Vietnam launches prostitution crackdown

TN News

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The government has launched a five-year program aimed at cracking down on prostitution in communes and towns.

With a budget of VND629 billion ($30.5 million), the program looks to reduce the rate of prostitution in communes and towns by 60 percent by 2015, the government said in a statement posted on its website this week.

Building more rehab and healthcare centers and providing job training for former sex workers are among the measures the government said will be taken to battle prostitution.

Money will also be spent on propaganda such as leaflets, newspapers and documents aiming to raise awareness of sex workers about HIV infection and sexually transmitted diseases.

Police departments will be supported to strengthen crackdown on secret brothels and prostitutes in public places.

An estimated 30,000-40,000 sex workers are reported to operate nationwide, and the industry has continued to flourish despite previous campaigns against it.

Between 2006 and 2010, Vietnamese authorities discovered nearly one third of more than 182,000 establishments housing prostitutes, with a total 9,067 sex workers busted.

Localities with the most prostitutes include Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Can Tho, Tay Ninh, Dong Thap and Dong Nai.

An estimated 30-40 percent of Vietnamese prostitutes are infected with HIV, according to a study by the Social Ills Prevention Department in Ho Chi Minh City.

The study reveals that prostitutes have the third highest rate of HIV infection after drug users and men who have sex with men.

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