News/Cambodia: Prostitution Flourishing in Cambodia

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Subject: News/Cambodia: Prostitution Flourishing in Cambodia
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Sun Jan 30 2000 - 13:40:31 EST


"Prostitution Flourishing in Cambodia"
  Detroit Free Press (01/28/00); McDonald, Mark
  In Cambodia, young, rural girls are being sold to urban pimps and
  forced to become prostitutes. Many of these girls, who are sold
  to help provide money for their families, are sent to work in the
  city. Procurers, or middle-aged women who promise the girls work
  as a waitress or housekeeper, deceive the girls and then sell
  them to brothel owners. The World Health Organization estimates
  that nearly two-thirds of Cambodian prostitutes have HIV.
  Furthermore, according to Vietnam's Ministry of Health, about
  20,000 Vietnamese women work as prostitutes in Cambodia, and half
  will contract the virus that causes AIDS before they return home.
  Most of the rural girls who come to Phnom Penh are virgins. The
  AIDS epidemic has made virgins extremely desirable, and some men
  believe that having sex with a virgin is healthy and can even
  cure HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases. A new program
  funded by the United Nations Foundation hopes to stop the massive
  trafficking of women from Vietnam to Cambodia. Lisa Ng Bow, a
  specialist with the UN Development Program in Bangkok, notes that
  the $2.8 million effort will both study the trafficking as well
  as work to prevent it.

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