Business Association Will Bar ‘Sex Work’ Hotels Linked to

Citing a need to protect Cam­bo­d­ia’s reputation, the newly form­ed Cambodia Hotel As­so­ciation will not offer membership to hotels and guesthouses link­ed to human trafficking or prostitution, officials said Thurs­day.

The 18-member CHA was es­tablished Wednesday to replace the Phnom Penh Hotel As­socia­tion and the Siem Reap Ang­kor Hotel and Guesthouse As­so­ciation.

As an example of the kind of es­tab­lishment that will be banned from membership, officials pointed to the scandal-plagued Chai Hour II Hotel in Phnom Penh.

“We don’t accept Chai Hour II Hotel,” said James Kheng Sok, an of­fice manager with the Cambodia Ho­tel Association. “We only accept members that are not related to sex work.”

A December raid on the Chai Hour II that resulted in the rescue of 83 women and girls is at the center of the US government’s recent threats to impose sanctions on Cam­bodia for its unwillingness to crack down on trafficking.

The women were later returned to the hotel after a raid on a wo­men’s shelter run by the NGO Afe­sip where they were being housed. No suspects have been ar­rested.

Ministry of Tourism Secretary of State Thong Khon, who attended the launch of the CHA on Wednes­day, said the ministry will let the as­sociation decide on who it will ac­cept as members.

“It is up to the association,” he said. “The association helps the gov­ernment in promoting the country.”

Chai Hour II Hotel management could not be reached for comment Thurs­­day.

Ly Korm, president of the Cam­bodian Tourism and Service Work­ers Federation, said the CHA should allow hotels with links to prostitution into the organization so more reputable establishments can help them change their ways.

“If they let them be members, other good hotels can teach them to stop [promoting prostitution],” Ly Korm said.

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