Drop-In-Centers, Women's Network For Unity

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Paper publication date: 
Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Women’s Networks for Unity (WNU) is operating two Drop in Centers (DiC) in Phnom Penh, Tralok Bek and Svay Pak, for sex workers. Both places are internationally infamous for its collection of brothels, and karaoke bars that exploit young Vietnamese, Cambodian women and young children for sex. It is estimated that there are 6,000 direct sex workers, and 26,000 indirect sex workers in Cambodia, 80% of them are
in Phnom Penh.

The two DICs opened in 2005. The centers have been used as a base for trainings on sex workers’ rights, laws, legal consultation, HIV/AIDs and healthcare related issues. They are also a temporary shelter for sex workers who face homelessness and they serve as classrooms for children of sex workers as well. The centers provide basic Khmer, English, mathematics, literatures, arts and break-dance performance to build up the children’s confidence and assist them on the enrolment and reintegration into the formal public-school system.

The space is also used to gather information on public healthcare system in Cambodia including critical services and fee, and to discuss on how to cooperate with local authorities in supporting sex workers on the Identification Card for the Poor particularly women so that they can have free access to public healthcare.