Girls 'lured into vice' by cyber-cafes

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 06 July, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 06 July, 2002, 12:00am

Female students are being lured into working as prostitutes after being offered summer jobs at Internet cafes in Hong Kong, a charity warned yesterday.

A survey by the Caritas Youth and Community Services revealed the number of newspaper recruitment adverts for girls to work in suspect cyber-cafes had jumped from one or two earlier in the year to around 10 a day in the past two months.

The organisation expressed concern that more adverts would be posted when the summer holidays begin this month. The adverts usually target women aged 16 and above, offering $15,000 or more a month, even if applicants have no experience.

Chan Chi-sing, a Caritas social worker, said more young women would be lured into the sex trade because of the lack of alternative opportunities. He said Internet cafes which doubled as vice dens were becoming increasingly common, especially this summer.

'We did not see those ads last summer. The vice syndicates are using new means to recruit young women,' he said.

'Before, we saw recruitment for young women to work in karaoke lounges. They have now been replaced by cyber-cafes, which are growing common.'

There are Internet cafes offering sex services in commercial buildings in Causeway Bay and Mongkok.

'The pay on offer is very attractive. It would be almost impossible to find such a good offer elsewhere,' Mr Chan said.

The organisation appealed to police to crack down on the rogue cafes before more young women were lured into the trade.