MP suggests legalising prostitution
A member of parliament is looking to legalise prostitution and sex toys to help address a surge in rape and other sexual assault cases.
Thai Civilized Party MP Mongkolkit Suksintharanon said he will ask the House committee tasked with combating rape to back his proposal to legalise prostitution and sex toys in the kingdom.
Mr Mongkolkit said the government should also help people who cannot afford such services if prostitution is legalised.
"Most rape cases involve old male widowers and low-income earners," he said. "These people do not have the means and the financial resources to satisfy their sexual [urges]. So, they vent their frustration on family members."
"If they could afford prostitutes, or have the means to manage their urges, the number of rape cases would decrease," Mr Mongkolkit said.
Mr Mongkolkit is an adviser and also a member of the House committee.
The media has recently reported several high-profile rape cases, including one involving seven people identified as neighbours and relatives of one victim.
This has led to calls for the government to introduce chemical castration as a deterrent to would-be rapists.
Khangkai Areeyasakul, a social media blogger who gives advice to rape victims, has submitted a petition to Mr Mongkolkit's House committee, calling for the punishment to be introduced.
"Imprisonment is not a sufficient [punishment] to combat rape," Ms Khangkai said.
"Chemical castration will nip the cause of rape in the bud."
The House committee says it will take a look at all proposals to deal with sex crimes before submitting its own proposals for a new bill in July.