Officials urged to prevent sexual harassments against women during Songkran festival

The Ministry of Social Development and Human Security has been urged by anti-alcohol, women and parental networks to immediately take steps to prevent sexual harassments against women, especially during Songkran festival.

In a petition submitted to the ministry and received by Department of Women's Affairs and Family Development chief Lertpanya Buranabandhit, the activist groups presented findings from a recent opinion poll regarding sexual harassments during Songkran festival and the value held by quite a few men that they can sexually harass women with impunity.

Of the 1,793 women aged 10-40 polled, the findings show 85.9 percent despise sexual harassments and wanted measures to be put in place to prevent the misconduct while 51.9 percent admitted they used to be sexually harassed, especially in areas where alcohol drinks are on sale.

The groups have demanded the ministry to launch a publicity campaign for a stop of the malpractice and to coordinate with the police and local law enforcement officials to strictly enforce the law to ensure safety for women and girls during the festival.

The groups' spokesman, Jadet Chaowilai, noted that his chief concern during the Songkran festival was the staging of concerts where alcohol drinks are on sale, saying that sexual harassment against women are commonplace at such venues.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)