When Hla, 19, tried to go back to work seven months ago after having a baby, there were no jobs. Hundreds of garment factories in Myanmar had closed after western fashion brands cancelled orders due to the pandemic, leaving thousands of women jobless.
As lockdown gripped Yangon, her marriage broke down, her husband left, and her father had to sell his trishaw – no longer able to take passengers in the city. Her parents and baby were hungry. Five months ago, she became a sex worker.
“I feel very scared,” she says. “Since I’m always working in the dark, I try to be careful. I do this with my family in mind, thinking about how I’m going to feed them.”
Lorcan Lovett and Nay Chi Nway