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HO CHI MINH CITY, July 1 (Xinhua) — There are many foreign prostitutes in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City but punitive measures like deportation are not taken against them, local online newspaper Thanh Nien (Young People) News reported.
“When caught, many of these sex workers claim they are tourists who just want to make some money for a ticket to return home,” Dang Minh Su of the municipal Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs was quoted as saying.
“The clients of foreign female sex workers, mostly westerners, are often business owners who want to try something new,” Su said.
Foreign men involved in the trade are mainly from African countries, who serve both male and female clients, Su said.
“There has been an increase in the number of foreigners working assex workers in Vietnam,” he said without elaborating.
Su said relevant authorities should scrupulously enforce a 2014 city decision to deport foreigners who are caught serving more than one client at a time.
A law sending sex workers to compulsory rehabilitation centers was rescinded a few years ago. Now they can be fined up to 300,000 Vietnamese dong (14 U.S. dollars), while their clients face fines of up to 10 million Vietnamese dong (460 U.S. dollars). People caught procuring prostitutes face criminal charges in addition to fines of up to 20 million Vietnamese dong.
Su said it has become more difficult to tackle prostitution since most women prostitutes refuse to take up new jobs and there are no regulations for handling male sex workers.
According to the department, sex workers operate on 33 streets and in 667 establishments like hotels, bars, cafs, hair dressers ‘, massage parlors in the city.
Su said there should be stricter measures against owners of facilities caught with prostitutes, including cancellation of the license.