Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Anti-trafficking law creating victims

Anti-trafficking law creating victims

Anti-trafficking law creating victims

Dear Editor,

I am writing in response to the Women's Network for Unity letter to the editor titled "Not all sex workers are victims of trafficking" [in the November 7 edition of The Phnom Penh Post].

My response is: "Not all victims of trafficking; but certainly of poverty, rejection AND the Anti-Trafficking Law".

Firstly, I pay respect to WNU and their long history of work assisting women to stand together for their rights.

I further support WNU's assertion that the implementation of the new anti-trafficking law unfairly targets vulnerable women.

It is a travesty of justice that women are currently being detained for "re-education" on account of "evidence" such as possessing condoms.

In their letter, the Women's Network for Unity objected to Somaly Mam's reference to women who sell sex as "victims", or "slaves because they have to survive".

However, in that same letter the WNU refers to women who make the "tough decision to sell sex rather than to see themselves or their families starve".

Clearly, the choice to sell sex or starve is not much of a choice.

On this basis it seems legitimate to view women forced to sell sex as victims, not to suggest they are weak, but to acknowledge that society has done them wrong.  

It is also possible to support the intention behind the new anti-trafficking law, but decry the way it is being implemented.

Real questions need to be asked about how a law intended to protect vulnerable women and children has actually exacerbated the misery of many.

Luke Bearup

Phnom Penh

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince injured, wife dies after accident

    THE wife of former First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh, Ouk Phalla, 39, died while the prince was “severely” injured following a road accident in Preah Sihanouk province’s Prey Nub district on Sunday morning, officials said. Rananriddh, who is also the president of the Funcinpec

  • Guards protest dismissals, reject claims of sharing naked photos of child

    Some 20 former security guards at the US Embassy in Phnom Penh protested on Tuesday against their dismissal. They accused their employers of falsely claiming they had viewed and shared child pornography from their mobile phones as grounds for their termination. In total, 32 personnel were dismissed

  • Bun Heang mocks US, threatens its citizens in scathing open letter

    After being hit with sanctions from the US Department of Treasury, Cambodian General Hing Bun Heang said he would retaliate against any US national who does not respect his country’s sovereignty, has ambitions to invade Cambodia or incites “traitors” in the Kingdom to do

  • Funcinpec urges probe into deadly Preah Sihanouk accident

    THE Funcinpec party has urged the government, especially the Ministry of Interior, to investigate the traffic accident in Preah Sihanouk province which left Prince Norodom Ranariddh badly injured and his wife Ouk Phalla dead. Funcinpec Vice President You Hokry told reporters at Botum Votey pagoda,