Male and gay prostitution is increasing
VietNamNet Bridge - Although there are no specific figures, according to representatives of the Departments of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs of Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho City, male prostitution is on the rise, including students. The handling of these people is in trouble.

Speaking at the conference reviewing the implementation of the action plan against prostitution in 2011-2015 last week, Mr. Le Van Quy, Deputy Director of the HCM City Bureau for Social Evil Prevention, said in HCM City, in addition to a number of rings of high-end call girls, with the participation of actresses and models, male and gay prostitution is growing and increasingly sophisticatedly.

"Some spas and beauty salons use gays to serve homosexuals. There is sophisticated development of male and gay prostitution, foreign sex workers and Vietnamese prostitutes going abroad in the form of sex tourism," he said.

Although there are no specific statistics about male and gay prostitution, Quy said the number of men doing this job is increasing, including students. Due to social stigma, most gays do not get tests or go to health facilities for consultation, resulting in the increase of HIV.

"Five years ago, the HCM City Bureau for Social Evil Prevention arrested and sent to treatment centers 22 male and gay prostitutes, but then we had to release them because the current law has not related provisions," he said.

Ms. Pham Ngoc Phuong, Director of the Can Tho Bureau for Social Evil Prevention, also expressed concern about the development of male and gay prostitution in the city. "It is very difficult to handle male and gay prostitutes," she said.

Not only in Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho, a "love market" for gays has recently appeared in Da Nang City. This place is not only is the venue of homosexuals but also a place for crime. Many gays were robbed there.

Major Vu The Huan, from the National Criminal Police Agency, told VNexpress newswire that the agency used to arrest male prostitutes but had to release them because of the lack of related provisions. "We will propose to the National Assembly and the Government to amend the law," Major Huan said.

As being reflected by representatives of some provinces and cities, prostitution has been disguised in various forms, so it is difficult for the authorities to control it. In many cities, there are prostitution services over the phone or Internet; employees at karaoke bars, hair salons and massage shops work as prostitutes, etc. Instead of standing in public places, sex workers now use motorcycles to run around to seek customers.

Prostitution flourishes at coastal resort such as Do Son (Hai Phong), Sam Son (Thanh Hoa), Quat Lam (Nam Dinh), Cua Lo (Nghe An), Ky Anh (Ha Tinh)... in summer. Most of sex workers are from the southwestern region. According to Mr. Pham Duc Chinh, Deputy Director of the Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs of Nam Dinh Province, the situation is very difficult to handle because prostitutes disguise as tourists.

In this regard, Major Vu The Huan said the police will strictly handle prostitution. "We will coordinate with the telecommunications agencies to hinder prostitutes from posting their pictures or advertising on the Internet. The Ministry of Information and Communications should also combine to closely control the use of Internet and telephone for sex transaction," said Huan.

At the conference, many delegates proposed amendments to the Law on Administrative Fines and Resolution No. 24/2012 of the National Assembly, which takes effect from July 2012 for being inappropriate to reality. The HCM City Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs said that prostitutes in public venues will increase because if they are caught in the act, they are willing to pay a fine and continue to practice prostitution. The sanction is too low compared to the "income" of sex workers.

This department also proposed to the National Assembly Standing Committee and the Government to add regulations on handling sexual service at service establishments, male and gay prostitution and foreign-related prostitution.

Delegate Pham Duc Chinh form Nam Dinh suggested to remove fines on prostitution and instead, send them to medical facilities for HIV testing.

Ms. Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuy, from the Hanoi Bureau for Social Evil Prevention, said that it is necessary to classify prostitutes. For sex workers from other provinces, who do not have a certain place of residence and have been fined several times and are infected with social diseases must be sent to social protection centers for management.

According to the Agency for Social Evil Prevention, in 2012, the authorities seized 1,077 prostitution cases, with 4,543 people and handled 744 criminal cases.

At the border, the border guard force handled 133 cases of prostitution and human trafficking for purposes of prostitution, rescued 177 victims, including 16 children.

In Lao Cai, prostitution from outside the borders takes place publically, with about 100 prostitution rings totaling about 600 Vietnamese prostitutes. The court also accepted 507 cases on charges of prostitute harboring and brokerage.

Compiled by Tra Nguyen
Vietnam, prostitution, sex workers