Connect with us


Campaigner calls for child-sex tourism crackdown

Legacy Phuket Gazette



KATA: The leader of a workshop on countering child sex tourism, yesterday called for hotel and tourism industry workers, and even tourists themselves, to report any behavior they suspect might be leading up to child sex abuse.

The workshop, at the Kata Beach Resort, was aimed at teaching those present – 64 government officers, hotel staff, souvenir vendors, tour company and restaurant staff, and karaoke workers – to identify types of behavior that might lead to abuse of children.

It was led by Anita Dodds of the Australian anti-child-abuse organization Child Wise, who explained, “Child Wise recognizes Thailand as a hot-spot challenge area which already has child sex tourism, so training courses are being conducted to prevent this kind of problem.”

The workshop introduced attendees to strong slogans, including “Don’t turn away. Turn them in” and “Turn a child-sex tourist into an ex-tourist.”

The campaign urges people to report suspicious behavior to Tel: 1300, a number being reserved in all Association of Southeast Asian countries as a 24-hour hotline to receive such reports.

“The message is clear,” said Ms Dodds. “If the behavior of other tourists makes you feel uncomfortable, don’t turn away; turn them into the authorities.”

Explaining why the workshop, which has already been staged in Chon Buri and Chiang Mai, was brought to Phuket, Ms Dodds said, “We’re also looking at locations where tourists are growing in great numbers, which could be emerging destinations for child-sex tourism.

“We encourage the tourism industry, responsible tourists and local citizens to look out for any suspicious behavior. There is no stereotype of a child-sex offender, so that’s why we train people to identify suspicious behavior.

“We encourage people to look out for, and report to the police [‘overly affectionate’ behavior towards children] so that [such people] can be properly investigated.”

Urajchata Chaochalakorn, Director of the Office of Tourism Development (OTD), which helped coordinate the workshop, said that the number of reported cases of child trafficking and child sex abuse in Thailand has been decreasing.

Although she had no figures to back up her assertion, she noted, “Most cases have involved foreigners who had been staying in the country for two or three months, or longer.”

However, K. Urajchata also said that children between the ages of eight and 15 were at risk of being drawn into prostitution, especially by what she called “sex tour guides”.

“The government is focusing on [developing] ‘quality tourism’, so we are trying to combat child sex tourism by stopping it before it happens,” she added.

Phuket Tourist Police Inspector Pol Maj Bundit Khaosutham said that his officers had yet to arrest anyone for child sex abuse.

However, he said, “Since October, we have been investigating five foreigners who entered the country on tourist visas, but they have yet to break the law.

“Phuket is certainly a high-risk area for child sex abuse,” he added, noting that sex tourism is receiving greater play in the media these days.

“Uniformed Tourist Police patrols at night have helped to protect children from being groped and have kept child prostitution off the streets,” he asserted.


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand53 mins ago

Korat Police allegedly use police van for trip to beach

Thailand1 hour ago

Kalasin man allegedly robs convenience store and then a gold shop the next day before being arrested

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Sunday Covid Update: 117 deaths and 13,576 new cases

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Tourism18 hours ago

Local businesses say they aren’t profiting from Phuket Sandbox

Crime19 hours ago

Woman shot by stray gunfire during motorcycle shooting

Phuket20 hours ago

Phuket pair arrested in possession of meth pills, homemade gun

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Coronavirus (Covid-19)21 hours ago

Prayut to propose to CCSA to reopen theatres, allow filmmaking

Coronavirus (Covid-19)21 hours ago

Saturday Covid-19 UPDATE: Select provincial totals

Transport21 hours ago

Woman dresses as astronaut to show moon-like road condition

Coronavirus (Covid-19)23 hours ago

CCSA announces vaccination goals for October; 50% inoculated

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Phuket Covid-19: 235 daily infections, 238 hospital beds available

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Saturday Covid Update: 122 Deaths 14,109 new infections

Thailand2 days ago

Oct 1 reopening NOT confirmed, Kpop star sparks frenzy for Thai meatballs |Thailand News Today

Hua Hin2 days ago

Final arguments Tuesday on dual pricing suit against Health Ministry

World2 days ago

Texas lawyer dressed as Halloween’s Michael Myers to spread hurricane cheer

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14 | Thaiger
Thailand5 days ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism7 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11