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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sex-trade crackdown ensnares 13 in capital

Sex-trade crackdown ensnares 13 in capital

POLICE have arrested 13 prostitutes in what officials are calling a sex-trade crackdown in one Phnom Penh district.

The women, who were arrested Friday night, have been forced to go through an “education programme” run by local NGOs, authorities in the municipality’s social affairs department said. The women were arrested while walking along Monireth Boulevard in Tuol Kork district.

“They were wearing sexy clothes, standing on the main street and waving to passing travellers,” district Deputy Governor Sang Sophak Vichet said.

The women were negotiating prices of between US$15 and $20 a night, he said.

“They caused disorder and affected social morality and Khmer traditions,” he said.

The official claimed the women caused a ruckus in the community, using drugs and fighting with one another over customers.

“It is illegal for those girls to sell sex on the streets at night time,” Sang Sophak Vichet said. “They are hired by several pimps, who give them salaries of up to US$150.”

Sorn Sophal, director of the Social Affairs Department, said the women have been sent to vocational training programmes run by several NGOs.
The department lacks the resources to retrain sex trade workers itself, Sorn Sophal said, adding that instead it often partners with local groups.

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