China's sex workers

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A plainclothes policeman catches a woman during a police crackdown on prostitution in Quanzhou, Fujian province, October 29, 2011. China should remove criminal and administrative penalties against sex workers which often lead to serious police abuses, Human Rights Watch said in a report released on May 14, 2013. The abuses include torture, beatings, physical assaults, fines and arbitrary detentions of up to two years, as well as a failure to investigate crimes against sex workers by clients, bosses and state agents, according to the report. Prostitution is not permitted under Chinese law, although the industry has boomed since the country launched economic reforms in 1978. REUTERS/Stringer