Prostitution in Bhutan is illegal but in many of Bhutan's border towns there are people openly practicing in the sex trade. Prostitution mainly occurs in bars, clubs & hotels. Some of the sex workers are employed by bar and hotel owners to attract customers. Prostitution also occurs in the capital, Thimphu.
There are thought to be 400 - 500 sex workers in the country, many from poor backgrounds who enter prostitution for financial reasons.
Bhutan is becoming a destination for sex tourism for people from the West and India. Some high-end prostitutes are involved, tourists being more likely to be able to afford their fees. Some of the tourists are looking for sex with boys and girls.Guides Association of Bhutan The Guides Association of Bhutan report some tourists are demand female 'guides' to accompany them during their stay in the country.Guides Association of Bhutan
The Penal Code of Bhutan criminalises prostitution:
CHAPTER 26 - PROSTITUTION AND RELATED OFFENCES
Bhutan is a source and destination country for women and children vulnerable to sex trafficking. Bhutanese girls, working as domestic servants and entertainers in drayungs or karaoke bars, may be subjected to sex trafficking, coerced by debt and threats of physical abuse.
The United States Department of State Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons ranks Bhutan as a 'Tier 2' country.
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