Prostitution in Asia has been a serious problem for many years, mainly due to economic factors (i.e., poverty and unemployment) and custom. In countries such as Thailand, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia, the problem is largely confined to urban areas. In India and Japan prostitution is fairly widespread in rural areas as well. In recent years most of these countries have made efforts to control prostitution by enacting legislative measures. Prostitution has been legally abolished in the People's Republic of China since 1949; however, it has had a resurgence in the special economic zones.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.