Friday, May 8, 2009

Sex Workers Hurt by the Recession Again

As we know, millions of sex workers in China's income have been dropping because of the recession. The high-end sex workers are affected less, although businessmen are tightening their belts, government officials who often benefit from the government's stimulus package have more money to spend for sex. But the low end ones who work on the streets or in the hair salons, whose customers are often lonely migrant workers from the factories, have seen their customers decrease sharply.

But now another blow is coming to them. Because of the recession, the government is getting less tax from companies and individuals, meanwhile, the government needs to expand spending to stimulate the economy, so the public sectors' funding is tight. According to a police friend of mine, his department is suffering from a budget deficit, so they decide to crack down the sex workers to get some fines as a way to generate more income. Of course they don't dare to touch the luxurious brothels owned by high-rank police officials, but they can work on the ones walking the street or in small salons.

My friend Liu Mang Yan, an activist working for the rights of sex workers, advises her sisters: don't panic when the police come, don't do things like jumping off the building, don't hurt yourself, you might only get a fine of 5000 and 5 days in prison.

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