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Thai election

Thailand's sex workers hope election will change their lives

Rights groups lobby political parties on bill to decriminalize industry

Sex workers rally in Bangkok on May 1, Labor Day, to demand legalization of their industry.  (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

BANGKOK -- Thailand's sex workers are pinning their hopes on a new government after the general election on May 14 to pass legislation decriminalizing the country's billion-dollar sex industry, which provides livelihoods to an estimated 300,000 people.

Many sex workers have rallied behind groups like the Empower Foundation, a local nonprofit campaigner for the rights of sex workers, that lobby political parties for endorsements.

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