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Sex work businesses corralled under project

Update: March, 25/2016 - 09:00
All establishments that traditionally draw prostitution - hotels, bars, dance halls and massage parlors - will be relegated to a specific area in a pilot project  issued by Prime Minister Nguyễn Tấn Dũng on March 3 for 2016 to 2020. — Illustrative photo baodansinh.vn

HÀ NỘI — Several provinces and cities where prostitution is popular were chosen for a pilot project that aims to prevent the crime and reduce its effects on the community.

The project is part of an anti-prostitution programme issued by Prime Minister Nguyễn Tấn Dũng on March 3 for 2016 to 2020.

Under the pilot project, all establishments that traditionally draw prostitution - hotels, bars, dance halls and massage parlors - will be relegated to a specific area.

Lê Văn Quý, deputy director of the HCM City Social Evils Prevention Department, told Hải quan (Customs) newspaper that the relegation was necessary because it made the businesses easier to manage, and would help ensure public order and workers’ rights. All employees in the establishments would need to sign work contracts. The intent of the project was not to encourage prostitution, but to gradually eliminate it while supporting those in the line of work.

Social organisations would then help the prostitutes return to normal lives by giving them consultancy work and job introductions, he said.

Khuất Thu Hồng, director of the Institute for Social Development Studies, said that other Asian countries such as South Korea and Thailand had been successful in setting up specific area for such businesses. With this model, prostitutes could receive medical services, have the right to refuse unprotected sex and be protected by the law if they were attacked.

When prostitution occurs behind closed doors in Việt Nam, the Government has no control over the spread of sexually transmitted infections such as HIV.

Đỗ Văn Quân, a sociologist not affiliated with the project, said the provinces should collect taxes in the areas and register the businesses providing prostitution “because we are forced to accept prostitutes, but not encourage these careers.”

Agreeing with Quân, director Hồng said that to run the pilot model, careful social, cultural and legal researches on the issue should be conducted.

As the project’s co-ordinators learn, they should widen the model and use it in more provinces, she said.

The country also needed to create an itinerary to change related laws and policies, he said. — VNS   

 

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