Sexual harassment claims spark call for ethical code in Thai politics


A wave of sexual harassment allegations against members of the Move Forward Party (MFP) has sparked a demand for a definitive code of ethics to govern the sexual conduct of politicians. The demand emerged during a seminar organised by the Women and Men Progressive Movement Foundation on Wednesday, following the expulsion of an MFP member on the grounds of sexual harassment allegations.

Jadet Chaowilai, the director, emphasised that sexual harassment is not confined to any specific social or professional environment. The patriarchal mindset deeply ingrained in Thai society is a significant factor intensifying the issue.

“Purging the offender from the party won’t stop the problem.”

Jadet added that calling for a more effective reporting system for victims and stronger enforcement of existing sexual abuse laws. The provision of immediate redress for victims and those impacted by the harassment is equally crucial.

“However, these calls seem to have fallen on deaf ears.”

Waraporn Chaemsanit, a planning consultant for women’s wellness and gender equality at the Sexuality Education Association, pointed out the unfortunate reality of victim-blaming, which discourages some victims from speaking up.

“Sexual assault shouldn’t be kept a secret, as concealing the case from the public might do more harm than good.”

The rising number of sexual harassment complaints, according to Waraporn, reflects an increasing awareness of individual rights over one’s body. She put forth the proposal of integrating comprehensive sexual education into school curriculums to educate younger generations about respecting personal boundaries, reported Bangkok Post.

A sexual harassment allegation involving an MFP MP is poised for investigation, as confirmed by Parit Wacharasindhu, a party list MP and spokesperson. The case pertains to three women accusing an MP representing a district within the Thon Buri region of Bangkok. This incident closely follows another report on October 12 involving a separate MP from Prachin Buri. Read more HERE.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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