Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Rights of sex workers must be considered



Rights of sex workers must be considered

Rights of sex workers must be considered

Dear Editor,

I wish to congratulate The Phnom Penh Post for its article "Sex workers face more risks in global downturn", published on May 13, 2009.

The article gives a human face to sex workers whose choice is close to none in terms of finding "reputable and legal jobs", as suggested by the minister for women's affairs.

I recognise the efforts of the government in providing economic alternatives to our women.

But I also strongly believe that the government must also be responsible for the impact the global economic crisis has on women who are in the sex trade because of the great exposure to high risks of exploitation, gender-based violence, the loss of power to negotiate with their clients to use condoms and violations of their human rights.

Sixty thousand young women from the garment sector have been laid off in the past year.

This number alone should ring a very strong alarm bell to the Women's Affairs Ministry that our women are at risk of exploitation, as they are desperate to replace the income they have just lost due to the economic crisis.

It is well-recorded that each garment worker supports at least four other members of her family.

It is unrealistic and irresponsible to simply ask them to return to their land or to wait until the government develops the agricultural sector.

Does the Commerce Ministry have openings to absorb the 60,000 women in its skills training program?

Would they have left their farms if they had a choice to make it in their villages?

We know very well what social stigma female factory workers, women who serve beer or work in the entertainment industry must suffer.

If we recognise the role of women as breadwinners, then we must recognise that women in the sex trade have the same economic value.

They must be protected and have the same rights, and need protection when their human rights are violated.

If the income of the sex workers decreases because of the global crisis, it is our problem as well as theirs.

The impact is manifold because sex workers are also mothers to their own children.

Mu Sochua, MP

Sam Rainsy Party 

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and