Sex Worker Rights in Cambodia: Caught Between the Tiger and the Crocodile

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Witnessed: 11726 times

Regions: Asia, Cambodia

Issues: HIV-AIDS, Police brutality, Sexual rights

Tags: Cambodia, HIV/AIDS, sex workers

In Cambodia, the 100% Condom Use Policy - created to "protect" sex workers and curb HIV/AIDS - is reportedly being used by local police as an instrument to harass, persecute, and criminalize sex workers.

Caught Between the Tiger and the Crocodile, produced by Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW), tells the stories of women that have been arrested for carrying condoms, which are then used as evidence of sex work (illegal after new anti-trafficking laws were introduced earlier this year).

Once arrested, these women are sent to "rehabilitation centers" - facilities advertised as job-training centers by the government, but denounced by local groups as inhumane prisons.

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Comments

They are not quiet

Sex workers are far from silent on these issues. In Cambodia sex workers had already been successfully raising public attention about police brutality and rights’ violations. One of the two "detention centers" has been closed. The sex workers have been honored with an award from Human Rights Watch and have gone on to make many more videos about what life really looks like for sex workers in the Asia Pacific, proving that "only rights can stop the wrongs."


What does APNSW actually do?

I looked at their website, but it is not clear what they actually do.

What is their core mission and how are they carrying it out?

While it is unfortunate that prostitutes are being sent to prison, the article implies that they are doing the work voluntarily. From what I know, especially in many 3rd World countries, most prostitution is forced by criminals. So what is the real situation and who does the APNSW actually represent or try to protect?



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