Illustrative image (Source: VNA) 
Bac Lieu (VNA) – A conference to launch the 2016-2020 programme on prostitution prevention was held in the southern province of Bac Lieu on May 19.

Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Trong Dam said the programme focuses on social solutions by building mechanisms to protect human rights, increasing vulnerable people’s access to social welfare services and raising public awareness of the drive.

As planned, the ministries and agencies will review and supplement relevant legal documents as assigned by the Prime Minister, launch awareness campaigns and pilot preventive models while increasing inspection.

Localities were asked to increase the fight against the sex trade, particularly cases involving children, improve the capacity of labour and cultural inspectors and establish inter-sectoral inspection teams.

Currently, there are 11,240 sex workers on record, mostly in the Red River, the southeastern region and the Mekong Delta. However, the actual figure may be higher due to the emergence of homosexual and trans-gender prostitution, sex tours and cyber sex.

The rate of HIV/AIDS transmission through unprotected sex has surpassed a record 45 percent. Moreover, sex workers frequently face violence and discrimination and find it hard to access social services.

On the occasion, Dam called on municipal and provincial authorities to provide resources for prostitution monitoring organisations.

The ministries of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs; Health and Public Security should develop a cooperation mechanism to effectively combat prostitution, he said.

The event was co-hosted by the National Committee for AIDS, Drugs and Prostitution Prevention and Control; and the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.-VNA