It’s probably safe to say that police efforts to stamp out prostitution in China have a bad rep- and for good reason; considering the proliferation of pink Karaokes and massages, any “raid” seems arbitrary and possibly corrupt. That’s probably why Shanghai police are getting rid of raids altogether, trying out a new route: undercover sex workers.
From Shanghai Daily:
Police said they are now planning to train dedicated teams of police officers and assistants who would work undercover on collecting clues to crack down on the sex trade.
The system will allow quicker information sharing among police departments to raise efficiency. When undercover officers detect sex deals, the venues will be shut down, police said.
Police said working undercover along with carrying out spot checks would be more effective than occasional raids in stamping out prostitution.
Unfortunately, knowing how transparent the policies of undercover cops here are, it’s hard to see how this will make the cynical softer towards police interference. After all, it’s not like citizens were complaining that police weren’t finding enough prostitutes – just that every single one is hidden in plain site.
Our thoughts echo that of Ye Haiyan, who recently held a rally asking for legalization of the trade: if you really want to stamp out the problem, attacking it from the surface isn’t going to help – there’s too many factors in China making prostitution a viable option for girls, whether they’re poor as dirt or just hankering for LV. Legalize it, offer these working girls protection and rights, and then watch the market take care of itself.