Female prostitutes constitute the largest proportion of all prostitutes but, unlike male prostitutes, they are not usually independent agents, often being controlled, blackmailed, intimidated, and brutally treated by pimps or organized crime. Female prostitution gives rise to a trade in women and children who may be sold to brothels or as concubines. In certain countries prostitution is a crime and may depend on the corruption or the turning of a blind eye by the authorities. In other countries it may be legalized and prostitutes must be registered and submit to regular medical examinations for venereal disease; this registration may make it more difficult for them to return to normal life if they wish to do so.
In West Germany, there are 2.5 million visits to female prostitutes per day. According to a 1992 report, an average of 20 Burmese girls a day are sold across the border for around 17,000 baht. There are over 1,500 female prostitutes in Ranong alone, with thousands more in Bangkok.