China bans ‘custody and education’ punishment for sex workers – The Week

Press Trust of India (PTI) is India’s premier news agency. PTI was registered in 1947 and started functioning in 1949. PTI claims to command 90 per cent of the news agency market share in India.

Chinese lawmakers Saturday voted to abolish the “custody and education” punishment system, which allowed police to hold sex workers and their clients without charge for up to two years, state media reported.

Critics say the nearly three-decade-old system has little to do with education.

“Sex workers are subjected to police violence… forced labour, compulsory testing for sexually transmitted disease… humiliation and physical violence at these centres,” said Shen Tingting, director of advocacy and policy at Asia Catalyst, an NGO working with marginalised groups in the region. Abolishing this system is a “significant positive step,” she said.

The arbitrary detention system will cease from December 29, and those held at “education centers” should be released immediately, state news agency Xinhua reported.

There has been a public push to close the centres ever since China’s top legislative committee abolished its system of “re-education through labour camps” in 2013.
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