Ministry targets prevention of prostitution in 2012

The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) held a conference in Hanoi on March 1 to discuss the key targets for prevention of prostitution and drug rehabilitation in 2012.

This year MoLISA is planning to cover 50 prime areas in its efforts to prevent prostitution, streamline related policies to be able to revoke licences of businesses acting as front for prostitution, and reduce prostitution hot spots to 30 per cent,  said Pham Thi Hai, Minister of MoLISA.

Even though the whole nation is implementing  ‘Programme to Prevent Prostitution in the Period 2011-2015’ as per Prime Minister’s decision, the situation seems to worsen day by day, especially in metropolitan areas and large industrial zones in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Vung Tau, Can Tho, and also in smaller places like Do Son, Sam Son, Cua Lo. People fret about the present situation, said Le Duc Hien, deputy director of the Department for Prevention of Social Evil.

Statistics show there are approximately 14,802 official prostitutes nationwide, 73,000 escort services with more than 48,000 waitresses, 3,212 of whom are suspected to be prostitutes. As a result, there is an alarming rise in HIV/AIDS infection due to unsafe sex, particularly in the southwest regions of the country.

The Ministry of Health reported that the rate of HIV/AIDS infection from unsafe sex in 2011 was 76 per cent in this area, while years ago, the highest rate was of drug addicts.

According to the Department for Prevention of Social Evil, the most troublesome issue is that prostitution rings are becoming more and more professional and sophisticated, fully exploiting both high technology and the Internet. Moreover, prostitutes are getting younger and more diverse, from models, singers, actresses to students.

Le Duc Hien said that in 2012, the government will provide 41 provinces and cities with a fund of VND25 billion (US$1.2 million) from the national budget to support them in effectively preventing this social issue. Meanwhile, the   ‘Programme to Prevent Prostitution in the Period 2011-2015’ will receive VND600 billion ($28.8 million) for the next five year period, to successfully implement the programme.

By V.Phuc – Translated by Uyen Phuong

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