THE FINANCIAL crisis has prompted more women to enter the sex trade voluntarily in response to unemployment, declining wages or rising debts, according to a survey released Monday by the UN Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking (UNIAP).
The survey, which yielded "indications of an increase in women and girls entering the entertainment sector during the timeframe of the financial crisis", drew from interviews with 357 Phnom Penh sex workers working in brothels, massage parlours and karaoke bars.
The majority of women surveyed said they were not tricked or deceived into joining the sex trade but rather had done so to support their families.
"It was nice to see that the numbers being deceived since the financial crisis is actually quite small, about 3 percent overall," said Lisa Rende Taylor, chief technical specialist at UNIAP. "We found they're going into these jobs on their own or through the assistance of a family member or friend."