KIEV, Ukraine -- In an attempt to dampen growing prostitution, Ukrainian law enforcers have adopted a new method of writing unpleasant notes to the parents of those arrested in connection with the sex trade, the Sehodnia newspaper reported on Tuesday.
The letter-writing campaign is aimed at reducing sex-for-hire in the former Soviet republic by bringing parental pressure to bear on prostitutes, said Aleksey Lazarenko, an internal ministry spokesman.
"We inform the parents their daughter was arrested at the moment she was selling her body," Lazarenko said.
"As soon as the parents of one girl found out how their daughter was earning a living, there was such a scandal in the household, that (the prostitute) had no quiet at home for an entire week, and she quit the business," he said.
The programme has had a wide-reaching effect on the prostitution industry nationwide by reducing dramatically numbers of prostitutes on the street, as most feared rows with their parents more than police, according to the report.
Prostitution is technically illegal in Ukraine but laws against it are rarely enforced by poorly-paid police. Economic hardship, drug addiction, and limited career options for women have pushed tens of thousands of Ukrainian women to sell sex.
Ukraine's government has declared the situation a "national disgrace" but nonetheless low-cost streetwalkers and bordellos are a common feature not just of all major Ukrainian cities, but most small towns and even some remote villages.