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2013: April-June

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Prague Plans Set for Parliamentary Consideration...

Parliamentary bills to legalise prostitution in the Czech republic

Link Here25th June 2013

The Prague Assembly has approved a bill to control prostitution giving it the status of regular business that is to be submitted to the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of parliament.

Under the bill, sex worker would have to apply for a licence and brothels would need an official consent to their activities as well. Municipalities would issue the respective permits and thus influence the number and location of brothels on their area.

According to the legislation, sex workers would have to be over 18, without criminal record and in good health. They would have to undergo regular medical check-ups. They would also ask the respective municipal authority for permit. Subsequently, sex workers would pay taxes.

Those working without a permit would face a fine from 15,000 (£500) to two million crowns (£66,000).

It is hoped that the Chamber of Deputies would debate the bill in the autumn. However there is an alternative approach with Deputy Viktor Paggio preparing another bill to legalise prostitution.



Trafficking in People 2013...

US releases its trafficking annual report

Link Here21st June 2013

Luis CdeBaca, a US ambassador at Large, introduced the 2013 US annual report on Trafficking in People:

Sadly, the things that we see with the TIP Report, up to 27 million, by some estimates, people being enslaved here in the modern day.

We have some successes that we are going to be highlighting in the report this year. One of those successes is that the number of global convictions of human traffickers is up about 20 percent. We were able to identify 4,746 convictions in the last year. That's continuing an upward trend from 2012. And as well, a continuation of an upward trend in the number of victims that are identified to about 46,500.

Now, unfortunately 46,000 identified victims in a world in which up to 27 million people are enslaved shows the depth of the challenge that's ahead of us.

Still no sign of the US analysing their estimates. The issues is taken very seriously indeed in many countries, and despite enormous efforts, they simply cannot locate more than a tiny fraction of the US 'estimate'.



Offsite Article: Too Much Trouble...

Link Here17th June 2013
Young men from the US military base in Okinawa are not welcome in the local red light area

See article from



Extract: Supreme Logic...

Sex workers take their case to Canada's supreme court to ask for laws endangering sex workers to be annulled

Link Here12th June 2013
Full story: Human Rights for Sex Workers...Sex workers battle for human rights

This Thursday, the Supreme Court of Canada is set to hear Bedford vs. Canada , a case on the constitutionality of criminal laws governing sex work. The case, brought forward by three sex workers, Terry-Jean Bedford, Amy Lebovitch, and Valerie Scott, is a direct result of the refusal of consecutive federal governments to respond to enormous volumes of evidence that these laws do more harm than they prevent.

The science is unequivocal: criminalization of sex work in Canada, and globally, has been an abject failure in protecting sex workers from violence, predation and murder, and has exacerbated vulnerability to HIV and other health inequities among sex workers. While the buying and selling of sex between consensual adults has never been illegal in Canada, criminal laws prohibit working together indoors, owning or renting an indoor place for sex work, living off the avails of prostitution, or communicating in public spaces for the purposes of sex work by sex workers, clients or third parties. Together, these laws make it virtually impossible for a sex worker to work legally, even though the act itself is not forbidden. Evidence has consistently shown that these criminal laws engender stigma, force sex workers to work in isolated and hidden spaces, and prevent access to basic health and support services, including legal and social protections.

...Read the full article



Update: Sex Made in Germany...

TV documentary shows that legalisation has made for a booming sex industry

Link Here12th June 2013
Full story: Sex work in Germany...Legal and very popular

A new documentary has revealed how making prostitution legal in Germany has created a booming industry.

Show on public broadcaster ARD, Sex -- Made in Germany shook up the country's normally mundane Monday television offerings, examining the subject of prostitution just over ten years after it became legal in Germany.

The film, which frequently used hidden cameras at red light establishments, did not quite show a total success story. Two years of interviews, brothel visits and undercover reporting showed an industry flourishing -- but one in which women have become a resource, which are being used as efficiently as possible, (just like any business).

Over a million men pay for sex each day in Germany. Many of these now visit flat-rate brothels where men can paid a mere EUR49 for a night of as much sex as they can muster. These have become an increasingly popular business model in Berlin where sex is cheaper than anywhere else, a brothel owner told the journalists.

So popular are the country's cut-price offerings, that specialist holiday operators now offer tailored sex-holidays for groups of men from Asian, the Middle East and North America. They are taken around brothels for six straight days of drunken fun. Guests also travel from closer afield, with one Danish man explaining that the quality is good and everything is alright.

The reporters also visited Europe's biggest brothel in Stuttgart, where 55,000 men came in and out of its doors each year. Many of the women there are not German though, as 65% working in the country are foreign, often from eastern European countries Like Romania and Bulgaria. Some were homegrown though, with one prostitute admitting that lots of girls who are taking their high school diploma come and work for a day or two over the weekend to earn a bit of money, because they no longer see it as something bad.

The film touched on several cases where eastern European women had come to Germany for a better life, which wasn't to be. One Romanian woman, found herself having sex with up to 40 men a day until, eventually, authorities shut the business down for violating health codes.

What the government does seem to be profiting from since legalizing prostitution though, is the tax it generates. Even street walkers have to pay special sex work tax es.



Keeping the Nutters Happy...

Brazilian health minister bans health information video with the message: I'm happy being a prostitute

Link Here5th June 2013

The Brazilian Health Ministry has dropped an online campaign entitled I'm happy being a prostitute .

The message was part of an education programme about sexually-transmitted diseases and was aimed at reducing prejudice against sex workers.

Health Minister Alexandre Padilha said he had never endorsed the advert:

I do not think this is a message the ministry should be sending. For as long as I remain in office, an ad like that will not be part of our campaigns.

The Brazilian government is highly praised for its Aids programme, which includes the distribution of free condoms and a pragmatic approach to the problem in an overwhelmingly Roman Catholic country.

The current campaign of awareness to sexually-transmitted diseases, entitled Not ashamed of using a condom , will now go ahead without the happy prostitute reference.



Update: Nasty Politicians...

whingeing that not enough lives are being wrecked by jailing men for buying sex in Sweden

Link Here28th May 2013
Full story: Sex Work in Sweden...Criminalised purchase of sex

Thankfully Sweden's nasty, and soon 15-year-old, law that bans buying sex has not resulted in any convicted sex buyers spending time behind bars.

In 2011, 'Justice' Minister Beatrice Ask previously raised the red flag about supposedly lenient sentencing doled out in Swedish courts. In July 2012, the law was rewritten, allowing courts to send offenders to jail for a maximum of one year, rather than the six months previously allowed.

Yet the rewrite has had little effect, noted Johan Linander, Centre Party MP and vice-chairman of Riksdag Committee on 'Justice' (Justitieutskottet). He whinged to the Local:

The courts make limited use of the range of sentencing available to them

A review of sentencing in the past few years by the Dagens Nyheter newspaper revealed that no one has been sentenced to prison for buying sex from an adult - neither before nor after the reform.

We see that the courts use the lower quarter of punishments with little variation, which is true for most crimes, not just sex purchases, said Linander, who has long argued that the punishments needed to be stricter.

Social Democrat MEP Anna Hedh, said she was hesitant toward filling Swedish prisons up with one-time offenders:

BUT ... if you are a repeat offender, you should of course end up in jail.



Offsite Article: Social media has given sex workers a real opportunity to be heard...

Link Here 28th May 2013
Full story: Legal Brothels in Australia...Movement to legalise brothels in Australia
Laura Parker interviews Grace Bellavue, the closest thing Australia has to a celebrity sex worker.

See article from



Swept Away...

Human Rights Watch reports on abuses against sex workers in China

Link Here14th May 2013
Full story: Sex Work in China...Ever under duress

China's punitive laws and policing practices against sex workers are leading to serious abuses, Human Rights Watch said in a report published today. These abuses include police violence, arbitrary detention of up to two years in re-education through labor and custody and education centers, and coercive HIV testing. There are an estimated four to six million sex workers in China, the overwhelming majority of them women.

The report, Swept Away: Abuses Against Sex Workers in China , documents abuses by the police against female sex workers in Beijing, including torture, beatings, physical assaults, arbitrary detentions, and fines, as well as a failure to investigate crimes against sex workers by clients, bosses, and state agents. The report also documents abuses by public health agencies, such as coercive HIV testing, privacy infringements, and mistreatment by health officials.

Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch said:

In China, the police often act as if by engaging in sex work, women had forfeited their rights. The government must abandon its repressive laws against sex workers, discipline abusive police, and end the suppression of sex workers rights advocates.

The Chinese government has allowed the unchecked growth of the sex industry in recent decades, with millions of women turning to sex work as a way of earning a living. Yet the government maintains officially a blanket ban on sex work, viewing it as an ugly social phenomenon that goes against socialist spiritual civilization, and treating it as a misdemeanor punishable by fines or short-term detention.

During periodic anti-prostitution drives, often lasting several weeks and linked to larger strike hard campaigns against crime, police repeatedly raid entertainment venues, hair salons, massage parlors, and other spaces where sex work occurs, detaining large numbers of women suspected of being sex workers. Sex workers are most at risk of abuses such as police brutality and arbitrary detention during these drives. Domestic activists working on rights for Chinese sex workers have also denounced these police raids.

Chinese police can also send suspected sex workers, without due process or a trial, for up to two years' detention in a re-education through labor camp or so-called custody and education centers. While the government announced in January 2013 that it would reform re-education through labor, there has been no similar announcement for the estimated 183 custody and education centers, holding more than 15,000 inmates, most of whom are women. Both institutions constitute forms of arbitrary detention under international law, Human Rights Watch said, since they allow people to be deprived of their liberty without due process of law.

Human Rights Watch calls on the Chinese government to enact legislation to remove criminal and administrative sanctions against voluntary, consensual sex work and related offenses such as solicitation. Human Rights Watch also called for an end to the periodic anti-prostitution mobilization campaigns that have generated severe abuses against women engaging in sex work.

Abuses by law-enforcement agencies deter sex workers from seeking help from the police when they are victims of crime, or from public health services when they are in need of assistance, said Richardson. This makes them more vulnerable to abuses and exploitation. If China is serious about protecting and promoting women's rights, it cannot ignore the millions of women who engage in sex work.



The Invisible Man Project...

Feminists trawl PunterNet looking for comments that most offend them

Link Here13th May 2013

The Invisible Men Project aims to selectively reveal what some men who visit sex workers say about the women involved.

PunterNet is a website forum where men can comment on and review sex workers. It includes warnings about reporting any potentially underage or trafficked women, and it offers sex workers a right of reply to bad reviews.

Now, The Invisible Men Project is gathering a selection of posts from Punternet to ask a simple question: never mind the debates about the ethics of sex workers themselves, what do you think of the men who pay them? As the site puts it: Without seeking to prove, disprove or debate choice on the part of the women described, we invite you to consider: what do you think of his choice?

However the comments being published are clearly cherry picked to support the anti-sex work cause.



Screwed by the Police...

Less fun in Singapore's famous Orchard Towers

Link Here10th May 2013

A pub in Singapore's famous sexy nightlife centre, Orchard Towers has got in trouble with the police.

Managers Ng Kian Boon and Ridzawi Ali were fined $22,000 each. They had pleaded guilty to four charges of abetting the pub owner to receive the earnings from prostitution and to one charge of assisting him to manage a brothel. The owner and three other employees will face the court later.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Joshua Lai said two police officers in plain clothes went to the now-defunct Famous Hot Models pub on the third floor of Orchard Towers at 1am on May 25 last year after a tip-off.

Pretending to be customers, they were joined by three Filipino hostesses, who told them that oral sex was available in the pub's three karaoke rooms at a cost of $182. If a customer wanted to have sex, he would have to pay the pub $268 for two hours of the woman's company. Other police officers then moved in and arrested 26 Filipino women, aged 19 to 31.

The hostess' job scope included encouraging customers to buy her lady drinks. Prices ranged from $30 to $120 for each drink - for every $10, she would earn $3. The women were also urged to provide sexual services to earn more money - keeping half of what they were paid.



Update: Austerity of Compassion...

Nasty Irish MP to introduce bill to jail men just for paying for sex

Link Here3rd May 2013
Full story: Prostitution Law in Ireland...Government solicits public suggestions for changes to the law

Legislation to criminalise the purchase of sex will be introduced to the Dail tomorrow. The Criminal Law Sexual Offences Bill, to be introduced by Independent TD Thomas Pringle, sets out to impose harsh criminal sanctions on those who pay for sex.

Persecution of men via the so called Swedish model is being advocated in Ireland by the Turn off the Red Light Campaign. The campaign, is endorsed by 68 organisations including various gender extremist groups eg Ruhama, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, the Labour Party and Barnardos.

Pringle claimed:

[The Bill] will reduce the demand for sexual services, thereby reducing the incidence of prostitution in society. It will create a situation that will remove the attractiveness of prostitution and trafficking from organised criminal elements by creating the risk for purchasers of sexual services to be prosecuted with the element of 'name and shame' acting as a deterrent.

Penalties The Bill provides for an ascending scale of penalties, from a fixed-notice fine of EUR500 for first-time offenders, to a EUR4,000 fine and/or four-week jail sentence for repeat offenders.



Update: Fun in Germany...

German government is close to enacting new restrictions on brothels

Link Here23rd April 2013
Full story: Sex work in Germany...Legal and very popular

Germany's center-right governing coalition has agreed to enact restrictions on sex work in the country.

Members of the coalition -- made up of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU), its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), and the business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP) -- say that an agreement over an appropriate set of regulations has nearly been reached.

Prostitution is legal in Germany, but the coalition plans to toughen criminal penalties against human trafficking and more strictly restrict the commercial activities of brothels.

In future, brothel operators will need special authorization to open such an establishment. Moreover, authorities will be required to enforce hygienic standards and operators will be screened for prior criminal offences.

There is still resistance, however, from Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger (FDP), who wants to prevent harsher criminal laws in the sex industry.



Extract: Fun in Costa Rica...

Sex Tourism: Loving Gringos for a Living

Link Here23rd April 2013

Costa Rica is fast becoming a top sex-tourism destination where prostitution is not only legal, it's embraced.

The Costa Rican government, of course, would prefer that its wedge of the Central American isthmus not be so well regarded among American men trolling for sex. The tourist board is much more enthusiastic about their beaches, rain forests, and volcanoes, and the country's official slogan---no artificial ingredients---would seem to have nothing at all to do with picking up prostitutes in bars. True, every horny American who comes down here is renting a hotel room, eating in restaurants, probably drinking, maybe gambling, and definitely paying the $26 departure tax on his way out; at least some of the money he's spending on sex goes back into the local economy. But what self-respecting country wants to shill for those dollars? You might be sure that this type of tourist are not wanted here, says one Costa Rican official. We only want the people that want to spend a 'Pura Vida' time.

Yet the whoremongers came in droves anyway. And by the early 1990s, they'd branded Costa Rica with a reputation as a sex haven---a reputation that stuck and then exploded near the end of the century. Why that happened isn't complicated. For one thing, prostitution is legal, or at least isn't illegal: The business isn't taxed or regulated like, say, casinos or bars, but there is no law against an adult selling his or her body for cash. So you're not going to come down to San Jose' and get busted by an undercover cop. Prostitution is also indigenously rampant and culturally, if quietly, acceptable---70 percent of those who pay for sex are locals---so you don't feel all that awkward with your arm around a whore.

...Read the full article [part 1] + article [part 2]



Offsite Article: Sending Messages...

Link Here22nd April 2013
The prohibition of things: Deterrence, Punishment and Rescue

See article from



Preventing Promiscuity...

Azerbaijan announces bill to end sexual freedom and exploitation

Link Here2nd April 2013

Azerbaijan is expected to adopt a new bill criminalising sex work and supposed promiscuity.

According to the bill, new measures will introduced for the prevention of sexual freedom, sexual exploitation of minors and adults, and of course, human trafficking.

The prevention of diseases spread by prostitution or promiscuity is cited as the reason for the bill.

The bill is expected to be debated in Parliament this year.

Currently Azerbaijan has no specific law in this sphere.



Update: Kyrgyzstan bill criminalising sex work withdrawn...

Link Here1st April 2013

The media in Kyrgyzstan has published an announcement by Dastan Bekeshev, the Parliament Deputy that the Kyrgyz Government have withdrawn their Draft Bill proposing administrative punishments for sex work.

Tais Plus campaigned heavily against this initiative. This is the second time Tais Plus' advocacy efforts have been successful after similar attempts in 2006 to criminalise sex work were also stopped.

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