Caught Between the Tiger and the Crocodile

In 2008, the Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW), published a documentary film “Caught Between the Tiger and the Crocodile”, which explores the human rights abuses perpetrated against sex workers in Cambodian detention and “rehabilitation” centres.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNtC7YnGBdo&rel=0In 2008 a new Law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation was introduced,  which fails to recognise the differences between consensual sex work and trafficking. This meant many people working in or engaging with the sex industry were effectively criminalised.

"The 100% Condom Use Program was the Crocodile, the new law is the Tiger - and we are caught between them."

Implementation of the law led to a wave of police crackdowns. Sex industry establishment owners, clients of sex workers, and sex workers themselves (especially those engaged in street based sex work) were arbitrarily arrested. Sex workers were detained in “rehabilitation” centres for "skills development."The documentary features interviews with sex workers who were detained in these centres and were subsequently subjected to sexual assault, physical abuse, verbal insults and denied access to clean water, food and essential medicines, including ARVs. The advocacy campaign led by APNSW, the Women’s Network for Unity and other local human rights groups highlighted the abuses within these centers and resulted in the closure of two of the centers.“Caught Between the Tiger and the Crocodile” was launched at a solidarity day of action in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Phen, which involved over 500 sex workers.The film also covers sex workers' resistance to the controversial 100% condom use policy in Cambodia that targets sex workers, while police continue to use condoms as evidence.In the words of Cambodian sex workers:

"The 100% Condom Use Program was the Crocodile, the new law is the Tiger - and we are caught between them."

Full length video (14mins):https://youtu.be/7nzaAk30wkk&rel=0