China Launches Crackdown on Prostitution
    2009-06-29 14:49:43     Global Times      Web Editor: LiuDonghui
 
By Huang Jingjing

The Ministry of Public Security launched a three-month campaign Friday to fight those who organize prostitution and force women to work in the profession, it said on its website.

People in charge of entertainment centers and others that "provide prostitutes" will be the key targets for the campaign, it said.

The authorities' efforts will focus on entertainment venues, such as dancehalls and nightclubs, beauty salons and massage parlors, and hotels and rental apartments.

Xiao Dong, the head of a volunteer team engaged in AIDS prevention among homosexual men, told the Global Times that high-profile entertainment centers that have powerful, behind-the-scenes supporters were "beyond the reach of public security bureaus."

"The number of prostitutes has soared with the proliferation of the Internet and mobile phones. It is also easier and cheaper to find a prostitute now," he said.

The campaign would curb the growth of prostitution but would also have some "bad side-effects."

"The campaign will drive prostitution underground, which will make it harder to save the victims," he said.

"It would be better if the campaign included education, labor skills training, social care and financial support," he said.

The organization run by Xiao cares for an ex-prostitute named Xiao Xue, he said.

"She contracted HIV from prostitution, but has no money to pay for treatment. Many women like her need not only social care but also financial support."

Liu Suhua, an associate professor at the department of politics and law at the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, said more aid should be provided.

"Such a campaign will reduce prostitution temporally but it will come back later," she told the Global Times.

Lots of people in China think women are subordinate to men, so some women do not receive their fair respect and are used solely as "tools to make money," she said.

"Also, pimps are only ever given light punishments, like 15 days' detention or a 5,000-yuan fine," she said.

Women should be more independent, she said.

She said she once met a graduate working as a prostitute.

"When I asked her why, she said it was an easy way to make money."

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