Unacceptable Forms of Work in the Thai Sex and Entertainment Industry


  • Leo Bernardo Villar




sex work, working conditions, unacceptable forms of work, Thailand


This article examines the working conditions in sex and entertainment work in Thailand using the Unacceptable Forms of Work (UFW) Framework. Criminalisation of sex work and insufficient oversight of labour conditions increase the vulnerability of sex workers to police harassment; prevent sex workers from accessing legal and social protections; and contribute to the decent work deficit in the sector. Protecting the human rights of sex workers and ensuring decent work in the Thai sex and entertainment industry necessarily involves the decriminalisation of sex work; amending labour and social protection laws, policies, and systems to be inclusive of sex workers; and ensuring implementation. Throughout the process of policy change, the involvement of sex workers, their employers, and civil society organisations is crucial.


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Author Biography

Leo Bernardo Villar

Leo Bernardo Villar is a consultant with the International Labour Organization in Bangkok, Thailand. He has worked on issues related to the human rights of women, LGBTI people, youth, people living with HIV/AIDS, migrant workers, and sex workers. He holds a Master’s degree in International Development Studies from Chulalongkorn University and has recently completed his Master’s thesis on the experiences of trans entertainers and sex workers in Bangkok and Pattaya. Email: oel.villar@gmail.com




How to Cite

Villar, L. B. (2019). Unacceptable Forms of Work in the Thai Sex and Entertainment Industry. Anti-Trafficking Review, (12), 108–126. https://doi.org/10.14197/atr.201219127