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Please refresh the page and retry. T his article has an estimated read time of eight minutes. Speaking in a whisper, she explains her average evening. Men pick her up from the park by the Central Tower office building, then they go to a nearby hotel for an hour of sex. Minjuur has a small scar on her right upper cheek that is visible despite her makeup, and she counts on her fingers the number of friends who have died in her line of work.
It is minus 20 degrees Celsius tonight, and Minjuur has a chest-rattling cough. Vodka helps her ward off the chill. She says the winter is hard. P rostitution and human trafficking are illegal within Mongolia but the sex trade is growing. While some women solicit openly on the streets of the capital, others work discreetly out of karaoke bars, saunas and massage parlours. Mongolia is a source, transit and destination country for sex labour.
Unicef estimates that roughly 19, sex workers are active in Mongolia, however, some field workers cite much higher numbers. While male prostitutes do exist, they are a small minority. T he year-old truck driver in a black hoodie is waiting for his coal shipment so he can drive his cargo across the border. He has been doing this job for three years, and has seen many prostitutes. Cars filled with women pull up off the highway and, when the price is settled, join the drivers in the cab of their truck.
Baatar also describes a sign close to the border that advertises women for sale and lists a number to call if interested. The country has a 0. As of data, however, only 32 per cent of people living with HIV knew their status. T he coal route from the Tavan Tolgoi coal deposit to the Chinese border is synonymous with sex work fuelled by the mining industry.
Despite being from the capital, 32 year-old Uka is intimately familiar with this stretch of transit. Uka has been earning a living as a sex worker in Mongolia for almost a decade. T he petite year-old entered the industry to earn money after her daughter was born. She began in Ulaanbaatar, but now works along the border. Uka would rather work for diesel then return to the conditions facing prostitutes in Ulaanbaatar. In contrast to the stigma felt in the city, she describes the border area as accepting and open.