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Police Crackdown on Sex Work Debated

In a police crackdown on public prostitution, sex worker advocates said Thursday the rights of the women and men must be respected.

"Those people need money to feed their children, need money to buy books and feed themselves," saidof Cambodia Network for Men and Women Development, as one of three guests on "Hello VOA."

A new anti-trafficking law passed in February has led to the arrests and fines of sex workers who seek clients in public parks and other locales around the city.

The crackdown has made making a living for these women and men very hard, said Sou Sotheavy, who was joined by Leng Sros, vice president of the organization.

Maj. Iem Ratana, chief of anti-trafficking and juvenile protection unit of the Phnom Penh Municipal Police, said the sex industry had declined in the city thanks to the crackdown.

"New law enforcement has made this activity decline, as some violators dare not do it and back off," he said. "It's against the law and custom."