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City tackles prostitution and human trafficking

Update: December, 19/2014 - 09:09
The city has a total of 29,487 hotels, karaoke bars and clubs, massage parlours and coffee shops. Of these, government agencies found 64,302 violations when they conducted inspections. They have fined, suspended and withdrawn the licences of all of these establishments. — Photo toaan

HCM CITY (VNS) — The deputy chairman of HCM City People's Committee Hua Ngoc Thuan on Wednesday instructed local authorities and agencies to take stronger measures against prostitution, and crimes related to prostitution, including human trafficking.

Huynh Thanh Khiet, deputy head of the city Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, said the city now has 58 "hot sites of prostitution", streets and areas where prostitution exists.

The city has a total of 29,487 hotels, karaoke bars and clubs, massage parlours and coffee shops. Of these, government agencies found 64,302 violations when they conducted inspections. They have fined, suspended and withdrawn the licences of all of these establishments.

Since 2003, the city and districts police have also worked with the Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs to seize 4,468 prostitutes and clients of prostitutes.

Between 2003 and 2012, the city's Women Education and Vocational Training Centre in Thu Duc District and Phu Nghia Education and Social Labour Centre in Binh Phuoc Province took in 3,909 prostitutes.

Of these, 3,823 integrated into society after 18 months of treatment and vocational training at the centres.

The Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs has also worked with the Women's Union and AIDS Prevention Committee to carry out three models to assist the women to integrate into society.

In one model, peer-education workers who are ex-prostitutes provide information about HIV/AIDS prevention, reproductive health and sexual disease prevention.

They also deliver condoms and syringes to street prostitutes and to female prostitutes working in restaurants.

The peer-education model last year helped reduce HIV transmission among street prostitutes by 4 per cent compared to 2009, according to the AIDS Prevention Committee.

However, the rate of HIV transmission still was 11 times higher than the general population affected by HIV.

The committee said it would strengthen intervention programmes in an aim to reduce HIV transmission among prostitutes.

The two remaining models include a club of women who have given up prostitution, drugs and card playing, and an assistance model for human trafficking victims and former prostitutes undergoing societal integration.

These two models mainly focus on providing small loans to the women to do business, in addition to vocational training and job recruitment. — VNS

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