Almost half of female sex workers in Vietnam have suffered violence from customers or partners, a new report said.
The National Institute of Labor Science and Social Affairs said at a meeting Wednesday that it interviewed 150 sex workers and 49.3 percent of them said they or their colleagues were victims of violence, mostly while working.
But the customers are not the only perpetrators. The women’s husbands or partners are also mentioned in 38 percent of the cases.
Most of the victims said they just stayed silent, because they are not well aware of their rights and also because they do not believe that the authorities will help.
Vietnam deems prostitution illegal and makes sex workers subject to fines of up to VND5 million (US$232) if they are caught.
Programs to help sex workers reintegrate into the community were established years ago but some say these have not helped many effectively.
Civil society groups have pressured the government to legalize prostitution so that the industry can be regulated and the workers better protected.