Impose stiffer penalties in underage prostitution cases

I applaud the article ("There is no such thing as a child prostitute"; last Saturday) as well as the editorial ("Plight of the sex worker"; Feb 16), which argued for the full weight of the law to be brought to bear on pimps who exploit and abuse underage girls.

Singapore has made the amazing transition from Third World to First World, but along with this came undesirable elements such as prostitution and child trafficking, which are common in several global cities.

Recently, there have been several high-profile convictions of men who procured the services of underage prostitutes. These are commendable as the exploitation of children for sex should be tackled from the "demand" side.

The law should also be enhanced to address the "supply" side, by providing for more severe penalties for pimps and sex-trafficking syndicates, to act as an effective deterrent. Caning and jail sentences should be mandatory.

Measures need to be enforced to prevent Singapore from becoming a "hub" in the international sex trade.

Poh Lee Heng

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