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According to the United Nations humanitarian news agency IRIN, the number of registered sex workers there has climbed to 29,000 -- that's up from 17,000 in 1993.Germaine Razafindravao, a member of one sex worker organization, told IRIN that prostitution was an easy trade to fall into."Girls come from the countryside to work as maids," she said.Those who apply for a sex work permit are entitled to certain protections under the law, as well as health care benefits.But efforts to regulate the industry are often effective.On the island of Nosy Be, for instance, where fishing is big business, women found themselves turning to prostitution as a last resort when the most lucrative jobs went to foreign nationals."In Nosy Be a lot of women had come to work in a shrimp factory, and when the factory started shedding labor, the unemployed became prostitutes.The Japanese fishermen had money, and that's when big prostitution started," said Jocelyn Gabriel, a member of an anti-prostitution network, to IRIN.It is jointly owned by corporations from Japan, South Korea and Canada.The resulting influx of mostly male workers has brought prostitutes from all across the country to this port town -- IRIN reports that about one in seven residents there are now sex workers.
Sex workers must carry ID cards proving that they are over the age of 18.
Until those problems are resolved, unrest is liable to continue trickling down to affect the livelihoods of young women across the country.
A Capital Offense Madagascar has seen piecemeal development since it first implemented free general elections in 1992, but that fell apart in 2009 with the overthrow of then-President Marc Ravalomanana, a former businessman who was elected to office in 2002.
But since official donors no longer work with the government, that aid has been poorly organized and comparatively ineffective.
As a result, found the report, "many households have suffered from significant financial losses and so are less able to finance their education and health expenses; and the public health and education systems are lacking of funding and materials, especially in rural areas."Another Influx But Madagascar has been the site of a different kind of international investment -- one that has brought in thousands of foreign workers.