City programme helps prostitutes - Website Ho Chi Minh City
A new programme kicked off yesterday in HCM City aims to provide prostitutes better access to social services, reduce social stigma and discrimination associated with their jobs, and help former prostitutes return to normal lives.
The programme will be administered by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and CARE International in HCM City, Quang Ninh and Can Tho until 2017. Prostitutes will be able to consult health professionals and others on life skills, legal knowledge, gender equality, fighting domestic violence, and avoiding contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
They will be encouraged to join the Blue Lotus Club, which will give them a place to support each other, and to exchange opinions and experiences. The club will also help them find job opportunities.
Huynh Thanh Khiet, deputy director of the HCM City Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, said prostitution has risen in recent years and has taken many forms to avoid detection by authorities.
Helping prostitutes access social services and return to normal lives is very important in the fight to stop prostitution, Khiet said.
The city has implemented programmes before for former prostitutes, including providing vocational training, health care and small loans for those looking to set up businesses or become financially independent.