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Sex workers should enjoy the same labor conditions as factory workers or entertainers, said Ms. Chantawipa, who wore a T-shirt emblazoned with her favorite slogan: “Good girls go to heaven. Bad girls go everywhere.”

The report also studied call girls, street walkers and brothels and found that, in many Asian countries, they were “illegal, illegal, illegal,” said the report.

Problems are exacerbated when reformers and authorities voice shrill warnings about human-trafficking and forcibly “rescue” prostitutes who do not want to be “saved,” the report said.

“The language of some international and regional instruments have either implied a strong link between trafficking and sex work, or conflated these concepts,” it said, referring to local laws, international agreements and other formal legal arrangements.

Anti-trafficking laws should focus on minors in the sex trade and victims coerced or deceived into prostitution but not voluntary sex workers, the report said.