The sex sector

Focuses on the commercial sex sector's connections with the national economies of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand as well as the international economy. Describes the organizational structures and relations within the commercial sex sector and illustrates how increasingly complex and significant the sector has become in these countries. In addition to the national case studies, which include the results of surveys of sex workers, comprises chapters on child prostitution and legislation and policies targeting the commercial sex industry. Examines also some historical and social factors behind the development of the sex sector.

"This book is well-researched and rigorous study of an underground economic area, that makes an invaluable contribution to our knowledge of The Sex Sector, and its "contribution" to growth and well being. I challenge academics to use it as a teaching resource and an industry study, to venture into more difficult case study material, and to reflect on the adequacy of economic models to deal with such large economic sectors when they raise such moral questions."
International Journal of Social Economics, Australia, Vol. 27, 2000

"There is a wealth of data demonstrating the sector's increasingly complex and significant contribution to each of the national economies. In sum, Lim's volume is an essential source book and a vital reminder to students of the value of empirically grounded social analysis. It is also engaged with the practicalities of reform, for it was produced as an integral component of political action on the sex trade..."
Work, Employment & Society, UK, Vol. 14, 2000

Recognizing that prostitution has strong economic and social bases, the authors of this study focus on the commercial sex sector and its institutional structures and connections with the national and international economies. Case studies of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand are illustrative of the situation in many countries which have a significant sex sector. The book examines how vested economic interests and unequal social relations between the sexes and between parents and children interact with considerations based on human rights, workers’ rights, morality, criminality, and health threats to influence the legal stance adopted by governments and the social programmes targeting the sex sector. A chapter specifically addresses child prostitution and explains why it should be treated as a much more serious problem than adult prostitution.