Cambodian sex workers have taken to the internet to make their plight and fight for human rights better known. In Cambodia, a 100% condom use law which states that sexual exchanges with clients have to take place with condoms on sounds like a good idea, but it has been turned against those it is supposed to protect, by being used as a means to imprison sex workers, using the fact that they carry condoms with them as evidence for them doing sex work.
Sex workers arrested are sent to “rehabilitation” centers that are basically prisons, where women are held in communal cells with no bathrooms or running water, hardly receive food or water, some are beaten and raped, and are denied Anti-retroviral drug treatment for HIV positive women.
The Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers has a series of studies of the perceived results and effects of the 100% Condom Use Program according to sex workers in different countries, such as Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar. You can also see the video the have uploaded on their Blip.tv channel Sex Workers Present, where a comprehensive video with explanations of the implications of the 100% condom use program, interviews with women who have been arrested or sent to “rehabilitation” facilities where no type of education or training is received, and how these programs that connect condom use exclusively with sex workers are not going to be able to impact HIV and STI propagation among the rest of the population. The Asia pacific Network of Sex Workers recently won the 2008 international Award for Action on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights at the International AIDS conference in Mexico City the first week of August. The organization was founded in 1994 and has been working with sex workers on health and human rights along with other organizations and groups such as Empower Thailand, Sweetly Japan, Pink Triangle Malaysia, the Scarlet Alliance Australia and Sonagachi.
Click here to view the vid Caught between the Tiger and the Crocodile