Thailand News Today | Anutin wants to get rid of the Thailand Pass for Thais

After several raids this week, police are investigating several officials in a sex trafficking case in Surat Thani province, southern Thailand.

The director general of Thailand’s Department of Children and Youth has been accused of obstructing an investigation into a trafficking ring. Several other officials involved in the network include the chairman of a local savings cooperative and a vice chairman of the Punpin District Administrative Organization Council.

In addition to the DCY’s chief executive, 18 suspects are wanted on charges related to child sex. These charges include colluding to operate a child sex trafficking ring and luring minors into prostitution, among others. An individual, until now identified only as “Aem”, allegedly assaulted children in a shelter, to encourage them to prostitute themselves. A National Anti-Corruption Commission police lieutenant general told the Bangkok Post that Aem was charged with physically assaulting a minor, embezzlement while on duty and obstructing a police investigation.

Child and adult sex trafficking is a notable and ongoing problem in Thailand. In March, police raided a bar in Bangkok’s Nana district and discovered that at least three teenage girls were offering sexual services. Two are 15 years old, another 14 years old. A woman from the bar has been arrested for child sex trafficking.

The alleged agent has been charged with human trafficking, sex trafficking, enticing children to commit crimes and opening a bar without permission.

Also in March, police in Chachoengsao, a province east of Bangkok, arrested a woman suspected of enticing another woman to work as a prostitute in the United Arab Emirates. The alleged victim told authorities that she had been asked to work as a masseuse at a spa in Dubai. The woman who invited her was called ‘Ms. Lilly’, and promised her a monthly salary of 40,000 baht. After flying to Dubai in September, Ms Lilly confiscated her passport and ordered her to provide sexual services to clients.

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The Thai Minister of Public Health wants to abolish the Thailand Pass. But don’t get too excited, Anutin Charnvirakul is offering to remove it only for Thai returnees – at least for now.

According to a Bangkok Post report, the health minister said he would submit the proposal to the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration.
However, when asked if the emergency decree should also be revoked, Anutin said it was up to the Prime Minister to decide, adding that he personally saw no problem in keeping it, in order to support the measures. prevention of existing diseases.

Officials continue to praise the seemingly more convenient Thailand Pass process, now that the PCR test requirement on arrival has been lifted. CCSA’s Dr. Sumanee says that between April 29 and May 4, 213,958 travelers registered on the system, of which 94.8% were approved. She adds that the daily rate of new infections in Thailand continues to fall and the number of patients hospitalized with severe Covid symptoms is also falling.

According to government spokesperson Traisulee, Anutin monitored the Covid situation in Thailand after the Songkran holiday and noted that the number of new daily cases continues to decline. Traisulee says that looks promising for declaring the virus endemic in the kingdom. To that end, Anutin instructed his ministry to work with colleagues from the transport and tourism ministries to develop plans for the economic recovery of the country.

Yesterday Thailand reported fewer than 10,000 new Covid-19 infections for the fourth day in a row. The death toll is also the lowest recorded since early March. While the 9,790 new infections reported yesterday are slightly higher than the 9,288 reported on Wednesday, Covid-related deaths fell to 54 yesterday, from 82 reported the day before.

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The governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand says he remains hopeful that 20 million holidaymakers will visit Thailand next year.

Yuthasak Supasorn says that will almost certainly be possible if China lifts its border restrictions by then. He adds that he expects tourism revenues to reach 80% of their 2019 level in 2023.

Earlier this week, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha predicted that Thailand would welcome around 20 million international arrivals next year, provided Covid was declared endemic and there are no there are no new threats to tourism.

In order to get things done, Yuthasak says the country should plan to attract between 7 and 10 million tourists this year, adding that there are positive signs that it can be done. As of May 1, the kingdom welcomed 19,727 tourists, which rose to 15,439 and 14,108 on May 2 and May 3, respectively. By contrast, Thailand received between 10,000 and 12,000 a day last month, before PCR tests on arrival were lifted.

Data shows that as of May 3, Thailand had received 853,165 tourists, including 74,000 from the UK. 63,000 were from Germany, 56,000 from Russia, 51,000 from India and 49,000 from the United States.

Yuthasak is also optimistic about the low season, saying he thinks Thailand could welcome 500,000 long-haul travelers this month. According to the TAT governor, a recent report by France Info shows that searches for plane tickets to Thailand have quadrupled, as the most popular destination for Norwegians books its summer holidays in Bangkok.

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Thailand may have its critics, especially in light of recent clumsy and bureaucratic attempts to revive tourism, but the Kingdom remains one of the world’s most popular destinations. At least that’s what a study by financial services provider Visa found.

Nation Thailand reports that Thailand ranks at number 4 among the top tourist destinations in the world, according to the Visa Global Travel Intentions study.
Thailand trails the US, UK and India, with 30% of respondents saying they chose Thailand for a break, 25% saying they went to Thailand to get away and relax, and 18 % saying they chose Thailand for adventure and outdoor activities.

According to Nation Thailand’s report, the kingdom’s most popular destinations are Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai and Hua Hin, with tourists most interested in offerings such as traditional Thai massage and Thai cuisine. Many also expressed interest in visiting spa resorts and experiencing Thai culture, including visits to Buddhist temples.

Serene Gay, head of the ASEAN region at Visa, welcomed the findings, saying Thailand’s reopening will significantly help revive its tourism sector. She adds that businesses in the kingdom must prepare to welcome the return of overseas visitors and ensure their businesses can meet tourist demands, which may have changed since the pandemic. For example, she says, demands for enhanced financial security and contactless payment systems will be key to sustaining growth.

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The Thai office of an American beauty brand wants to push Thai schools to drop their mandatory haircuts for students. This news comes after the Dove brand began working with Girl Guides, Thailand’s version of Girl Scouts, to empower women to reach their full potential.

This week, Dove launched a campaign called #LetHerGrow and ran an ad about the impact forced haircuts have on girls. The video shows young girls getting their hair cut in the same short bob and crying. It then showed girls and older women who all have their own unique hairstyles and are confident. The ad sparked a debate in Thailand over whether forced haircuts are a violation of rights.

A study by British analytics firm YouGov found that 8 out of 10 Thai high school students had their self-esteem negatively affected by forced haircuts. Yet 74% of respondents said forced haircuts were still used to discipline students. This is despite the fact that officially haircut rules changed two years ago and cutting students’ hair as a punishment was forbidden. Under so-called “official” laws, female students can wear their hair long, as long as it is “clean and tidy.”

The law also allows boys and girls to have long or short hair.

In 2020, when a wave of youth protests swept through Thailand, mandatory haircuts were something students demanded change. Other requirements were for strict school dress codes. Thai school uniforms have their origins in the country’s military history and were originally meant to symbolize love for the country.

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