A top Phnom Penh official said Wednesday that he is working on a plan to expel thousands of foreign prostitutes from the capital.
“We are going to control prostitution within the existing law,” said First Deputy Governor Chea Sophara. “In this case foreigners must all apply by the immigration law first. We can reduce 30 percent of prostitutes from Cambodia this way.”
Chea Sophara said the municipality’s steering committee will meet Monday to discuss the issue of expelling foreign sex workers who do not hold proper immigration papers.
Deputy Cabinet Director Sok Lakhena said Wednesday he is aware of Monday’s meeting but could not confirm the agenda. A spokesperson for Vice Governor Mob Sarin also said he wasn’t aware of the agenda item.
After Monday’s meeting, according to Chea Sophara, the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be asked to help carry out the plan.
“We are now investigating and doing research on foreign prostitutes in Phnom Penh and then we will apply to the Ministry of Interior to enforce the issue,” said Chea Sophara.
Chea Sophara said Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai and Russian prostitutes are working in Cambodia. The plan to expel those living here illegally would apply to all and is not aimed at nationals from a particular country, he said.
Chea Sophara has previously stated efforts to “control” prostitution, but recent police crackdowns have failed to stop prostitution or shut down red-light districts.
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