Under the Suppression of Prostitution Act, enacted in 1949, the act of soliciting or seducing in public is illegal, as is forcing or enticing women into prostitution or owning brothels.The Penal Code guarantees protection of female children from sexual abuse, with any persons found having sexual intercourse with a girl of under 14 years (with or without consent) charged with rape.IOM is coordinating the humanitarian response amid an exodus of an estimated 480,000 people who have reached Cox's Bazar since August 25.An agency statement on Wednesday said IOM doctors had treated dozens of women who experienced "violent sexual assault" since August but said such numbers likely represent only a "small portion" of actual cases.Burma is a major source of prostitutes (an estimate of 25,000–30,000) in Thailand, with the majority of women trafficked taken to Ranong, bordering south Burma, and Mae Sai, at the eastern tip of Burma.
A red light district has also emerged in Naypyidaw, Burma's new national capital, with brothels primarily disguised as beauty parlors and massage salons that attract mainly businessmen and military personnel.
In many instances, such women come from remote regions.
In Yangon, prostitution often occurs in hotels that also operate as brothels.
Soon afterwards, Wut Yee, who asked that her real name not be used, ended up working at a massage parlour that doubles as a brothel near Bayint Naung market, one of Yangon's busiest places. Due to the clandestine nature of sex work in Myanmar, it is impossible to know how many underage girls like Wut Yee are involved in the trade in Yangon, the country's biggest city that is home to about five million of the nation's 53 million people.
Aid workers warn the problem could get worse if not confronted by authorities as Myanmar society opens up after half a century of isolation under military rule.