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December 13, 2010

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Home » Metro » Education

Police checks on prostitution set to continue

Entertainment venues across the country are to be checked by police at least once a week in a bid to crack down on crimes related to prostitution, the Ministry of Public Security has announced.

Liu Shaowu, the ministry's director of security administration, said strict checks on entertainment venues should continue to prevent problems recurring. Besides the police checks, undercover operations would also be carried out regularly, Liu said.

He advised officers to treat prostitutes with respect during their operations.

"We used to call them prostitutes but they can now be called fallen women," Liu told a ministry meeting in Suzhou. "This special group of people also needs respect." His remarks were quoted in The Beijing News yesterday.

Last month, the ministry issued a notice informing provincial governments of their duty to save and educate "fallen women" and protect their rights, their reputation and their privacy.

Insults, discrimination, violence and humiliation were forbidden in the crackdowns against prostitution and the women's personal information was to be protected, the notice said.

The instruction was drafted to help fallen women return to society, said Xu Hu, the ministry's deputy director of security administration.

The ministry said that the recent crackdown on prostitution had been effective, with cases of prostitution and obscene performances in entertainment venues in October dropping 18.4 percent on a month-on-month basis, Xinhua news agency reported.

The campaign targeted organizers of prostitution and the business operators and "protective umbrellas" - sometimes local government officials - that allowed prostitution to take place, according to a document released by the ministry.

According to the document, the ministry sent 27 groups of inspectors to 651 entertainment venues in four municipalities and 20 provinces during the campaign. At 381 venues, cases of prostitution or obscene performances were discovered.

In July, the ministry sent 10 inspection groups to Shanghai and cities in Jilin, Guangdong, Hainan, Sichuan and Shaanxi provinces, to raid 10 venues, resulting in the arrest of 370 suspects.

Over the next three months, the ministry and local police solved 54 major cases, the document said.

Nearly a third of Beijing's female escorts were forced to seek new jobs after a six-month clampdown on prostitution in the capital closed hundreds of entertainment venues.

One former escort, identified as Xiao Li, said she felt "more at ease than before" although she earned much less. She told the Beijing Morning Post she was paid almost 6,000 yuan (US$903) a month by a KTV club before it shut.

The woman now earns 1,200 yuan working as a saleswoman in a clothes shop.


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