Cambodia's Ministry of Interior plans to train "thousands" of police officers to "promote 100% condom use" for sex workers in Banteay Meanchey province.
However, according to a report in The Phnom Penh Post, this policy is a major conflict of interest, since prostitution is illegal.
The success of the effort, however, could be derailed by a major obstacle: Article 24 of the Law on the Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation, passed in February 2008, which criminalises sex work and has forced the Kingdom's sex workers away from brothels and into karaoke bars and beer gardens.Sara Bradford, technical adviser for the Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers in Cambodia, told the paper:
"First of all, it's completely unethical," she said, referring to the use of law enforcement officers as HIV/AIDS educators. "They go in, round up the girls, and people who round up the girls can't be the ones to go in and educate them.""What we have to do is to transform our officers to become ... educators who can teach others about HIV/AIDS," the vice chairman of the National AIDS Authority, Tia Phalla told the paper, adding that 50,000 police officers throughout Cambodia have now been educated about condom use.