Chi said the trend has changed somewhat over recent years, with an increasing number of underaged sex workers from urban areas, such as runaways, junior high and high school dropouts, and in a few cases, adolescents from affluent families who end up in the sex industry because of parental neglect.
There are also different classes in the nation’s sex industry. High-end sex service providers, such as hoteliers, pubs and night clubs, try to get young, pretty girls, but sex workers in this category have less freedom to bargain and manage their incomes and might receive less payment because of the numerous fees managers collect to provide clients safe sex services, undisturbed by police, Wu said.
Sex workers who work individually have the most freedom in setting prices, but face the highest risks because they are easily identifiable and easy targets for the police, Wu said.
Those at the higher end of the industry can earn between NT$2,000 and NT$3,000 per session, but at the lower end, individual workers might get paid as little as NT$500 to NT$700, an unnamed police source said.
Rights groups believe the real issue at hand is probably not how the nation amends its laws, but whether social services are available to keep vulnerable women and underage girls out of the industry.