to do all this in liquor shops, discos, etc. Still such activities are going on secretly. It is strictly forbidden to build brothels. If someone does so, there can be a sentence of three to fifteen years.

3. Child Prostitution Seriously Banned

Yes, you read exactly right, the laws related to children in Thailand are very strict. If a customer is found to be in such sexual activity with a child, there is a provision of severe punishment. This law is divided into two parts

If the child is under fifteen years of age, there is a provision for imprisonment of two to six years and fine of 120000 Thai Bhat to the customer.

If the child is between fifteen and eighteen years of age, then there is a provision for a penalty of 60000 Thai Bhat.

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