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Sex workers expected to cash in on festival

About 5,000 members of a sex worker’s organisation will ply their trade during the Water Festival, despite the fact that authorities are expected to crack down on prostitution during the event.

Keo Tha, coordinator of the Women’s Network for Unity, said sex workers from the provinces would travel to the capital to take advantage of an influx of customers during the festival.

“It is a good chance for us as sex workers because there will be so many clients needing sex services,” she said.

“A sex worker can accept more than 20 clients a day and they can earn US$100 [per day] during the three days of the Water Festival.”

She said a sex worker would normally earn between $20 and $30 per day.

The WNU held a meeting last week, she said, to remind sex workers to use condoms and to avoid attracting attention from police, who she expected would have a low tolerance for sex work during the festival.

Chuon Narin, chief of the municipal police department’s serious crime bureau, said there would be about 4,000 police officials on duty and that the presence of sex workers would not be tolerated.

“Not only if there are 5,000 sex workers, even if there are four or five sex workers we will arrest them and send them to the Social Affairs Department for education,” he said.

No Migy, technical working group and advocacy officer at the HIV/AIDS Coordinating Committee, said the organisation would distribute 500,000 condoms during the festival.

Officials have predicted that about 4 million people will descend on the capital for the festival.

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