This is in response to an article published in Lift Magazine on October 13 that showed some schoolgirls working as prostitutes to get money while studying. Four high school and university girls became prostitutes and reportedly earned a lot of money.
The reasons they gave were that their boyfriends cheated on them and they were introduced by their friends who had more experience. Their friends arranged time for them to have sex with rich old men to get a higher price. In the article, there is also much comment from Nom Bophary, the director of Women and Education at the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, calling for participation in educating girls to stop doing such things.
With a different perspectives from Nom Bophary, I think that the intervention that could potentially stop prostitution is to educate men rather than to enforcing laws against human trafficking.
According to an analysis on sex demands (referring to men seeking sex) and sex supply (referring to girl providing sex services), if there is no demand, there will be no supply.
Even though seeking out sex is everyone’s right, in this case it is against new laws that crack down on human trafficking and the sex business which government have been enforcing since February. Article 23 states that:
“Prostitution” in law means the act of having sex with someone in exchange for valuables in any way. And article 24 states with regard to punishment for prostitution that:
“Luring” anyone intentionally into a public place for sexual acts faces a jail term from 1 day to 6 days and a fine of between 3000 riel and 10000 riel.
According to the two articles stated above, men who are involved in buying sex services should be punished and fined.
But recently police have only been cracking down and arresting girls and women selling sex, not the men who buy their services.
Tong Soprach, Phnom Penh