People's Committee tries to raise stakes for Hanoi's johns

Thanh Nien News

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A sex worker at the police station in Hanoi. Photo: Thai Son A sex worker at the police station in Hanoi. Photo: Thai Son


Hanoi's municipal government has proposed raising the fines on those caught purchasing sex.
The city called on the National Assembly to raise the stakes for the clients of prostitutes, VnExpress cited the city’s proposal to nation's legislature as saying.
Under the standing 2013 ordnance, police can fine sex workers between VND100,000 and 300,000 (US$4.6-13.8), while their client's faces higher fines of between VND500,000 and VND1 million.
According to Hanoi Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, relevant agencies have faced many difficulties in tackling prostitution since mid-2012, when the assembly mandated that sex workers could no longer be remanded to compulsory rehabilitation centers.
Many sex workers refuse to pay their fines or simply can't, the agency said. In either case, they are now all acutely aware that police can only hold them for 24 hours.
The Hanoi administration also proposed that lawmakers draft a more effective plan to provide employment alternatives and vocational training to sex workers.
This isn't the capitol's first effort to make life harder for johns.
Last July, Hanoi authorities proposed a measure that would publicize the identities of so-called johns.
The measure has yet to receive a response from the National Assembly.
Hanoi's Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs estimates that about 3,000 sex workers operate in the capitol.
In related news, Hanoi police announced they had arrested of a taxi driver and a woman, on Monday, for running a prostitution ring that involved about 40 sex workers.
Pham Sy Hung, 37, and Nguyen Thi Quynh, 19, are being investigated on charges of procuring prostitution, according to police of Nam Tu Liem District.
Police claim Hung, a taxi driver, assigned Quynh to manage the women and find them clients.
Quynh, who is also a sex worker, charged VND1.5-2 million (US$70-94) per client--of which, she gave Hung VND300,000-500,000.
On January 8, police caught two sex workers and their clients at a guesthouse in the District. Further investigation led to the arrests of Hung and Quynh.

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