Last update 11/13/2010 10:08:00 PM (GMT+7)
  

Should Vietnam learn from Thailand about control of prostitution?

VietNamNet Bridge – The HCMC newspaper Phap Luat’s series on the world’s oldest profession stirred up lots of responses from its readers. A remarkably high percentage supported the idea of regulating prostitution within organized red light districts.

 

Vietnam should choose a suitable measure to control prostitution based on the experience of countries in the world, suggested reader Nguyen Tran Lam. He said research work in 72 countries reveals four prostitution control models. These are:

·Prohibition. Prostitution is illegal and prostitutes are strictly chastised. However, harsh laws encourage disguised prostitution, which can cause the spread of HIV and collusion among sex workers, the drug market and organized. Many European countries have given up this model in favor of “softer” models.

·Legalization. The government controls prostitution by zoning areas for prostitutes, granting certificates to prostitutes, requiring prostitutes to have periodical check-ups and to use condoms. The Netherlands, Germany, Singapore and some states in Australia apply this model. This model can help maintain social order, curb sexual exploit and woman trafficking and control diseases. However, this model can’t reduce disguised prostitution and requires close collaboration among executive agencies. Because prostitutes are required to have health check-ups, “clients” can neglect safe sex measures.

·Decriminalisation. Regards considering prostitution as a job (‘sex work’) and expunges prostitution-related crimes from the penal code. This policy reduces discrimination against prostitutes, enhances social order and community health, and eliminates incentives to practice  disguised prostitution. This model is considered progressive and advocated by many social organizations.

·Non-prosecution. Sanctions against prostitution are not stipulated by law but rather prostitution is controlled via “national instructions”. Accordingly, prostitutes and procurers are not arrested. This policy can help curb the spread of HIV and reduce crime and violence but it requires a high degree of police responsibility and flexibility.  Thailand has carried out this model quite successfully.

Phap Luat HCMC reader Lam says that Vietnam cannot maintain the first model any more and, because the second and third models are infeasible, the country should learn from Thailand.

Lam’s opinion is shared by many other readers. Here are excerpts:

·I agree to set up a red-light zone because there is a real social demand for sex. We currently ban prostitution but the ban is ineffective. It is impossible to prevent people from satisfying an indispensable need so it is good to have a place where people can do so without fear. (aldi…@yahoo.com.vn)

·If there is a better way to manage prostitution, developed countries would have used it instead of opening red-light zones.  If these zones were not somewhat effective, they would not exist.  We ban prostitution but it still fluorishes. The government agencies are the only ones that ‘don’t know’ about it (or, rather, they know but they neglect it) (anhchau…@hotmail…)

·We should open red-light areas to easily control diseases and social evils that flow from this sensitive job. Why are our laws sympathetic to gays but hostile to prostitutes? Prostitutes don’t steal, cheat or rob. They are untrained and unskilled women, so how can we create other jobs for them?

If we recognize what sex workers do as a job, they will not be exploited or forced to do bad things by procurers and they will have more money for their families. We have banned prostitution for many years but that hasn’t changed anything. We arrest them and put them into rehabilitation centres, which costs a lot of money from the state budget, but what happens after we release them? It’s time to change our preconception against prostitutes. (nguyencongthanh…@gmail.com).

·Sex is a human instinct, so why do we have to hide when we have sex? Is this instinct bad? We should see its good aspects. Prostitution can help reduce rapes and divorce cases caused by sexually related conflicts. I hope people will carefully consider this issue so red-light zones will be opened. (hong linh)

·Though there are many opinions about this issue, but on balance it is better to have red-light zones. I guess that they will be approved sooner or later. (truongtamphong…@yahoo.com.vn)

·If red-light zones are set up, we should not tax prostitutes – doing that, the state would just take over the role of procurer!  Can we be assured that men who get into this zone are safe from HIV/AIDS? If the state can ensure these things, it should open red-light zones. (duong…@yahoo.com.vn)

·Red-light zones should be set up not to deal with the “thirst for sex” but to control prostitution. (iny…@yahoo.com)

·We should accept red-light zones and manage them. Not recognizing the sex trade but letting it develop rampantly (the current situation) is no good. We should tax prostitution to restrict its development.  Once the revenues go to the budget, they’re no different from any other money. (ki…@yahoo.com).

·We should not obsess about social morality regarding this form of sensitive service, or consider ourselves superior to countries that allow legal prostitution. I think we ought to open red-light zones to manage it and prevent HIV/AIDS.  We should manage it in our own way, not apply exactly the model of other countries. (vuduc…@yahoo.com).

·Let’s try red-light zones. It is better to have some control over prostitution than none. (…diem@yahoo.com).

·What do you think when prostitutes stand in front of your house every night? I’m scared! We would rather open red-light zones than let prostitutes work everywhere.

Someone said that legal prostitution is inhumane and uncivilized but is it humane or civilized when secret playboys get HIV from prostitutes or they are killed or robbed by procurers and by prostitutes? Some have asked what will happen if someone sees their sister in the red-light zone but even without a red-light zone, she is a prostitute already and she work on the street. 

I don’t think we should set up red-light zones to collect taxes. I want to have red-light zones to better control of prostitution so that we have a more peaceful and “cleaner” society. (… huy@yahoo.com.vn)

·Why do some call the need for sex “trivial’?  It is difficult to understand. Vietnam always trails behind others, failing at managing things that others have successfully managed for hundreds of years. (son…@yahoo.com.vn)

·I support the idea of opening red-light zones in Vietnam because it can create many jobs. Managing red-light zones should be the task of a specific agency. (tung…@yahoo.com.vn)

·It is ridiculous that we allow Vietnamese women to ‘marry’ Western men but still don’t want to have red-light zones in Vietnam.  Though we ban prostitution, it still has a high social cost. Now we only need to control it. (odi…@...com)

·Opening red-light zones doesn’t mean that we deny our traditions.  Anybody who wishes topreserve tradition can and it that will be very good. As for those people who don’t want to keep tradition, its their business and we can ignore them them. (…huy@yahoo.com.vn)

PV

 
*
*
*
  Send