Cambodia’s Minister of Tourism Veng Seryvuth marked World Tourism Day by “declaring that it should no longer be seen as a destination for sex tourists. Hotels, guesthouses and nightclubs in Cambodia will be required to put up signs stating “No child sex tourism”. The United Nations estimates that at minimum, 4 million women and girls are bought and sold worldwide, either into marriage, prostitution or slavery. It is reported that countries in Asia have the highest volume of trafficking in the world, aside from Eastern Europe. The Vietnamese Ministry of Justice reports some 100,000 Vietnamese women have been forced to work in Cambodia’s commercial sex industry with almost 15% of these being children under the age of 16.
Women’s rights activists are urging the international community and governments to develop tougher laws on sexual trafficking that would include punishment for all traffickers that profit from the recruitment, transport and sale of women into prostitution and greater protections and rights for all women who are recruited, transported and sold into prostitution, regardless of their “consent”.