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Khmer Women on the MoveExploring Work and Life in Urban Cambodia$
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Annuska Derks

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824831288

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824831288.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HAWAII SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hawaii.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hawaii University Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HSO for personal use (for details see http://www.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 16 December 2017

Sex Work

Sex Work

Chapter:
(p.88) 5 Sex Work
Source:
Khmer Women on the Move
Author(s):

Annuska Derks

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824831288.003.0005

This chapter discusses how the poor conditions in the red-light districts in Phnom Penh have contributed to the image of a “gruesome” sex industry in Cambodia. Western media reports depict Cambodia as a country where the “sex trade” flourishes, and where the associated AIDS epidemic threatens to result in its “next Killing Fields.” While ideas about sex workers as immoral women persist among many Cambodians, images of sex workers as slaves, commodities, and viruses have come to dominate reports on sex work. These reports portray young rural women, anxious to do anything to provide financial support for their families, have become tricked into a life of debt and virtual slavery. The chapter argues that these views reveal more about the moral attitudes of observers than about the daily lives, struggles, and experiences of the workers themselves.

Keywords:   Cambodian sex industry, sex trade, AIDS epidemic, red-light districts, sex workers, young rural women, virtual slavery

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