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2011: April-June

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30th June   

Update: Victims of Police 'Rescues'...


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Police raid Angeles City GoGo bars
Link Here  full story: Sex Trade in Philippines...Bar girls under duress in the Philippines

 sunshine barFive foreigners were arrested for operating nightclubs in a former US Air Base in central Philippines, where hundreds of sex workers were supposedly trafficked from the south of the country.

Three Americans, a Japanese and an Australian were arrested after the Philippine National Police's Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) launched several raids on Sunshine Bar, the Blue Nile and the Golden Nile night clubs on Fields Avenue in Balibago village, said CIDG director, Chief Superintendent Samuel Pagdilao Jr.

The only detainee whose name was given out was Australian Terrence James Smith, manager of Sunshine Bar. Three of the other four remain in detention while one American has been released, said a source.

If convicted, they would be charged with human trafficking, which is penalised by life imprisonment.

About 17 women worked at the Sunshine Bar. The rest were from the other bars that were raided.

Most of the women came from Mindanao. They were promised jobs as factory workers, waitresses or sales ladies, CIDG Women and Children's Protection Desk head Superintendent Emma Libunao said in an unlikely sounding justification.

The sex workers did not voluntarily join their police 'rescuers', Libunao admitted.

It seems likely that the Philippines authorities reacted to a recent criticism of a lack of anti-trafficking commitment. The arrestees were probably just victims of an operation pandering to US anti-prostitution moralists.

 

29th June   

Update: The Ultimate Protest...


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Banned Mumbai dancing girls threaten a mass suicide protest
Link Here  full story: Bombay Dancing Girls Banned...Bombay ban dancing girls from bars

mumbai bar dancersWith both the Mumbai excise and police department refusing to budge from their earlier restrictions, bar girls have decided to take matters into their own hands and commit mass suicide if they cannot get their jobs back.

Over 4,000 bar girls from the city have been jobless for the past month and a 48 member group will be submitting a written petition to the police department and the High Court today, seeking to resolve the matter at the earliest.

Kiran, who has been working in a dance bar for the last two years, said: I am homeless and my savings are exhausted. I am forced to live with friends and relatives, but even they refuse to let me stay on. The only option left is to commit suicide.

Similarly, other girls like her have been supporting their families and with their income stopped, they are facing a terrible crisis. Meena will lead the group to appeal to the Bangalore Police Commissioner: We are suffering because of someone else's mistake. The cops have to answer why they are being so unfair, she said. She added that many girls are approaching prostitution agents from other states to generate income to sustain their families: Our actions are being forced by the cops since we have no other option.

 

15th June   

Update: Fun in Malaga...


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Council provides a legal zone for sex workers
Link Here  full story: Sex Work in Spain...Debating the regularisation of prostitution

malagaSex workers in Malaga have been given an area where they can ply their trade without police interference. The plot of land, which is in the same area of the Guadalhorce Industrial Estate in Malaga where they currently work, does not breach municipal regulations. Malaga City Hall is improving the plot by fixing up access routes and installing bins, so everything points to a definitive solution for the city's working girls.

A local law passed six months ago made it illegal for them to carry out their activities within 200 metres from schools, homes or businesses. In the months following the new laws, many prostitutes complained they were being persecuted by police and given no alternatives .

Malaga City hall has also approved a programme to improve the conditions of women working in the sex trade, with a budget of EUR350,000.

Meanwhile, on the nearby Azucarera Industrial Estate, an establishment advertised as the Sala Blue Hotel, which according to neighbours is a brothel, was prevented from opening by police. Thirty women were in the premises at the time. It planned to open with porn actress Maria Lapiedra as the star of the inauguration. The reason cited for the closure was a minor planning issue.

 

9th June   

Miserable Burma...

Burma closes all massage parlours in major cities
Link Here

Burma flag 2010In what may be the first move to clean up Burma's male entertainment industry, the Rangoon authorities have ordered all massage parlours to close in major cities, according to the 7 Day News Journal.

The order was said to go into effect on June 2. The Rangoon area has between 3,000 to 3,500 illegal massage parlours, a senior police officer at the Rangoon Region Police Commander's Office told Mizzima in early 2010.

Sources said that most of the massage parlours in Rangoon, Mandalay, Naypyitaw and other major towns in Burma are involved in prostitution. Prostitution is illegal in Burma and if the accused is found guilty, they can be sentenced from one to five years in prison.

Later, authorities will look at the KTV karaoke lounge bars , the Rangoon based weekly journal reported.

The Rangoon Region Administrative office issued the order to close massage parlours on May 27. The order also said that all restaurants and teashops in Rangoon must close by 11 p.m, sources said.

 

2nd June   

Update: More Fun in Adelaide...

South Australian MP to propose bill to decriminalise all forms of prostitution
Link Here  full story: Legal Brothels in Australia...Movement to legalise brothels in Australia

South Australia flagA South Australian Labor MP has launched another bid to decriminalise prostitution, the latest in a handful of attempts to reform sex worker laws over the past 30 years.

Steph Key will later this year introduce a bill to decriminalise all forms of prostitution, including home or brothel-based sex work, escort services and street work.

It will also ban minors from being involved in the industry and will prevent brothels being established within 200 metres of schools, any centres for children and places of worship. It seems to be an appropriate time to put the reform of our sex industry in SA back on the legislative agenda, Ms Key said. She said there had been five attempts to introduce reforms over the past three decades, the last being voted down in 2001.

But Christian nutters of FamilyVoice Australia said there had actually been six attempts to decriminalise brothels since 1979, with each attempt failing once MPs realised the implications of the changes. Steph Key's latest attempt to decriminalise brothels is worse than any of the previous six, FamilyVoice researcher Ros Phillips said: One of its disastrous features would allow three prostitutes to operate a brothel next to suburban homes without any controls by government or police.

Supporting Ms Key's bill, about 50 sex workers and their supporters rallied on the steps of parliament house in Adelaide on Thursday and presented the MP with a 2000-signature petition backing law reform.

Sex Industry Network manager Ari Reid said sex workers in South Australia were still treated like second-class citizens: Decriminalisation isn't about putting a brothel on every corner. It's about providing basic workplace rights and protection for hard-working South Australians.

 

24th May   

Fun Re-insured...

Fun rewards for successful insurance salesmen
Link Here

munich re logoOne of the biggest insurance companies in the world held a party for salesmen where they were rewarded with the services of sex workers.

One of its divisions, Ergo, told the BBC that the party had taken place to reward salesmen in 2007.  A spokesman told the BBC that it was not the usual way of rewarding their employees.

The gathering was held at a thermal baths in the Hungarian capital Budapest. There were about 100 guests and 20 girls were hired. A German business newspaper said the prostitutes had worn colour-coded arm-bands designating their availability, and the women had their arms stamped after each service rendered.

According to Handelsblatt, quoting an unnamed participant, guests were able to take the women to four-poster beds at the spa and do whatever they liked . After each such encounter the women were stamped on the lower arm in order to keep track of how often each woman was frequented, the paper quoted the man as saying. The women wore red and yellow wrist bands. One lot were hostesses, the others would fulfil your every wish. There were also women with white wrist bands. They were reserved for board members and the very best sales reps.

Update: A Criminal Breach of Trust?

18th November 2012. See article from thelocal.de

Two former managers at a German insurance firm have been charged with criminal breach of trust - for organising a sex party and trying to hide the costs of prostitutes hired for their colleagues.

The orgy party involved around 20 prostitutes at the historic Gellert spa in Budapest, organised for sales representatives who had performed well.

It became a bit of a scandal for Ergo insurance, a subsidiary of Hamburg-Mannheimer when details leaked last year.

Now two former Ergo managers are accused of violating the company's internal rules by commissioning the prostitutes and concealing the associated costs, said a state prosecutor spokesman.

The state is also filing charges against the former joint manager of an event-planning agency who worked with the two company managers to plan the trip. The participation of prostitutes in the party was part of the plan from the start, as the two managers approached the company about the trip with a motto total party, the prosecutor's office said.

The prosecutor's office estimates that the party, which involved at least 64 insurance agents, cost Ergo EUR52,000. An investigation shows that the company's executive board at the time did not know of the trip, the spokesman for the prosecutor's office said.

 

17th May   

Update: Miserable Policing...

Korean sex workers protest against police cars parking outside brothels
Link Here  full story: Sex Work in South Korea...South Korea criminalises prostitution

South Korea flagHundreds of sex workers rallied near a red-light district in Seoul to protest a police crackdown on brothels. A crowd of about 400 people, mostly women, chanted slogans like Guarantee the right to live! at the rally.

The rally comes weeks after officials began stationing police cars near brothels in a bid to drive away people looking to pay for sex.

Prostitution is illegal in South Korea but is widespread despite repeated government crackdowns.

 

17th May   

Update: Police Dongs...

Vietnam sets out 5 year plan against prostitution
Link Here  full story: Nightlife in Vietnam...Ministry of No Fun

Vietnam flagVietnam has unveiled a five-year plan to repress prostitution, which is widespread but considered a social evil by the authorities.

The plan aims to reduce prostitution by an initial 40% by 2015, the government said in a statement on its website.

A budget of 629 billion dong ($30 million) will fund investigations, job training for former sex workers and anti-prostitution propaganda.

Local media have reported estimates of 30,000-40,000 prostitutes nationwide, and the industry has continued to flourish despite previous campaigns against it.

 

14th May   

Night of a Thousand raids...

German police make mass raid of brothels seeking trafficked African girls
Link Here

Germany flagGerman police have raided some 1,000 brothels and other prostitution venues throughout the country seeking girls trafficked from West Africa.

The goal was to identify victims of trafficking from West Africa and to gather information about possible traffickers, the federal police said in a statement following the raids on Thursday night.

Some 170 women from West Africa were identified and initial information suggests some of them were the victims of trafficking, the statement added.

Prostitution is legal in Germany, but the authorities seem to believe in the hyped up estimates of the scale of the trafficking problem.

 

16th April   

Update: Miserable France...

Mean minded French politicians propose law criminalising buying sex
Link Here  full story: Criminalising Paying for Sex in France...Mean minded politicians consider new law

danielle bousquetSoliciting sex could soon be criminalised, with jail sentences and hefty fines for offenders, if mean minded French lawmakers pass legislation that has been recommended by a parliamentary report.

The report recommends a EUR3,000 fine and up to six months in jail for those who solicit sex. Prostitution is not illegal in France, but procuring or soliciting other people for sex is.

Penned by lawmakers Danielle Bousquet (Socialist Party) and Guy Geoffrey (ruling UMP), the report argues that, Punishing clients would make them understand that they are engaged in a form of exploitation. It would reaffirm the principle of non-commercialisation of the human body and bury the myth that prostitution is simply the 'oldest trade in the world' once and for all.

But Mistress Gilda, a spokesperson for the French prostitutes' union STRASS, said the law would push the sex trade further underground and would have a profoundly negative impact on thousands of women and men who work in the sex trade in France. It would send prostitution even further to the fringes and put some of the most vulnerable people on the streets, under complete control of exploitative pimps.

 

14th April   

Bird Brained...

Dortmund closes down red light street
Link Here

Germany flagIt began just over a decade ago as a social experiment aimed at getting prostitutes off the streets of the industrial city of Dortmund. With local council help, a 300-metre red light area was set up in the city's Ravensburger Street.

Containers nicknamed Bird houses were installed to facilitate the oldest profession. A Catholic-run advice centre set up near by and there were doctors' practices to help out. The project was so successful that delegations from throughout Europe came to inspect what became known as the Dortmund model .

But, this week the city council bowed to overwhelming public pressure and shut down Ravensburger Street.

The city council says that the project worked well until 2007 when impoverished Bulgaria and Romania joined the EU. Mayor Ullrich Sierau said that after 2007, hundreds of Bulgarian prostitutes arrived with the gangs who control them. There were shootings and big increases in organised crime. Dortmund now has about 700 registered prostitutes, many of them Bulgarian.

 

10th April   

Update: Stiffed by the Courts...

Canada's court deny sex workers the right to state their case against rights abusing law
Link Here  full story: Human Rights for Sex Workers...Sex workers battle for human rights

Canada flagThe denial of legal standing to sex-trade workers to argue their case in Canada's highest court is a matter of life and death, says lawyer Katrina Pacey.

The laws against prostitution are creating extremely dangerous conditions for sex-trade workers, said Pacey, the Pivot Legal Services lawyer who originally launched a Charter of Rights challenge on behalf of sex-trade workers: To prolong this legal battle by forcing us to fight for our very right to be heard will endanger sex-trade workers and cost some women their lives.

The Supreme Court of Canada granted leave to the federal attorney-general to defend its own prostitution laws, but the sex workers' group that launched the case has been denied the right to be heard.

Pacey said Pivot's legal team, working pro bono, already has racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in time since it launched the case in 2007 and now will have to fight about three more years just to be heard. But no, we are not going to fold. Sex workers have the same Charter rights as other Canadians and do not deserve to work under laws which cause them to experience systematic discrimination, exploitation and violence every day.

 

1st April   

France Set to go Miserable...

Social affairs minister favours criminalising the buying of sex
Link Here  full story: Criminalising Paying for Sex in France...Mean minded politicians consider new law

France flagThe French government looks set to criminalise buying sex in a change to the law on prostitution. Under current plans, soliciting will remain a crime.

After parliament commissioned a report on prostitution, Social Affairs Minister Roselyne Bachelot told a parliamentary select committee that she favoured such an approach, which is already used in Sweden.

There is no such thing as prostitution which is freely chosen and consenting, Bachelot claimed. The sale of sexual acts means that women's bodies are made available, for men, independently of the wishes of those women.

In mid-April, the committee is to publish its conclusions, which could include a recommendation to change the law, but there would be no vote, or implementation of any such law, before 2012.

MPs are considering introducing fines for clients, and even prison sentences.

Claire Quidet of the Mouvement du Nid, which wants prostitution outlawed said society must impose limits, you do not buy a sex act.

But Isabelle Schweiger of sex-workers' union Strass is worried that the proposed change would merely push prostitution underground.

Some groups want the 2003 law which prohibits soliciting for sex, to be abolished. Bachelot does not intend to repeal the law, but a government source explained that it will almost certainly be dropped next year, to conform with European Union directives on the issue of double jeopardy.

 

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