Thousands of Thai sex workers, estimated to be around 300,000, mostly out of work due to the Covid-19 coronavirus crisis, will receive no labour protection from the government. Empower Foundation, an organisation for the rights and opportunities for sex workers across Thailand, has sent a letter to the government pleading for help.
“Many are mothers and main family providers and carers. Due to Covid-19 the government has ordered closures of entertainment places which means that over 100,000 sex worker across Thailand are out of a job. In emergencies women are often the ones who do the work of caring for others. Yet this work is not recognised, nor compensated or supported.”
“For example, even though entertainment places are reported to earn around 6.4 billion dollars per year and sex workers create 4-10% of the GDP. Sex workers are criminalized and left out of labour protection and social security. The closure order affects sex workers who now have no income at all. Sex workers are ready to help society, but also still must pay their rent, live and care for their family.”
The organisation is yet to receive a response from the government, and it’s estimated the number of sex workers without a job across the country has now reached 300,000.
Mai Janta, a community representative of sex workers in Chiang Mai working at Empower Foundation, told reporters that they were the first to be affected when the government declared all entertainment venues closed.
“When the massage parlours, bathing venues, bars and karaoke closed we all agreed with and supported the government’s measures. Yet our kind of work means that we have zero chance of any income during this time. Also the government has shown no interest in helping at all. Now we can only follow the situation and check in on the women we know of, which is our 3,091 members across Chiang Mai.
“This government has focused on arresting and enforcing, never supporting. The labour law has never protected these women even though we contribute greatly to the economy. There are some women who are under the social security scheme; those working for larger businesses who have proper working hours such as beer girls, karaoke girls and such. But freelancers and women working in bars are often left out in the cold,” according to Chiang Mai City News.
“The government’s 5000 baht compensation, which is still not available and may not be for months, only applies to a few women, as most are migrant workers or tribal people with no Thai ID.”
“These are the most vulnerable of all. They have nowhere to go and no resources at all. What we want is the nearly 500 million baht the government seized a few years ago from the human trafficking owners of Victoria Secret and Natalie massage parlors.”Facebook page.
Animal activists claim police officer killed beloved campus dog
A Thai animal rights group is accusing a Chiang Mai police officer of abusing and killing a beloved dog, Tia, a stray adopted by students at Chiang Mai University.
Watchdog Thailand, based in Chiang Mai, investigated the incident after the dog’s body was found last week and recently reported their findings to police, according to Nation Thailand. The autopsy of the dog’s body doesn’t seem to match the police officer’s story. No details on the dog’s condition are reported.
Police say the activist group have also spoken to witnesses and seen surveillance camera footage. The group posted a video on Facebook with a clip from surveillance footage of a dog approaching a person on a motorbike, but no apparent abuse is shown in the video.
Police are investigating the dog’s death and say they will be questioning the police office.
SOURCE: Nation Thailand
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Posted by อีจัน on Wednesday, 20 May 2020
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Government claims they’re serious about northern air pollution
Thailand’s northern provinces, particularly Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, suffer mightily during the annual plantation burning season, infamously known as “smoky season,” when farmers there and in neighbouring Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia burn their fields in preparation for the next harvest. The season lasts from January to April, and during that time Chiang Mai often rates as having the worst air quality in the world. But now the government says it’s taking air pollution seriously and aims to clean up the North.
Chiang Mai’s air quality problems have been a consistent issue, since the northern Thai city was declared ‘most polluted city in the world’ on March 10, according AirVisual.com. The city has ‘won’ the accolade on more than 10 days this year. Adding to the problem, in March and April this year were the forest fires challenging local authorities in the mountains around the city.
Government spokeswoman Narumon Pinyosinwat expressed gratitude to the Chiang Mai Breath Council for its concern on smog in the North and gave assurances the government is earnest about solving the problem. Responding to the council’s demand for successful resolution she said the council makes a huge contribution by monitoring air pollution for the sake of public health.
“The government has tried to solve the problem and assigned local authorities to implement relevant measures. It is never distracted from the effort, despite the coronavirus pandemic.”
“The government is grateful for the Chiang Mai Breath Council’s campaigns for clean air. However, the problem cannot be solved by a single organisation. All parties must join forces. I believe that solutions will improve from now on.”
The government spokeswoman also said that Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwon would visit Chiang Mai province today to follow up on smog solutions.
“The government understands that it may not be impossible for provincial and regional parties to solve the issue by themselves. We believe that if all parties join hands and watch out for wildfires, which are at the root of the problem and cause of the fine dust, air pollution will be relieved eventually.”Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Chiang Mai expat finds newborn girl on roadside
Thai Rath reported that an American man found a newborn baby girl by the side of the road in Chiang Mai on Tuesday.
The man, who gave his name as “Eric R.” was on his way home to his nearby condo when he saw a child’s arm sticking out from a cloth in the shade of a tree by some old car tyres in Soi 3 of Kaew Nawarat Road.
He opened the cloth and found a fully formed and healthy baby. The little girl was unharmed and seemed to be breathing normally.
He texted a Thai friend who contacted the authorities. The baby is now in the care of Nakhon Ping Hospital.
Police are looking at security footage from the vicinity to find out who abandoned the baby there.
They speculate it was probably the mother who had an unwanted pregnancy and didn’t know what to do with the infant, a common problem in much of Thailand. According to the most recent data from the Child Watch Project, Bangkok is the province with the highest rate of child abandonment, with 7.43 children abandoned per 100,000 population.
The average for the country is 2.61 per 100,000. There are 700-800 babies and children abandoned annually, or about two per day. This number excludes aborted fetuses found in public places.Facebook page.
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