AHEAD of the country’s famous New Year festival Songkran, Thailand has warned women not to dress revealingly to avoid sexual harassment.
The Department of Local Administration’s director-general Sutthipong Chulcharoen announced that local authorities would be launching campaigns targeting tourists, encouraging them to “dress appropriately” in order to avoid becoming a victim of sexual assault, reported the Bangkok Post.
Alcohol-free zones would also be established during the festivities, Chulcharoen said.
The Songkran Festival is held on April 13 every year and is famously marked by street parties and public water fights that span over the course of a week. April is the hottest month in the Southeast Asian kingdom.
More than half a million visitors are expected to take part in Songkran in 2018, according to Travel Wire Asia. Recent years of the festival have, however, been marred by reports of sexual assaults against women.
A report recently submitted to the Thai Interior Ministry said that more than half of all women who participate in Songkran have been sexually molested by drunk men.
The 2016 survey found that 85.9 percent of some 1,793 girls and women aged 10 to 40 said measures should be imposed to better protect their safety at Songkran.
The Thai junta has previously prosecuted revellers for violating its ban on indecent dress, including a Briton who was fined in 2016 for exposing his chest during festivities in Chiang Mai.