Prostitution has been common in Thailand for centuries. During the Ayutthaya Kingdom — , prostitution was legal and taxed,  : 2 and the state ran brothels. Under the act, the definition of "prostitution" is "Sexual intercourse, or any other act, or the commission of any other act in order to gratify the sexual desire of another person in a promiscuous manner in return for money or any other benefit, irrespective of whether the person who accepts the act and the person who commits the act are of the same sex or not. Under the act, persons who solicit sex " Persons associating in a "prostitution establishment" with another person for the purpose of prostitution faces a jail term or a fine or both.
Prostitution in Thailand
Thailand: Sex Tourism and Commercial Sexual Expoitation | Pulitzer Center
She's scared but desperately needs customers to pay her rent. Red-light districts from Bangkok to Pattaya have gone quiet, with night clubs and massage parlours closed and tourists blocked from entering the country. That has left an estimated , sex workers out of a job, pressing some onto the streets, where the risks are sharpened by the pandemic. Since Friday April 3 , Thais have been under a 10pm to 4am curfew. Bars and eat-in restaurants closed several days earlier. Many of Bangkok's sex workers had jobs in the relative safety of bars, working for tips and willing to go home with customers. The government says it is ready to enforce a hour curfew if necessary to control a virus that has infected more than 2, people and killed 23, according to official figures.
No sewing please, we're sex workers: Thai prostitutes battle stigma
Thailand has had a long and complex relationship with commercial sex work that persists today. Despite all its other tourist draws, it's still known as a sex tourism destination, a designation that began around the time of the Vietnam War. The industry targeted to foreigners is very visible, with multiple red-light districts in Bangkok alone, but there is also a more clandestine domestic sex industry and myriad informal channels of sex-for-hire. Commercial sex work in any form is technically illegal in Thailand.
In Thailand, a tourist with money is tourist with unchecked power. Women and girls from poor rural families make up the majority of sex workers in Thailand. As a result of the current economic downturn, hundreds of factories and projects have closed across Thailand, leaving thousands of workers—both Thai and non-Thai—unemployed, according to the Far Eastern Economic Review.