China gets a line through a controversial ‘detention and education system’ for sex workers and their clients. They could be held for two years without charge.
State media reports that those still trapped in specialised centres are being released.
Critics felt that the system had little to do with education. “Sex workers are exposed to police violence, forced labour, mandatory testing for sexually transmitted diseases, humiliation and physical violence at these centres,” says a director of Asia Catalyst who works with marginalised groups.
Xinhua State Press Agency reports that the system has played an “important role in teaching and rescuing those involved in prostitution and visiting prostitutes” in the last decades.
In the meantime, however, that “historical role” has been played out.
Prostitution remains illegal in China. It can be punished with a 15-day prison sentence and a fine of up to 5,000 yuan (around 640 euros).
China also stopped a ‘re-education system’ in 2013 that made it possible to detain small criminals for years without going to court.