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  • Writer's pictureManushya Foundation

Sex Workers are Equal Human Beings: We have to end violence against them!

On the International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers, we must ask ourselves one question: why is it still an issue in Thailand? Read on to learn more 👇

🚨 Sex work is not only illegal in Thailand but it is even criminalized, even though around 300,000 individuals in Thailand make their living through sex work! This status makes sex workers incredibly vulnerable to violence at hands of the police enforcement and clients. The police take the liberty to conduct frequent violent raids, random drug tests or extort bribes. Even when sex workers face violence from their clients, they have no way to demand a remedy without fear of being prosecuted themselves.

#SexWorkIsWork ⚠️ Living in the legal protection vacuum makes sex workers not only vulnerable to violence but also excludes them from a wide range of public services. Most recently, sex workers have been one of the most affected groups during the COVID-19 pandemic as they were denied all governmental support.

“Decriminalization would mean that sex workers are not cast as criminals but would be treated as equal human beings, guaranteed same rights as any other workers, protected under Thai labour laws and Thai Constitution. Sex work would then be recognized as work without any constraints, they would have access to social welfare and social security schemes, universal health coverage and any Covid-19 related support provided by the government to workers.”

Emilie Pradichit, Founder and Executive Director of Manushya Foundation, for Thai Enquirer

✊ Sex workers, including sex workers facing intersectional forms of discrimination, such as women, indigenous peoples, ethnic minorities or LGBTIQ+ persons, are Equal Human Beings with equal rights!

📣 In the past years, Manushya Foundation has extensively advocated and lobbied for the rights of sex workers in Thailand. This year, together with our partners from EMPOWER Foundation, the Women’s Workers for Justice Group (WJG), the Thai Positive Women Foundation (TPWF), the Indigenous Women’s Network of Thailand (IWNT), the Health & Opportunity Network (HON), and the Amnat Charoen Friend of Women Center, we prepared the UPR Factsheet on the Rights of Sex Workers in Thailand to inform Thailand's 3rd UPR review. As a result, Finland made a UPR recommendation calling on the Thai government to "Guarantee the right to access adequate standard of health services for all, including sex workers."

Access the Factsheet here.

🗣️ We also addressed issues faced by sex workers from ethnic groups such as Khon Isaan in our Joint Civil Society Shadow Report for Thailand's CERD Review, a human rights review concerning racial discrimination. During the review, the CERD Committee used our materials and finally addressed this issue during the review session!

Access our report here.

#WeAreManushyan ♾️ Equal Human Beings

Let's make our message sound loud and clear!

✊ We call on the Thai government to decriminalize sex work, provide necessary protection to sex workers and end violence against them!

👉 Join our call! Like & Share with your network

👉 Stay tuned for more information on our advocacy during Thailand's UPR and CERD reviews!


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