Legal Implications of Being a Prostitute Amid COVID-19: A Gender-Based Research in Thailand


  • Siwarut Laikram Walailak University
  • Shubham Pathak Walailak University International College (WUIC)


Prostitution is illegal under Thai law. However, the sex industry has been a critical part of the Thai economy for many years, such that sex workers have become an integral part of Thai society. Despite its status as illegal conduct, prostitution prevails across the country.  Thailand is notorious for its nightlife and the drastically high number of sex workers. These sex workers have been severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. This paper aims to explore the legal implications regarding the rights of sex workers in Thailand amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The research is based on a qualitative methodology using key informant interviews and case studies of sex workers in Thailand. The collected data were analyzed through a SWOT analysis and thematic content analysis.  The findings revealed that during the Covid- 19 pandemic, sex workers have experienced a loss of income, physical abuse, mental trauma, a lack of accessibility to policymakers and financial institutions, and inadequate risk perception of Covid-19. These factors have adversely affected their livelihoods and limited opportunities to earn a living during 2020.


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