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Women’s and children’s rights groups urge action against sexual harassment

Written by World Events

Several women’s and children’s rights advocacy groups in Thailand have issued a joint statement urging Move Forward and other political parties to clearly announce their intention to end sexual harassment and to come up with tangible measures to deal with the problem.

The statement was issued in the wake of sexual harassment allegations made against a several members of the Move Forward party, including the latest allegation by a female party volunteer against an MP.

The groups have proposed measures for consideration by political parties. These include announcements by individual parties of their policies and measures to prevent sexual harassment, mechanisms to accept complaints of sexual harassment and clear-cut procedures in response to such complaints, punitive measures against the wrongdoers, remedies for the victims, the protection of victims against coercion or intimidation by the accused and the issuance of a special law against sexual harassment.

An unnamed netizen posted a comment on Facebook yesterday, questioning a recent press conference by Move Forward spokesman Parit Wacharasindhu about the party’s investigation into sexual harassment allegations.

The netizen challenged the Move Forward party to bring outsiders into the party’s investigation of the allegations, for the sake of transparency.

She also noted that Parit spent a long time talking about the results of a probe into another sexual harassment case, implicating a former electoral candidate, and the party’s executive committee’s decision to dismiss him from the party with immediate effect, while failing to talk about a current case, in which one of the party’s MPs is accused by one of its volunteers of making sexual gestures.

The MP in question, Wuttiphong Thonglour, has already denied the allegation, claiming that he is the victim of a false accusation aimed at discrediting the party, to distract public attention from an investigation into alleged corruption.

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