Seng Sopheap made some salient points in a letter to The Phnom Penh Post. However, anyone who has recently driven by the Wat Phnom at night will be fully aware that the sex workers who congregated there were not, on the whole, women, but transgender sex workers. The figures in the photograph accompanying the article "Residents fear vice patrols" (April 3) are certainly ambiguous and the term "normal girls" used by the police is surely a reference to this.
This does not detract from the soundness of the arguments put forward by Seng Sopheap. The quotation from the Network of Sex Work Projects is deliberately gender neutral, illustrating the sensitivity of supportive organisations. The criminalisation of sex work may well lead to an increase in abuse towards male and transgender sex workers as well as women.
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