A Spanish school offering a professional course in prostitution which it says guarantees a job offer on graduation, has survived its first legal challenge to be closed down.
For EUR100, students are taught the history of the world's oldest
profession, how to use erotic toys and the most popular positions contained within the Kama Sutra.
The school began advertising the course in May, but within weeks the Valencian regional government filed a case with prosecutors, alleging that the
school promoted prostitution, which is illegal in Spain.
But now prosecutors have said that there was not any evidence that a criminal offence had been committed because advertisements for students did not promote prostitution, constitute fraud
and were not aimed at minors, reported The Times.
The venture has attracted the inevitable nutter flak but the school says it will make the trade safer. It will also ensure budding sex-workers will not fall foul of the law, with in depth
descriptions of the industry's laws and how to work around them.
Esther Lopez Barcelo, a United Left MP in Valencia, said the party was considering appealing the ruling.
Amsterdam City Council has decided to rezone large sections of De Wallen, as it is known in Dutch, and shut down and evict brothels and other sex businesses which fail to co-operate.
The get-tough policy will come into effect in parallel with a
new law banning tourists from the city's coffee shops , where cannabis and other drugs can be bought and consumed legally. The law is in force in Maastricht, and will apply nationwide from January 1st next.
The miserable deputy mayor,
Lodewijk Asscher, who is overseeing the anti-sex work campaign, said the red light area's enormous value made a legal challenge inevitable. He said:
De Wallen is big business, and sex industry bosses are always ready
for a fight. Even before the outline zoning proposals were completed, we were aware that lawyers had been briefed and were preparing to pick holes in them wherever possible.
The district currently has 400 red-light windows, and
Asscher said that should be reduced by 100 by 2017.
Sexwork.ie is an escort advertising company's blog on the 2012 Irish Government consultation on prostitution.
The site is keeping track of submissions to the Irish governments consultation on changing the country's prostitution laws.
site has analysed the submission from the umbrella campaign group Turn Off the Red Light. It has also just published the consultation result from the most extremist of the Irish anti prostitution campaigners of Ruhama . Predictably it has
called for extreme punishments to all activities linked to sex work and of course the criminalisation of people who purchase sex.
A recent survey has revealed that Denmark's residents are strongly opposed to a ban on prostitution.
The news comes this week via a new study commissioned by the Jyllands Posten news agency and conducted by Ramboll Analyse/Danmark. Results from
the survey revealed an overwhelming majority of Danes think such a ban would only bring additional danger for those working within the sex industry.
Figures showed that 67% of respondents were against a prostitution ban, whilst only around 20%
said they would be in favour of such legislation.
Despite the findings, some Danish lawmakers predictably continue to push for changes to legislation. Rasmus Horn Langhoff of the Socialdemokraterne party said in an interview with Jyllands Posten:
I agree that ratifying a ban will take a lot of work, but we must send a clear message that it is not okay to buy sex because of how negative it is for the women.
However, officials from the
Gadejuristen (the Street Lawyer) law agency, which works with sex workers on a regular basis, said that a ban would only make the current situation worse. Lawyer Nanna Gottfredsen said on behalf of the firm:
completely wrong if you think that you can solve serious social issues by criminalising them. Doing this will only worsen the situation. You push the sex workers further into a grey zone. They will hide themselves and their activities and social workers
will no longer be able to contact those in need of help.
A sex meter scheme, taxing prostitutes 6 euros a night to work the streets of Bonn has raised more than 35,000 euros for public coffers in its first year.
Prostitutes working the streets have to buy themselves a ticket from the converted parking
meters each night, or face a fine. In fact wardens have only handed out about 20 fines so far.
The sex tax has been accepted by the prostitutes, said city spokeswoman Elke Palm. The idea, introduced last August, was an extension of a tax
imposed on brothels in the city at the beginning of 2011, Die Welt newspaper reported.
The tax scheme includes the provision of performance huts where prostitutes and their customers can conduct business. This has reduced the number of
complaints from people living near the areas where prostitutes work, said Palm.
Mechthild Eickel, chairwoman of the sexworkers' association Bufas, said it was unfair that prostitutes rather than their customers should have to pay the tax. It is
a pleasure for the customers. Why don't they put the money in? she asked the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper.
Miserable Irish politicians considering banning prostitution have been urged to back off by a leading escort agency.
MPs and senators mulling over new laws to outlaw customers paying for sex have even been invited to visit the offices of Escort
Ireland. The web firm submitted a lengthy appeal to the Leinster House committee looking at law changes. Their submission states:
We believe there is nothing wrong with someone paying for sexual services and most
clients are decent people.
We don't think adults should be prosecuted for privately paying other consenting adults for sex. Escort Ireland, which by-passes a ban on advertising sex services by operating from the UK, warned against
driving the business underground. They added:
We feel the views of sex workers are the views that need to be heard more than any others.
'Justice' and Equality Committee member and Fine Gael TD
David Stanton said:
The committee should be careful about what weight it affords certain submissions like this one. There are all sorts of people involved in prostitution and they have their own agendas.
Creating a legal red light district similar to Amsterdam's would cut organized crime out of the sex trade and prevent the exploitation of prostitutes, Naples Mayor Luigi De Magistris has said:
It's an experimental
project, which could take off soon, the mayor said. We need to circumscribe an area in which we know the sex trade takes place. The police presence will drive organized crime out.
Prostitution is not a crime, said the mayor, a former
A potential candidate is the eastern neighborhood of Barra, which last year offered to create a so-called love park, in which couples could park their cars undisturbed.
His proposal was welcomed by the women in his
administration and in some Neapolitan female leftist circles. I've seen red light districts in Canada, Holland and many other civilized countries, Marinella De Nigris, a lawyer, told Corriere del Mezzogiorno newspaper. I think it's a fair
proposal, as long as the state upholds the rules.
Some of France's leading intellectuals have poured scorn on the government's goal of eradicating prostitution.
Writing in Thursday's edition of the weekly political magazine Le Nouvel Observateur, a collection of academics, artists and writers
suggest efforts to get rid of the world's oldest profession are bound to fail and question whether the Socialist administration should even be trying.
The intellectuals said any move to liberate women from sexual slavery or the clutches of
organised crime would be welcome. But they argued that:
talk of abolishing prostitution was based on two debatable assumptions: that charging for sex is an affront to women's dignity and that all prostitutes are all
victims of their bastard clients. A women who prostitutes herself, whether she does so occasionally or full-time, is not necessarily a victim of male oppression.
Among the signatories to the article were philosopher Elisabeth
Badinter, writer Regine Desforges and film-maker Claude Lanzmann.
The Spanish city of Barcelona will fine the customers of streetwalkers up to 1500 euros with lesser penalties for sex workers city authorities said.
The city will fine clients and people helping or promoting prostitution in the street when
a new bylaw comes into force on Friday, the city hall said in a statement.
The prostitutes will face fines between 100 and 300 euros and their clients 1,000 to 1,200 euros. This rises to 750 euros for a prostitute and 1,500 for a client if
soliciting takes place less than 200 metres from a school.
Sex workers will have the chance to cancel their fine if they attend social courses to get out of prostitution.
Prostitution is not illegal nationwide in Spain but was banned in
Barcelona in 2006. That ban has not curbed it in Spain's second-biggest city and the new bylaw toughens the conditions, particularly the fines for customers.
A miserable campaign to criminalise men who pay for sex has launched billboards in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Sligo and Waterford.
Denise Charlton, chief executive of the Immigrant Council of Ireland which has helped support the campaign, said all
avenues need to be explored to raise awareness and force a law change. She said The story of Anna depicted on the billboards is in no way unique and reflects a reality which exists in every county in Ireland.
The Turn Off The Red Light
Campaign cited Department of Justice figures for 2011 which show that eight children were trafficked into Ireland for sexual exploitation, with 15 detected in 2010.
Charlton said: Public support is needed to bring about real change and we hope
the billboard and Twitter campaign will motivate people to contact their local politicians and demand that the sex trade is shut down by making it illegal to pay for sex.
Turn Off The Red Light campaigns to end prostitution in Ireland and is
backed by more than 50 organisations including trade unions, political parties and nutter groups. It wants to make Ireland's vice laws similar to Sweden where people who pay for sex are criminalised before the prostitute.
The 2009 law criminalizing the purchase of sexual services in Norway has led to prostitutes being more dependent on pimps and encourages human trafficking, according to a new research study.
Prior to the 2009 Sex Purchase Act, Norway had one of
Europe's smallest and least organized markets for prostitution. Women came voluntarily, rented apartments and sold sex from there - without the interference from any pimp.
The introduction of the law has made this process more complicated,
according to a report in the Stavanger Aftenblad daily.
The women are very vulnerable towards the police and to a greater extent on the network and support that pimps can offer, said Guri Tyldum, a researcher at trades union backed Fafo to
Tyldum furthermore believes that the criminalization of prostitution has made it more attractive to traffickers. She said:
The criminalization intended to demonstrate that prostitution is not wanted
in Norway. The risk is that the most dangerous and serious form of prostitution that remains.
Norway's Ministry of Justice has announced an evaluation of the sex purchase act.
An appeals court in Queensland has ruled that hotel and motel owners do not have the right to turn away escorts because of their profession.
The working girl who filed the lawsuit and who goes by the name GK sued a hotel who turned her away
in 2010 after discovering his profession. Originally a local court ruled that the hotel did nothing wrong, but an appeals court has now overturned that ruling.
The incident occurred at the 3.5-star Drovers Rest Motel after GK had stayed at Drovers
Rest Motel 17 times over a two year period. Hotel officials turned her away after discovering that she was a sex worker.
Unfortunately for the hotel, Australia has legalized escort services and sex workers can not be discriminated against because
of their job. By turning away GK the motel according to the appeals court acted in a discriminatory manner based on her profession.
Zimbabwe's government is in a dilemma on what to do with commercial sex workers who are expected to 'troop into the country' for the United Nations World Trade Organisation General Assembly to be co-hosted by Zimbabwe and Zambia next year.
and Hospitality Industry permanent secretary, Dr Sylvester Maunganidze, told Parliament that it was inevitable that prostitutes would 'flock into the country' for the assembly.
He was responding to an MP who sought to know what measures had been
put in place for commercial sex workers who were coming to Zimbabwe for purposes of prostitution. Maunganidze responded:
I have to admit that within South African Development Community we are the most conservative,
hypocritical and pretentious, we therefore assume the 'hear no evil, see no evil' syndrome.
I am not saying we should do it the Hong Kong way where they actually advertise sea, sex and sand, they sell those things. But if you put
stiffer penalties, delegates will go back angry, they will be so angry if you remove those girls from Victoria Falls.
Another MP asked Dr Maunganidze what his ministry and the sub committees had done to improve HIV and Aids awareness:
We have a requirement that condoms should be put in hotels and we received criticism from devout Christians.
Some of them when they get into their hotel rooms and find condoms in their drawers
they throw them through the window and then monkeys will have a feast with those condoms.
We have also asked hotels to order the Korans because we are going to be hosting people from different religions.
some of them get into the rooms and find the Holy Bible they will move out of the room after destroying the Holy book. These are delicate areas that we can't ignore.
To imagine that there won't be sex in Victoria Falls is
Members of Denmark's coalition government still plan to keep criminalisation as the backbone of any new laws regarding the nation's sex trade, despite a report from Norway showing that making it illegal to buy sex in that country in 2009 has not resulted
in a decrease the number of sex workers or an improvement in their quality of life. The report, commissioned by the city of Oslo, also showed that since it became illegal to purchase sexual services, sex trade workers have been the victims of more
The facts in the report have not deterred the parliamentary group that is in the process of proposing a similar ban here. The group remains focused on criminalising the sex for hire business.
The current situation is not
tolerable, MP Pernille Vigs Bagge (Socialistisk Folkeparti) told public broadcaster DR. Denmark has become a Mecca for sex because other countries like Norway, Sweden and even Lithuania have made it illegal to buy sex.
Trine Bramsen (Socialdemokraterne) maintained that criminalisation was the right thing to do:
Different studies make different claims about what women believe. This study makes a claim of its own, but of course
criminalising has been beneficial in Norway because it has sent a strong signal to the people who would buy it.
Soaplands, that is, erotic bathhouses, in Japan's brothel quarters are facing falling prices amid the ongoing economic slump.
High-end establishments that charge 50,000 - 80,000 yen [ £ 400-650, 20,000-32,000
Baht] and mid-level places, which fetch a bit less, have been hit hard by cheaper venues that began offering entry for a 'mere' 20,000 yen [ £ 160, 8,000 Baht] a few years ago. However, Shukan Post now reports on anew
price point of 10,000 yen [ £ 80, 4,000 Baht].
An editor at an adult entertainment magazine explained:
With high-end soaplands not seeing any action, gals are going to
work at bargain joints. In the suburbs, this phenomenon is really taking hold.
Shukan Post heads out on a fact-finding mission to the Yoshiwara brothel quarter of Tokyo. The bathhouse Puchi Royal used to require an initial outlay of
24,000 yen for 90 minutes. However, the club changed the structure of its pricing last September such that a mere 10,000 yen would garner 35 minutes of foamy fun as delivered by the delicate digits of one of the club's working gals.
decides to take the plunge, courtesy of a 24-year-old gal. The service starts with a gentle scrub-down on a sukebe isu (literally lecher chairs, specially configured stools), continues in a bathtub, and finishes atop a bed. Short and sweet yet
when value for money is taken into consideration the service can't be beat, Shukan Post assures.
Puchi Royal's manager assures Shukan Post that the level of quality is not compromised by the low price. The service remains top of the line, he says. Yet he does admit that his club cannot make any money with rock-bottom pricing.
We are hoping to attract a lot of customers , many of whom will stay and pay for extended sessions.
The Vietnamese National Assembly recently concluded its debate on whether it made sense to detain thousands of sex workers in so-called rehabilitation facilities where they were held without right of appeal and forced to work (including for private
companies) without pay. In a vote of 70% in favor, and 30% against, the National Assembly moved to close these useless and punitive institutions.
The closure of sex worker detention centers is part of a larger Vietnamese reform to improve due
process and decrease the arbitrary and prolonged nature of punishments for administrative, rather than criminal, violations.
Many actors, including Vietnam's Ministry of Justice, the Department of Social Evils Prevention (charged with addressing
sex work and drug use in Vietnam), UNDP, and National Assembly members, have been involved in the reexamination of the law, with sometimes heated debates. One female member of the National Assembly reportedly suggested that if the government was so
interested in prolonged detention as a solution to sex work, then perhaps clients of sex workers should also be detained. This suggestion was greeted with little enthusiasm from the male representatives in attendance.
Hundreds of people including sex workers protested in Paris on Saturday against plans to make paying for sex illegal, criticising a minister's mean minded plan as counter-productive.
France's minister for women's rights, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem,
said she wanted to make prostitution disappear by punishing those who pay for sex, rather than the prostitutes themselves. She was backed by prominent feminists and allies in government, but her remarks unleashed a hail of criticism from sex workers'
unions, which argued that punishing clients would drive business underground, endangering prostitutes.
At Place Pigalle, one of Paris' red-light districts, dozens of sex workers chanted pro-prostitution slogans through loudspeakers and waved signs
that read Penalised clients = murdered prostitutes and Sex work is work too .
Morgane Mertreuil, head of the Strass sex workers' union, told Reuters TV:
Before making public statements, she
(Vallaud-Belkacem) needs to do her homework, to find out about the reality of prostitution
The struggle against forced labour is not incompatible with the idea of giving rights to people who do this job with consent.
Swedish sex workers have won the right to claim benefits, including sick days and parental leave, bringing their social security closer to that of other taxpayers.
As long as sex workers pay their taxes, they should have the same access to
sick-leave benefits and parental leave as anybody else, said Joakim Jarnryd, a director at the Stockholm-based organisation: We don't make any moral judgments.
In Sweden, selling sex is legal and sex workers can register to pay taxes
using euphemisms, which qualify them for benefits. Even so, buying their services isn't legal and customers risk fines or imprisonment.
The organisation decided to extend the benefit to sex workers after examining the matter last month, Jarnryd
said. But the number of people seeking the benefit will probably be low as very few taxpayers have registered as sex workers .
The ANC Women's League has just won a key victory. The principle of decriminalisation of sex work was adopted at the recent ANC policy conference. This sets it on track for approval when the party meets
again to decide national policy in December.