Do American Embassy Staffers Patronize Cambodian Brothels For “Research” Purposes?
The answer is yes, yes they do.
As stated by the embassy itself:
What is particularly notable about this is that they sent an intern to do this. Imagine if you were an untrained college student on a 2-3 month internship in the embassy, and they sent you to a series of nightclubs to investigate the use of Chinese prostitutes, including underage women as young as 14? As a 2007 Khmer440 Guide to Phnom Penh (Khmer) Nightclubs article points out, many of these locations had very bad/sketchy reputations, and "dodgy looking Chinese guys in the corner". It's also notable that this particular cable is specifically about researching Chinese sex tourism, meaning that they must routinely conduct similar "research" for several different types of "sex tourism", keeping data on locations and the going rates, all compiled by interns and regular staffers.Typically shrouded behind legitimate businesses, Phnom Penh's sex establishments catering to the Chinese operate relatively discretely. Generally, Chinese men come to Phnom Penh for business reasons, not for the purpose of sex tourism. Chinese clientele refrain from the low-end brothels used by average Cambodians, preferring karaoke bars and massage parlors that cater to the Chinese. Some of these establishments have girls suspected of being trafficked from Vietnam and increasingly from China; numbers of underage girls present are hard to estimate, but girls as young as 14-15 years of age are not uncommon. Debt bondage draws some Chinese sex workers to Cambodia. End Summary.
Chinese-speaking Pol/Econ intern and Poleconoff of Asian descent surveyed various Phnom Penh sex establishments posing as customers. Information was gathered by asking Chinese businessmen, hostesses, and managers about Chinese-speaking visitors to Cambodia, and how they factor into the trafficking for sex industry in Cambodia.