When United States ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas Jr claimed that 40% of male foreign tourists to the Philippines visited only for sex, the off-the-cuff comment became a diplomatic incident.
Hwever, the Philippine flesh trade catering to foreigners is growing in size and sophistication and by some estimates is starting to rival Thailand as a global sex tourism hub.
Males make up over 65% of all tourist arrivals. A leaked US diplomatic cable identified a number of Philippine sex tourism hubs, including Sabang Beach in Puerto Galera, Mindoro province.
Former labor under secretary Rene Ofreneo recently claimed that the number of Filipinos engaged in the sex trade was likely about the same size as the country's manufacturing workforce of around 850,000 workers. A recent Deutsche Welle special
report claimed that the Philippine sex industry was the fourth-largest contributor to gross national product (GNP).
Economists say that entrenched poverty, where nearly 40% of the population lives on less than US$2 per day according to Asian Development Bank statistics, is a major push factor into the trade. Policy think-tank Ibon Foundation recently
recommended that the government focus on sustainable poverty reduction and additional investments in public education, health, housing and infrastructure to curb the burgeoning sex trade.
Many young Filipino girls end up in so-called KTV bars, nightclubs, restaurants and massage parlors, a number of which are fronts for prostitution dens where customers can have sex for a fee ranging from US$20 to $50. Cash-strapped students are
also turning to prostitution to pay their tuition bills or earn extra money to cover their weekly expenses, according to Asia Times Online interviews. Internet-based sexual services are also extending the trade into once remote rural areas.
Activists against the trade, meanwhile, are fighting a losing battle. The most difficult part is bringing people out of it or deterring others from joining it, said Ostrander. He said one of the most challenging issues of combating sex
tourism is providing those in the industry with real options for other work. Can we offer them jobs?, he asked rhetorically. Unfortunately, the answer is no.
An MDC-T legislator has vowed to continue pushing for the legalisation of prostitution and the inclusion of the pleasure engineers' rights in the country's constitution.
MP Thabitha Khumalo last week signed a petition calling for the decriminalization of the world's oldest profession at an event said to have been attended by scores of working girls from the city. She spoke at the event:
It (prostitution) is here to stay and we need to bite the bullet. Pleasure engineering did not begin in Bulawayo or Zimbabwe. It all began in the Garden of Eden and one of those pleasure engineers was Eve.
Who in their right mind will deny it? We will have to embrace it, whether we like it or not.
Khumalo threatened to expose colleagues using the services of prostitutes if her campaign is not supported in Parliament. She said.
Every time I get a chance to speak in Parliament I will speak of the decriminalisation of prostitution,
If the calls are not heard then we will name and shame some ministers and other officials who have sought the services of pleasure engineers.
Think of it as an early Christmas present for the National Women's Council. Irish feminists have long argued that the guards should follow Sweden's example and target men buying sex rather than the prostitutes selling the service, and last week
they got their wish with the charging of 27 men in Limerick District Court with offences under the 1993 Sexual Offences Act.
Twenty-one pleaded guilty and were ordered by Judge Eamon O'Brien to pay the maximum statutory fine of EUR470 to a local charity helping migrants. Six others are to appear in court between now and February.
If that was bad, though, what happened next was even worse, as the names and addresses of the 21 men, aged from 23 to 67, were printed in four national newspapers (the local Limerick Leader resisted the temptation). Was that kind of public
humiliation really necessary? Many of these men live in small communities, where everyone knows one another's business. What purpose is served by holding them up to social embarrassment?
France's parliament has backed a proposal to make payment for sex a crime punishable by fines and prison.
The National Assembly approved by a show of hands a cross-party, non-binding resolution which is due to be followed by a bill.
Six-month prison sentences and fines of 3,000 Euros ( £ 2,580) are envisaged for customers of prostitutes.
Some campaigners reject the bill, advocating prostitutes' rights instead.
Around 20,000 people are believed to be working as prostitutes in France.
Guy Geoffroy, an MP from the ruling UMP party who sits on the commission, said France's political parties had reached a consensus on the issue because it was a matter of republican ethics . Nine out of 10 prostitutes were victims of
trafficking, he ludicrously claimed. From now on prostitution is regarded from the point of view of violence against women and that has become unacceptable for everyone, Geoffroy added.
Comment: Monsieur Geoffroy le Con
9th December 2011. From Alan
If you're looking for words to describe the absurd M. Geoffroy, twat can usefully be translated as con .
French lawmakers will next week test France's long history of liberal attitudes toward sex by introducing a bill outlawing prostitution.
Lawmakers from all parties represented in the National Assembly, France's lower house, will on Tuesday present the bill to outlaw prostitution, said Guy Geoffroy of the ruling UMP party.
Prostitution is not illegal in France though several linked activities are, including soliciting, procuring and operating a brothel, while paying for sex with someone under the age of 18 is banned.
Sex workers' groups denounced the proposal as an attack on their rights and this week protested in front of the National Assembly against the bill.
The bill follows recommendations from a cross-party parliamentary commission that said criminalisation is the best path to reducing prostitution in France, as countries that have regulated this activity saw it increase . Earlier this year,
the commission recommended imposing sentences of up to six months in prison and a $4,040 fine on clients of prostitutes.
An estimated 20,000 people work as prostitutes in France.
A high-ranking local politician from western Sweden has fallen victim to Sweden's miserable ban on buying sex. Whilst being investigated for buying sex he was also found to have used his office computer to access porn websites.
Until last week, Per Asklund of the Moderate Party served as the chair of the local council in Laholm in western Sweden. But he chose to resign after being charged with purchasing sexual services from a 32-year-old woman following the unmasking
of a suspected prostitution business in central Halmstad.
Asklund was among six men charged with purchasing sex in a business allegedly run out of the apartment of a man who is now facing pimping charges. According to the indictment, he arranged for two women to meet paying customers in his flat. In
addition to the six men charged for buying sex, an additional ten men are suspected of the same.
While Asklund has denied purchasing sex, an examination of his office computer by the municipality's IT department revealed that the politician spent a fair amount of his working day visiting pornographic websites and sites offering escort
East Java Governor Soekarwo last week announced that his administration planned to close down all the 47 red-light districts spread across the province's 33 regencies and municipalities by next year, or before the end of his term in 2014 at the
latest. He also said an unlimited budget would be allocated to realize the plan.
The sooner they are all closed down the better. Morality programs need to be prioritized, he said.
Soekarwo said his administration did not tolerate immoral acts, thus relocation would not be an option in dealing with prostitution. All sex workers would be sent home after being given a dose of religion and appropriate life-skills training,
such as how to sew rice or how to work in a factory. The provincial administration will give them Rp 3 million [US$330] each to start a new life in their respective home villages, he said.
The East Java branch of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), which had for the last few years been running a program called the Association of Preachers for Red-Light Districts will also contribute to life-skills training.
Chairman of the association, Abdussomad Buchori, said of the sex workers sent packing: We give them religious instruction while the administration provides them with skills and funding for a new life .
Provincial councillor Kuswiyanto welcomed the administration's plan but warned that the strategy used must be clearly thought through. We need to talk to all the stakeholders, especially those in the commercial-sex business, he said.
The Swiss People's Party (SVP) has gathered enough signatures to call a cantonal referendum in Zurich on the planned development of a new red-light district in Alstetten, on the outskirts of the city.
By gathering more than the 2,000 signatures needed to call a vote, the SVP hopes to block what it sees as an immoral use of public funds.
Plans to open the new district and end prostitution in the Sihlquai district, behind the main railway station, were scheduled for the spring of 2012. Police and social services had opposed the idea of a referendum, arguing that it would delay the
move out of Sihlquai.
So-called performance stalls , are set to be kitted out with parking spaces and alarm buttons.
The head of Zurich's social affairs department, socialist councillor Martin Waser said he is convinced that citizens will vote clearly in favour of the project because the problems in Sihlquai are well known . The situation
cannot continue, neither for the sake of the prostitutes nor those living in the area.
2.4 million franc ($2.8m) was raised to finance the scheme via a loan. Most parties voted in favour of the loan, but the project met with resistance from the Swiss People's Party (SVP), the Evangelical People's Party (EVP) and the Swiss Democrats
The city council must now decide when the referendum will take place. The earliest possible date will be March 11th 2012.
Weakening demand and an influx of hard up prostitutes from across Europe has impacted prices and job prospects for the increasingly idle sex workers plying their trade in Norway.
Sex workers providing services from camper vans, hotel rooms and private flats are feeling the pinch and complain that there are too many women working in the Norwegian market.
I have not worked in Norway long, but in the past week there have not been many customers, said a 22-year-old French woman to the Dagbladet daily, adding, The prices for sex services are being dumped and the market is very bad.
The Norwegian sex market is described as mobile with the women of organized escort agencies roaming the length and breadth of the country in search of customers.
Despite the recent lull in the market, police say those selling sex still earn far more than they would in the economically depressed southern Europe.
Western Australia Attorney General Christian Porter said that under the new Prostitution Bill 2011, brothels would be banned from suburban areas.
Limited prostitution in non-suburban residential areas would be licensed and monitored.
The Government will also create an exit fund for prostitutes seeking to leave the industry.
Attorney General Christian Porter said the Bill had been carefully developed after the release of a draft for community consultation earlier this year. He said:
Prostitution is a controversial issue for any Government to address. Overwhelmingly though, ordinary West Australians do not want prostitution businesses of any size near their homes, in their residential suburbs or near their children's school.
Update: A Dangerous Step Backwards for Health Promotion
The Australian Sex Party has called the WA Prostitution Bill a dangerous step backwards in health promotion. The 2011 Bill, introduced into WA Parliament by Attorney General Christian Porter last week, was developed without proper
consultation with sex workers or sex worker organisations, and acts in direct opposition to the health safety, and best interests of sex workers.
Sex Party Candidate Zahra Stardust says This Bill will severely increase sex workers' likelihood of harassment, vilification and imprisonment and decrease their access to health and support services .
The Bill bans sex work in residential or suburban areas and prohibits escort agencies, forcing sex workers into brothels. The Bill then requires sex workers to disclose their legal names in the workplace, meaning that sex workers are singled out
for surveillance, restricting their opportunities for employment and further education and introducing bias in custody cases. The WA Bill criminalises the clients of sex workers, despite international evidence that this has severe consequences on
the safety of sex workers themselves. The Bill criminalises all street-based sex workers, despite no evidence that they cause adverse societal impact.
The Bill increases police power, despite the finding of the Woods Royal Commission that systemic corruption and misuse of personal information is rife when police act as sex industry regulators. Ms Stardust says, Police powers to issue move-on
notices, stop, detain and search anyone on suspicion that they have breached the law, and to order invasive cavity searches of sex workers, mean that sex workers will be unlikely to seek police assistance in the event of a crime.
She continues, The Bill will be disastrous for sex workers occupational health and safety and industrial rights, as an unlicensed sex worker under the Bill is expressly excluded from accessing Workers' Compensation. The Bill also prohibits
advertising for any staff relating to sex work services, preventing sex workers from advertising for drivers, receptionists or security. This will clearly present obstacles to sex workers' health, safety and access to support.'
Further, the Bill criminalises all migrant sex workers, providing that a licence can only be issued to an Australian citizen or permanent resident. This means that sex workers on student or temporary visas are immediately rendered illegal,
subject to heavy penalties, experience reduced access to health services, are denied access to peer education programs and are increasingly marginalised. The Bill introduces heavy penalties (up to 3 years imprisonment) and fines (up to $50,000)
Low rates of STIs and HIV among sex workers illustrate that sex workers are highly aware of safer sex practices and are skilled at negotiating and managing risks. The recent Law and Sexual Health (LASH) study in Western Australia by the Kirby
Institute states that health promotion for the sex industry is much easier when the target group is not covert and is working without the daily fear of a criminal prosecution. Similarly, the World Health Organisation acknowledges that
'Legislation criminalising prostitution-related activities has frequently been identified as a barrier to the promotion of safer sex practices'.'
The daughter of President Raul Castro is advocating criminalising men who buy sex in Cuba. Mariela Castro claimed:
Sweden has done a really admirable job and even organizations like CENESEX (Cuban National Center for Sex Education) and the Federation of Cuban Women would like to emulate the Swedish experience.
Castro made her remarks following a trip to the Netherlands, where she visited Amsterdam's infamous Red Light District. She said that the Dutch experience cannot be replicated on the communist island, but stressed that Cuba is
considering implementing the Swedish approach, which since 1999 has penalized the client and decriminalized the sex worker.
She noted that the sixth Cuban congress on Sex Education, Sex Therapy and Sexual Orientation would take place January 23-26, just before the Communist Party's convention. It will be a very good opportunity to relaunch the debate on
prostitution, Castro said.
Botswana's former president wants to legalize prostitution in hopes of bringing down one of the world's highest HIV rates.
One in four adults in Botswana has HIV, a rate that has hardly decreased over the last decade, despite the country's relative prosperity in Africa for its diamond exports.
Mogae, former Botswana president and the head of the National AIDS Council, argues that legalizing prostitution would make it easier to help sex workers prevent AIDS. Decriminalizing sex work does not mean encouraging it, but it would rather
pave way for policies that protect those who have been forced into the trade, he told a recent council meeting.
Mogae plans to bring his recommendations to cabinet and parliament.
The ruling Botswana Democratic Party, which Mogae once led, has not taken a position on the proposal, while opposition leader Botsalo Ntuane has said he supports the move. Groups working on fighting AIDS also back the plan.
There are few external clues as to what happens inside Stiletto, billed euphemistically as the world's finest short-stay boutique hotel . It looks like any upmarket retreat but is the latest, most stylish flagship for the legalised sex
industry in Sydney, Australia.
Inside this high-class brothel, which cost more than £ 7million to create, there are Dali-inspired red lips sofas, commissioned artwork, stylists on hand to primp and fuss over the sex workers, who are legally
entitled to run their businesses there, as well as a gym, solarium and spa in which they can pamper themselves between clients.
Water runs gently down a huge curved wall in the lobby while the 12 opulently furnished and themed rooms have spa baths, music and mood lighting. Significantly there are no windows or clocks.
Stiletto has been described as a spectacular, purpose-built, multimillion-dollar adult playground that caters for virtually every legal whim.
Taiwan sex workers say that the new law could actually worsen their plight.
Under the law passed by parliament, local governments are allowed to set up special penalty-free sex trade zones, but outside them prostitutes will still be be fined, as, for the first time, will their customers and pimps.
But so far no local authority has yet said it will create a legal prostitution area, leaving streetwalkers fearing they face the worst of both worlds.
A recent survey of 22 local governments by the mass-circulation Apple Daily newspaper found none supporting the plan, 21 rejecting it and only one still undecided.
We will not consider opening a sex trade zone because there is no public consensus on this highly controversial issue, said Edward Zhang, spokesman for the government of Taipei, Taiwan's capital and largest city: Taipei is too crowded
to provide a suitable location away from schools and residential areas .
The Finnish budget hotel chain Omenahotelli is strengthening its safeguards against prostitution after evidence of the sex trade was uncovered at the company's hotels in several cities.
The company says it will use more security guards and ask cleaners to step up their vigilance. The chain will also co-operate with the National Bureau of Investigation to try and stamp out prostitution.
Omenahotelli runs self-service hotels without reception personnel.
Amsterdam city council's marketing department should stop promoting the red light district as an exciting tourist attraction, a Christian Democratic councillor has said.
Encouraging tourists to visit the area ignores the problems associated with prostitution and tourists should be told the truth about the position of sex workers , CDA councillor Marijke Shahasavari is quoted as saying.
Amsterdam's promotional website Iamsterdam recommends the evening as the best time to visit this famous part of Amsterdam. The website states:
Prostitution has enjoyed a long tradition of tolerance in Amsterdam and, as with soft drugs, the Netherlands approach is to legalise the trade and impose regulations.' In addition to preventing forced prostitution, this open and honest approach
means sex-workers here have their own union, plenty of police protection, an information centre (for visitors as well), frequent monitoring and testing and professional standards.
Vienna has started another attempt to regulate prostitution as a new law on the street sex industry comes into force.
The new bylaw in effect from 1st November bans prostitution from anywhere in the city except five areas where it is permitted. Two of them are situated along the busy Gurtel Road which has been a hotspot for sex on sale, shady night clubs and
exotic massage salons for decades.
The previous law meant offering sex was illegal around kindergartens, schools, churches and cemeteries.
The Greens announced that the new regulation is the least worst law on the issue. The Social Democrats (SPO) said their ambition was to save prostitutes from plying their trade in unlit and unsafe areas. The reform of the prostitution law
features lower fines and less bureaucratic barriers for prostitutes but harsher regulations for pimps and brothels.
Police can fine pimps 500 Euros for getting prostitutes in touch with customers in no-go areas under the new law. Some experts criticised the sum as too low.
There are around 2,200 registered prostitutes in Vienna, according to a profil report. However, twice as many women may be selling sex services in the city. Women willing to do so legally must undergo regular health checks at doctors and notify
Miserable Swedish police and the tax authorities have launched closer surveillance of Thai massage parlours in the country, ludicrously claiming to suspect that the sharp increase in their number indicates sex trafficking.
The police now hope to be able to target possible prostitution by studying their finances, according to a report in the Dagens Nyheter newspaper. Raids on several salons in the Stockholm area revealed serious mismanagement of cash.
We have clear indications that many deal with black money and pay unreasonably low payroll taxes, said Conny Svensson at the Tax Agency (SKatteverket) to the newspaper.
There are currently almost 190 Thai massage salons in Stockholm. In Stockholm, the number of massage parlours in operation has doubled since 1990.
The police are convinced that some of them sell sexual services, including massage that ends with masturbation, but can not prove their suspicions. Ewa Carlenfors, head of the police section against trafficking at Stockholm police said: It is
very difficult for us to prove in court the customers on whom a sexual act was performed.
Due to recent miserable changes in the law, Mumbai bars have had to drop traditional ways for customers to tie up with sex workers. And in an attempt to outfox the police, bar owners have come up with several ingenious methods to keep the ball
Confirming this was the Assistant Commissioner of Police of the special squad of the city police, Vasant Dhoble, who said recent raids on eight city bars over the last month showed the emergence of new, sophisticated trends:
We came across several bars where a ramp was created and the bar girls were asked to do walk on it, similar to what is done at fashion shows. The bar staff made them wear expensive, revealing clothes to attract customers. The customers then make
enquiries and choose a girl. This is a new trend that we have come across in our recent raids on bars. There is a full-fledged thriving prostitution racket going on in bars.
And how does the money change hands? Girls walking the ramp get huge tips from clients and the bar takes a considerable cut out of that as commission .
That's not all. When the cops came calling, they seldom found the girls scurrying into hidden cavities and bunkers. Nowadays, it takes less time to hide girls. During police raids in the past , the security guard used to warn those inside the bar
by pressing a switch on the main door, which either set off an alarm inside or turned lights and off. The girls then used to jump into the bunkers on stand-by. But now, the bars have kept a dedicated waiting man in the bunkers, whose job is to
pull in the girls as soon as the raid begins. This makes it faster to hide the girls.
The police claimed that hidden cavities and bunkers were found at almost all the bars that were raided. During raids, we go around with a sledgehammer and demolish cavities inside the bars. But, they again make new cavities. We have written to
the civic department about this. But no action has been taken yet, said a police officer on the condition of anonymity.
Another new way to outmanoeuvre the eagle-eyed police personnel is to make the bar girls sit down as customers the moment a raid begins. This makes it difficult for the police to establish if the girl is one of the bar's staff or a genuine
customer, said the police officer.
For several years now, the young (37) Amsterdam alderman Lodewijk Asscher has been waging his own crusade against sex workers in Amsterdam. He claims: We have to abandon our romantic view of the red light district.
For many tourists the red light district is a normal stop on their visit to Amsterdam, taking a look at the prostitutes posing in the windows to attract clients. For many visitors the red lights are a symbol of what is possible in the
Netherlands, with its tolerant attitude to sex and drugs.
The Dutch government decided to lift the ban on prostitution in 2000. The introduction of licencing was intended to improve the position of prostitutes.
Hard line Alderman Asscher is politically responsible for the red light district. He regularly makes comments regarded as un-Dutch . He believes it is a national misconception that prostitution belongs in the compass of freedom and
tolerance. The problems, he claims, are grossly underestimated:
Hard-line criminal behaviour is what is happening behind those windows. Women subjected to extremes of exploitation. They have a non-existent debt they have to pay to a pimp by prostituting themselves. They are physically abused if they don't
work hard enough.
It's very difficult to tackle effectively. Very frustrating for the police and the courts. The penalties are often minor. There is also an absence of public indignation. Recently we were dealing with a pimp who had used violent methods to force
110 women into work. The only sign of public anger was when the man escaped.
In his capacity as alderman, he has introduced a number of measures aimed at reducing window prostitution. Amsterdam has been buying up properties previously owned by the sex industry. In February this year more than 60 addresses lost their
prostitution designations. The council is rezoning the whole area. In the future, brothels and coffeeshops will make way for cafes, restaurants and ordinary shops.
Over the next few weeks the Senate will be debating a new prostitution bill. Proposals include discriminating against youg adults by making the minimum age for registered prostitutes 21 instead of 18.
Having sex with a prostitute living in the Netherlands illegally would become a criminal offence.
It's now or never, threatens Lodewijk Asscher. If it can't be regulated, prostitution will have to be made illegal again.
Pope Benedict praised the Dutch government for tackling drug abuse and prostitution while warning against too liberal an approach which could see individuals harm society.
He somehow omitted to mention the enormous amount of harm caused by his own 'no sex' approach, both to his own priests, and to the young victims abused by the priests who get screwed up the 'no sex' approach.
Addressing the new Netherlands ambassador to the Vatican, Benedict said he was
encouraged by the steps that the Dutch government has taken to discourage drug abuse and prostitution. While your nation has long championed the freedom of individuals to make their own choices, those choices by which people inflict harm on
themselves or others must be discouraged, for the good of individuals or society as a whole.
However he did admit to there being a problem with the priesthood but somehow sees the problems as priests not being able to live up to the rules, rather than the rules themselves being the problem.
The pope said the Roman Catholic Church recognises with humility that her own members do not always live up to the high moral standards that she proposes but urged all people to act in accordance with justice and right reason .
The pope then warned that religious freedom is threatened not only by legal constraints in some parts of the world, but by an anti-religious mentality within many societies , and called on the government to be vigilant .
Well if he is going to praise those who remove people's freedom and enjoyment of life, then he should expect the deserved 'anti-religious mentality' to continue unabated.
A vigilante group in Iceland called Stora systir (Big Sister) has compiled a list of 56 names, 117 telephone numbers and 29 emails of men who expressed interest in purchasing the services of prostitutes through the websites einkamal.is,
mypurplerabbit.com, raudatorgid.is and classified ads offering massages in daily newspaper Fre'ttabladid. This list was sent to the Reykjavik Metropolitan Police.
The miserable group are campaigning for Swedish style laws criminalising the purchase of sex. At a Reykjavik press conference the klan's spokespersons wore cloaks, hoods and masks to remain anonymous.
The Big Sisters decided to take matters into their own hands after police authorities claimed they neither had the funds nor the manpower to fight prostitution which they conclude is clearly thriving in Iceland in spite of it being illegal.
We advertised at einkamal.is and in the massage columns of the papers and in the beginning it was just to check the reaction, one spokesperson said: The demand proved extensive and so we expanded into Rauda Torgid and Purple Rabbit, for
The movement is demanding various actions, first and foremost that current anti-prostitution laws are complied with, but also shutting down einkamal.is, as well as porn clubs, and that the publication of ads for prostitution in the media in all
forms be stopped.
No one is safe now, Big Sister is everywhere, one spokesperson warned.
Men who spend money on women during one-night stands might find themselves criminalised under laws targeted at men who buy sex.
It also concluded that criminalising customers of sex workers might divert police resources into investigating the minor offence of buying sex at the expense of pursuing human trafficking gangs.
New Swedish-style laws would grant immunity to women working in prostitution because they would effectively be regarded as exploited under law. The review warned that this labelling would likely lead to objections from sex worker
alliances and representative groups.
The review was based on a visit to Stockholm last year by the Dignity Project and a number of Department of Justice officials. The project's report found enforcing the laws in Sweden had proven very labour-intensive for the police there,
with relatively few prosecutions.
The review found there may also be constitutional difficulties with criminalising one party in a prostitution transaction while granting immunity to another, because Irish citizens had a constitutional right to be treated equally under the
The Dignity Project report, which was published by Minister for Justice Alan Shatter, also said legal definitions of sexual service , casual and payment in any new prostitution laws might be problematic: Any offence, for
example, would have to distinguish prostitution from a 'one night stand' . . . where there was consensual sex after a casual meeting and one party has spent money on the other.
The Dignity Project is an EU-funded research project aimed at examining services for victims of human trafficking and advocating best practice in that area.
Shatter said he now intended to arrange a consultation process to help inform the future direction of legislation on prostitution .
A Swedish court has ruled that prostitutes from other European Union countries should not be deported for at least their first three months in Sweden, much to the dismay of the police.
While Sweden has made the buying of sex illegal, the selling of sex is perfectly legal. But it seems that Swedish police have been taking on themselves to deport prostitutes from other EU countries. They have been making up the law for themselves
and claim that sex workers represent a threat to the basic interests of society.
While police and the Migration Court in Gothenburg are in agreement that, in their opinion, prostitution isn't a legitimate way to support oneself, the court has found that the EU directive on the free movement of EU citizens carries more weight.
According to the directive, EU citizens have the right to visit other EU countries for up to three months without any restrictions other than producing identification to confirm their EU citizenship.
Ingemo Melin-Olsson of the border police in Stockholm has been forced to respect the law as written, rather than her moral opinion, and she now admits:
This means that we don't deport EU citizen prostitutes.
On the other hand, we will deport prostitutes from third countries, that is to say, outside the EU-area.
However, police are hopeful that a case involving the deportation of a prostitute who is an EU-citizen currently under review by the ombudsman may eventually provide them with some more solid guidance.
However the police seem to be having difficulty accepting that even the highest authorities in the land have a better grasp of the law than them.
police inspector Marianne Paulsson told Sveriges Radio:
No one really agrees on this, and that makes it easy to get confused.
According to Paulsson, a ruling by the ombudsman is the closest thing to a legal precedent they can get, short of a change in the law:
...BUT... I think they ought to consider that too. I don't think this provides legal certainty
A 71-year-old Swede caught paying for sex has been fined around 50,000 kronor ( £ 4800).
Swedish police were carrying out surveillance against a suspected brothel in Bromma, a suburb of Stockholm, where they suspected that several Romanian women were working as prostitutes.
The officers witnessed the 71-year-old leave his car and enter the brothel. After a while the police heard panting and creaking noises through the letterbox. When the man left the premises he was promptly arrested, but would only admit to attempting
to pay for sex.
Canada's prostitution laws are facing another constitutional challenge from a woman charged with keeping a bawdy house.
And the lawyer mounting the case says other charges laid against sex workers in BC are in trouble because anyone can use a charter challenge as a defense in court.
It's the same experts, the same evidence...the constitutional challenge is not out of reach the way it was two years ago, said Joven Narwal.
Narwal represents a woman who was charged with keeping a bawdy house, living on the avails of prostitution, and procuring a person into the sex trade after Vancouver police raided ISHQ in 2010.
The raid came days after an Ontario judge ruled that Canada's prostitution laws are unconstitutional.
Right now, selling sex for money is legal, but living off that money, running a bawdy house, and communication for the purpose of selling sex is illegal. That means women can't hire bodyguards or work indoors.
Ontario dominatrix Terri-Jean Bedford argued that the laws are endangering their lives. The judge struck down the prostitution laws last year in the case, though the federal government has appealed the ruling.
There are some 90 solicitation charges being persecuted right now in B.C., and two groups of bawdy house charges.
B.C. persecutors admit this will mean a harder fight in court, but they won't be deterred. If a charter challenge is raised, that will be more complicated, said Crown spokesman Neil MacKenzie. If that happens more often, we'll just deal
with it on a case by case basis.
Bjorgvin Bjorgvinsson, head of the Icelandic police sexual crimes division, has said that there is no doubt that the newspaper Frettabladid has been advertising prostitution in its classified ads section.
I think there is no doubt about it. It has been known about for some time as the adverts clearly imply that this is no ordinary massage, this is hidden prostitution, Bjorgvinsson. He added that the police are now investigating whether
Frettabladid is guilty of selling prostitution.
The paper's editor, Olafur Th. Stephensen, responded quickly; saying that his advertising department cannot be expected to investigate the origin and motive behind the many small ads that people want to put in the publication on a daily basis.
But, he says, every time there is suspicion that an advert is actually for prostitution, the police are always informed.
Stephensen believes that the only way to stop it would be to ban massage advertisement altogether, and that could be the first step to banning all sorts of usually-innocent ads.