Dane Jones Redhead office secretary in stockings and heels gets slammed
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On the Thai side of the border, where the demand is greatest, advances are being made. In 1996 the anti-prostitution law redefined prostitutes, labelling them victims instead of criminals, and set penalties for parents selling children into the sex trade. It also promises that those caught having sex with under-15s will be charged with statutory rape.
Also, a memorandum of understanding was signed in 1999 between women’s groups and the Thai government detailing guidelines for the treatment of the victims of trafficking. As well as the establishment of dedicated rehabilitation centres, this memorandum ensures that the women are offered assistance and the opportunity for relocation. With Aung San Suu Kyi’s release promising advances across the border as well, there is still hope.
As related education programmes spring up on both sides of the border, aid agencies like Empower, which supports women in Thailand’s sex industry, have noted fewer women being conned into prostitution, with more sex workers entering brothels reluctantly, but fully knowing what the work involves.
But there are stumbling blocks. As well as the complicity of police forces on both side of the border, the biggest problem for aid agencies in recent years has been identifying which women need rescuing and rehabilitation and which have become prostitutes of their own free will.
“It is tempting to assume that all Burmese women working in prostitution need rescuing,” says Mami Sato of the Global Alliance Against the Traffic in Women. “But we have to be very careful. In recent years, a growing number of Burmese women have made a conscious decision to work in Thailand’s brothels because they can earn much better money there. To ‘rescue’ them, to ‘rehabilitate’ them and ‘relocate’ them in Myanmar is a disaster for these people. They just want to get on with earning money so one day they can return home and give their families a better life.”
Back in her Mae Sai brothel, Khoung nervously awaits her next customer. There is comfort in the fact that by the end of the month she will be able to send her brother some more money.
“The real tragedy for these women is a political one,” says Ohmar. “We can try to eradicate the abuses of the sex industry, but for many Burmese women the real problem is back in Myanmar, where they lack the opportunities to make a life for themselves. Until there is political reform in Myanmar, Burmese women will continue to find themselves in Thailand’s brothels. Tragically, it is the only option some women are left with. We can only hope that recent events lead to a more democratic solution.”
Best places to enjoy nightlife in Mae Sot.
Here’s a list of Best places to enjoy nightlife in Mae Sot recommended by our experts:
Y2K A local Thai night club. Admission is 70 baht, with a free small Leo beer. The interior is “table style” where everyone has their own group and table (few .
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Sweet Harmony Coffee Shop And Bakery.
Sweet Harmony Coffee Shop and Bakery 2/3 Sripanich Rd, Mae Sot, +66 55 544810 or +66 81 9711731. Pleasant atmosphere in a bustling downtown location with good .
Exppact Bar is the best hang out in Mae Sot. They serves g reat food, and good conversations are to be had at Exppact Bar.
Mai Thai welcomes drinkers as well as eaters, screens live sport games and has a menu with many traditional northern Thai dishes.
EFCC (ExPPACT Foreign Correspondents’ Club), 206 Intarakhiri Rd (opposite Yamaha show room, near Tesco Lotus), . Run by Burmese former political prisoners. .
A Visit to Mae Sot on the NW border with Myanmar.
Despite having lived in Thailand for three years and visited for ten, the geographical horizons of my experience have been fairly limited, though enjoyable. Recent purchase of a car and the positive impressions of a French English teaching colleague persuaded me the visit to Mae Sot was a must, so on the recent long weekend it was time to go – with my stepdaughter Bow and my French friend. What a wonderful and moving experience. We left after school on Wednesday afternoon and drove all the way to Tak (pronounced Dtaak).
For the most part I am happy enough with my life in Isaan, but scenic paradise it is not. To be sure, now the rainy season is finally underway (very late!) the arid red-brown and mostly flat landscape has turned verdant green. But a little more than an hour west the scenery changes to the mountains and forests of a succession of national parks and I wonder how I neglected them so long. The mountains drive begins just out of Chumpae, ends just before Phitsanulok, and the scenery is breathtaking. We had a long journey ahead of us so we didn’t stop but it was a truly majestic drive.
By the time we arrived at Phitsanulok around 8.30pm we were famished so we stopped for pizza…we paid the price. Nothing wrong with the pizza but by the time we left the heavens had opened, and the monsoon rains reduced our speed to an average 50km/h so that the last leg to Tak took two and a half rather than the expected one and half hours. We found a hotel with fan rooms at 11.30pm for 340 THB a night – quite adequate on a rain-cooled night and we slept well. Tak is a river town and possibly worth a day exploring but we had other vistas to explore and by 8am were on the final 90km to Mae Sot on a beautiful mountain road. We passed though three or four army and police checkpoints with barely a cursory glance – the checkpoints are to prevent illegal movement of Burmese refugees, although they scarcely achieve that. The drive is simply stunning, and despite the rainy season morning fog we were in frequent awe at the mountainscapes, before arriving at one of the nicest mountainside temples I have seen. Unlike so many, the modest complex is not surrounded with scaffolding and has a lovely symmetry of form.
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