Thailand ties with Brazil in number of sex workers

FRIDAY, MAY 03, 2024

Thailand has around 250,000 people working in the sex industry, ranking it in 8th place globally, according to statistics published by the International Union of Sex Workers (IUSW). China came in first place with around 5 million sex workers.

The ranking, published in October 2023, estimated the number of sex workers in the top 20 countries, taking into account prostitution, phone sex, webcam modelling, strip clubs, OnlyFans and more.

In second place was India with around 3 million sex workers, followed by the United States (1 million), the Philippines (800,000), Mexico (500,000) and Germany (400,000). Brazil and Thailand tied with 250,000 each.

IUSW said the ranking is based only on estimated numbers as there has yet to be an official survey on the exact number of sex workers. However, based on the 2015 survey by Havocscope on illegal businesses around the world, there were around 13.8 million sex workers worldwide.

IUSW estimated that the number of sex workers globally has increased to around 52 million people, about 41.6 million of whom are female and 10.4 million are male.

With the emerging sex-related services via online channels, the union predicted that the number of sex workers would continue to increase in the future.

Thailand ties with Brazil in number of sex workers

IUSW added that since prostitution is illegal in Thailand, the revenue of around $6.4 billion generated by sex workers in the country annually was not included in the country’s gross domestic product.

This also makes sex workers in Thailand vulnerable to forced prostitution, violence, and lack of work-related freedom and benefits, such as medical allowances and protection under the labour laws, said IUSW.