Thailand raises alarm over student internet prostitution
Thailand's Culture Ministry is urging authorities to crack down on a rising trend of Thai students using the internet for direct-sale prostitution, media reports said Sunday.
Culture Minister Theera Salukpetch asked the Education Ministry, the Communications Technology Ministry, police and internet service providers to increase their vigilance against website prostitution, which he blamed on faulty values among the country's youth, The Nation newspaper reported.
Academics urged colleges and the government to take action against the trend of students using social networking websites such as Hi5 to advertise prostitution by posting their pictures with suggestive messages.
Suan Dusit Rajabhat University associate professor Sukhum Chaloeysap blamed the trend on the downturn in the economy, which has deprived many students of part-time jobs.
But others blame it on declining social values among Thai youth.
Ramjitti Institute director Amornwit Nakhonthap said the student sex trade via internet was not surprising, but rather in keeping with the trend towards promiscuity and prostitution in an increasingly materialistic society.
He cited a recent survey which revealed that most young people in the sex trade were not poor, but just wanted money to buy things.