The eternal fairy story of thousands of itinerate sex workers travelling the globe from sports competition to sports competition has got its first mention for the 2016 Tokyo Olympics.
The source of the first rumour is a totally unauthoritative figure
used by a tabloid sports editor, but no doubt there will be a few gender extremists who will use the quoted figure and the rumour will commence.
In fact the Tokyo Sports tabloid spoke to Akira Ikoma, the editor of a guide to men's entertainment
called Ore no Tabi (My Journey). He says that Korean prostitutes from around the world will arrive in Tokyo, especially the Uguisudani area, which is known for its delivery health out-call establishments.
It could be more than 100,000 women. They will be eyeing the economic possibilities that go with the event. There is no doubt about it.
The basis of the claims is that in 2004, the Korean government passed an anti-prostitution law and
shuttered a number of sex shops. As a result, the editor says, Korea has exported 100,000 prostitutes to worldwide, primarily to the United States, Japan and Australia. It is this band of travelling sex workers that will supposedly converge on
Tokyo for the Olympics.
UglyMugs.ie invited Irish indoor sex workers to take part in the research, which aimed to learn more about escorts in Ireland and particularly about their experiences of crime and abuse. This is the first ever survey of indoor sex workers in Ireland
and 195 female, male and trans* escorts took part. Although the survey cannot be considered representative of all persons selling sex in Ireland, 195 participants is a very significant proportion of the Irish sex worker population.
The escorts who took part in the survey were from 29 different countries. Most were aged in their 20s or 30s and highly educated. Just over half had worked in sex work in another country prior to becoming an escort in Ireland. 97.3%
were self-employed independent escorts, though 33.3% had experience of working for a third party, e.g. an escort agency, in Ireland or elsewhere in the past.
Despite it being popularly reported in the media that children are
involved in prostitution, there was no evidence of the involvement of any under 16s and only one participant was aged under 18.
Participants reported low alcohol and drug use, high condom use, and taking a number of security
measures whilst working as an escort, the top ones being not getting in cars with clients (65.3%), taking more precautions when it is a new client (58.1%) and not working alone (41.1%) despite the laws in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland
that force escorts to work alone if they want to work legally.
Ireland's sex worker population overwhelmingly works indoors with access to phones and the Internet, which is safe conditions, in comparison to outdoor sex working.
However, many of the participants reported experiences of a wide range of crime and abuses. It is also clear that a wide range of persons commit crime against sex workers in Ireland, not only clients.
66.7% of participants who had
been a victim of crime whilst working as an escort in Ireland did not report to the police. The high level of stigma associated with being an escort being the primary barrier to engaging with police.
Participants said that other
escorts were the biggest source of help to them after experiencing crime. The research confirmed that currently there are no useful support services for escorts in Ireland, but escorts would welcome the establishment of a variety of sex worker support
Fear of media exposure amongst escorts in Ireland is very high, even higher than fear of crime, with 74.6% of participants worried or very worried about being exposed as an escort in the newspapers or other media.
Recommendations include further research, a review of laws and policies that put sex workers at risk, tackling media abuse of sex workers and the provision of police sex worker liaison services and general advice, legal advice, health
services and exiting services for sex workers.
The full report outlines that a number of factors put escort at risk of violence and abuse. The lack of support services and good relations with police, mean offenders specifically
target escorts, in the belief that they are people in society without any help, who offenders can abuse with a very low risk of facing any consequences as a result. The media portrayal of escorts as people with no rights, no choices, helpless victims who
can't say no to anything or anybody, is also sending a very dangerous message to offenders.
UglyMugs.ie is a scheme that aims to improve the safety of sex workers in Ireland and reduce crimes committed against them, by bringing
sex workers together to share information about potential dangers.
Commenting on the research, UglyMugs.ie said:
There has never been any independent research into indoor sex work in Ireland.
Instead of asking sex workers about their lives, we ask anti-prostitution campaigners. As our initial research here has shown, the Irish public are being grossly misled. Proper independent research must now be carried out now to establish the reality of
indoor sex work in Ireland, so sensible legislation can be put in place.
Paying for sex in France may soon become a criminal offence, according to a forthcoming bill whose details were made public this week.
The proposed legislation would also overturn a 2003 law that penalises prostitutes overtly offering their
services, rules that were intended to reduce the presence of sex workers in the streets but instead led prostitutes to dress down while plying their trade.
We are going to turn the law on its head, said gender extremist MP, Maud
Olivier, who authored a report that will be the basis of the bill:
Prostitutes are victims and should not be treated like criminals. The law is intended to reduce violence towards prostitutes and to get it into the
general mindset that paying for sexual services is not acceptable. We need to destroy the idea that prostitution is a happy trade.
The bill, which is due to be debated by the National Assembly (lower house) and the Senate starting in
November, sets out progressive fines of up to 1,500 euros for a first offence, to 7,500 euros and six months' imprisonment for repeat offenders.
The proposal does not have universal support, however, and organisations representing sex workers
claim it would push prostitution further underground and subject women to increased risks. AIDS advocacy group Act Up and French NGO Medecins du Monde (Doctors of the World) were among around 100 organisations who signed a petition against the
proposition, arguing that it would make prostitutes more vulnerable .
Manon , a Paris sex worker who is spokeswoman for the STRASS sex workers union , told FRANCE 24 the bill would do exactly the opposite of what it is designed to
Prostitutes will have to work more clandestinely to protect their clients, putting them at greater danger of violence and further away from sexual health services, she said.
also means a drop in the number of clients, making it harder for us to make a living. This in turn means that punters will be in a stronger position to pressure prostitutes into doing things they don't want to do, including having unprotected sex.
The Swiss parliament has voted to raise the legal prostitution age from 16 to 18 bringing Swiss law into line with European neighbours.
The lower house of parliament voted to change the Swiss penal code to make it illegal to pay for sex with a minor,
following suit after the upper house adopted the bill.
With the law change, sex workers between the ages of 16 and 18 will not face penalties, but clients who pay for sex with minors will face up to three years behind bars. Anyone encouraging
prostitution by minors, including pimps, and people running brothels or escort services, will face up to 10 years in prison.
The law change also raises the legal age to participate in pornography, making it a crime punishable by up to five years
in jail to produce, import, promote, screen or possess pornography featuring minors.
Finland's Minister of 'Justice' Anna-Maja Henriksson is asking the government to consider revising laws on prostitution to completely ban the purchase of sex.
A report published by her ministry criticises the current legislation for being too
difficult to understand and claims not doing enough is being done to protect victims of human trafficking and procurement.
The anti-prostitution report says that the present ban on purchasing sex from victims of human trafficking is unworkable --
as it obliges authorities to prove after the fact that the customer should have known about human trafficking or pimping. The law has been on the books since 2006.
The Public Law and Order Act, meanwhile, forbids the offering or buying of sexual
services in public places. The report claims that this ban has basically only been applied to the sale of sex.
The report inevitable argues that men should be criminalised just for the convenience of the authorities. And to confirm the man hating
basis for the proposal, the panel also recommends completely removing bans on the sale of sex and clarifying the definition of procurement or pimping.
As she announced the results of the study, Henriksson reiterated her previous stance that
the buying of sex should be made illegal in all circumstances. She said she plans to bring the matter before the cabinet soon.
Street prostitution is to be banned in large areas of Vienna's Prater district from September.
It is thought that as a result many of the prostitutes will move to the industrial zone in Liesing.
Gerald Bischof from the SPO said:
I don't think 300 new prostitutes will come, there simply isn't enough space, but there will definitely be an increase.
He hopes to get prostitution banned in Liesing. Over the past few months there has been 150
fines given out in the area - mainly due to prostitutes not having the correct identification and control cards on them.
The Swiss city of Zurich has unveiled a sex drive-in which local authorities say will enable them to keep closer tabs on prostitution.
The facility consisting of nine so-called sex boxes is located in a former industrial zone in the west of the
city. The site will be open daily from 7:00 pm to 5:00 am, and only to drivers, who must be alone in their vehicle if they want to pass the gate. They will follow a marked route along which up to 40 prostitutes will be stationed. Once they have
negotiated a rate, they will drive to one of the nine car-wash style boxes to have sex.
The boxes will be equipped with alarms, allowing the prostitutes to make rapid contact with police if they are in danger.
Zurich has spared no effort to
encourage the prostitutes and their clients to leave the area currently used in city centre and to use the new site, making it as pleasant as possible, with grassy areas and decorative lights. It will be marked clearly with signposts sporting a red
umbrella, a well-known symbol for the sex trade..
To avoid putting off clients, city authorities said they had no plans to install video surveillance or deploy police at the site permanently. Social workers and security guards will be on hand,
Since January, sex workers have been required to obtain a permit to ply their trade. To receive one, they must have a Swiss work permit and health insurance. In addition, they must pay a tax of five Swiss francs per night of work.
Customers, meanwhile, can only seek sex in three designated areas of Zurich, the new sex-box site, a zone near a highway, and, for those on foot, in part of the old town district.
Amsterdam's famous red-light district is under threat, from the economic crisis on one hand and on the other lawmakers are proposing restrictive changes to the sex-for-hire industry.
The economic crisis is forcing prostitutes to lower their prices
and to accept dubious sexual practices, according to the sex work advocacy group Geisha.
The trend is apparent in the main cities, with some prostitutes unable to pay the rent on their rooms , Ilonka Stakelborough from Geisha told Algemeen
Dagblad. Until recently, the minimum price was EUR50, but this has now dropped as low as EUR20 in cities such as Amsterdam and The Hague.
Geisha is to set up a project for sex workers so they can form a co-operative. Geisha will rent a room which
prostitutes only pay rent for when they are actually working.
Gender extremism has been taking hold in the Netherlands for some time . For example. Myrthe Hilkens, a Labor Party legislator who supports a series of moves to tighten the rules on
For something as simple as the lust for sex, we are tolerating modern-day slavery. I think that cannot be.
Anti sex work proposals are far-reaching. Most contested is a bill
to require all prostitutes be registered with the government---a measure that has already been approved by the lower house but is struggling in the Senate. Also in the works: raising the minimum age to 21 from 18, and a requirement that escort services
be licensed, just as brothels currently are. A vote is expected before the summer recess on July 9.
Under the proposed registry, Holland's roughly 20,000 prostitutes would have to meet with government officials and show they are not being coerced
in order to get a registration card.
Meanwhile, the city government in Amsterdam on Wednesday is expected to approve tougher rules, including ordering brothels to close in the early-morning hours and requiring that prostitutes speak Dutch,
English, German or Spanish.
City officials say they have managed to cut the number of prostitutes' windows in the red-light district from 500 to 409 in about five years, and want to ultimately bring it down to 300.
The Czech caretaker government has taken a negative stance on a deputies' bill to tolerate prostitution, Prime Minister Jiri Rusnok told reporters.
The bill, proposed by MP Viktor Paggio (LIDEM), is to give municipalities the right to designate
public areas where prostitutes could offer their services. Paggio says the main aim of his bill was to openly legalise prostitution, including accompanying activities.
Now parliament will decide on the bill. The capital of Prague has submitted a
similar proposal for regulating prostitution in Prague to the Chamber of Deputies. This bill will be debated too.
Paggio's bill looked to introduce a fine of up to 20,000 crowns ($1000) for the provision and use of sexual services for payment
without condoms to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases.
Amsterdam is set to move ahead with plans to close 40% of the prostitution windows in its famous De Wallen red-light district.
26 owners of a total of 100 window brothels, in which sex workers can be seen by prospective clients from the street,
had appeared before the Dutch Council of State, the highest administrative body in the Netherlands, to argue against the closures.
But the body said that a reduction in these sex establishments and their concentration in a smaller area would allow
better control and monitoring of window prostitution.
The ruling means Amsterdam can now fully implement its gentrification Project 1012 initiated by then-mayor Job Cohen in 2008. The city hopes to replace the windows with more
boutiques and art galleries in the picturesque old canal houses.
A U.S. man who runs a travel company specializing in trips to Thailand and the Philippines has been convicted of promoting adult prostitution.
The Westchester County district attorney announced the conviction of Douglas Allen, the owner of Big
Apple Oriental Tours.
In 2010, an online investigator pretended that he wanted to use the company to go overseas and have sex for money. Prosecutors say he paid Allen $2,500. Allen told the investigator he would be taken to Angeles City in the
Philippines, where he could negotiate at bars for sexual acts.
It seems that Allen has fallen victim to a particularly vengeful persecution by anti-prostitution campaigners and a state attorney general who supports them.
Oriental Tours is a travel agency based in New York that is at the center of a campaign against adult sex tourism operators in the United States.
The company was founded in 1993 and offers all-inclusive trips to Thailand, the
Philippines and Cambodia for the single male. Their advertising brochures highlight the erotic atmosphere and easy availability of women in these regions. Tour guides would meet the men upon arrival, explain everything, and transport them to the
local bars and brothels.
Since 1996, the New York based human rights and feminist group Equality Now has lobbied the local District Attorney to take action against the company, complaining about promotion of prostitution and
possible exploitation of minors. The District Attorney declined to prosecute in 2000, stating that the alleged acts did not occur in New York and were thus beyond the reach of state law. Supported by Gloria Steinem and Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney,
Equality Now then contacted State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer in 2002.
In response to lobbying by these groups, the first legal action in the U.S. against a business of this type was initiated: Spitzer filed a civil suit
against Big Apple Oriental Tours and obtained a restraining order in July 2003, in effect preventing the company from advertising.
Spitzer then made two unsuccessful attempts to charge owners Norman Barabash and Douglas Allen with
promoting prostitution. The Attorney General's office obtained the first indictment of Barabash and Allen in February 2004. The case was dismissed in August 2004, because the grand jury had been presented with hearsay evidence and because the judge did
not find the law applicable. The dismissal was upheld on appeal based on the hearsay argument. The case was returned to the grand jury and Barabash and Allen were indicted for the same crime again in October 2005. These charges were dismissed in January,
2006. The court held that according to the evidence, What the tour customer did when he arrived at the location is not part of the Big Apple Oriental Tours enterprise.
The Norwegian 'Justice' Ministry is preparing to ban all forms of advertising of sexual services on websites. The ministry is working on the censorship law with the aim to promote a bill to the Parliament in the autumn.
Vegard Munthe Ommdal claimed on TV2:
We primarily want to prevent human trafficking and pimping. And online advertising is a very important part of the business,
Ommdal thinks advertising on the
internet must be seen as promoting someone else's prostitution.
Sex workers in Utrecht have made a last ditch appeal to the city council ahead of plans to close the last of the city's licenced brothels - most of which operate on boats.
The rental contract for the only remaining brothel owner in the city
expires next week and is not being renewed because the mayor has concerns about a supposed link with human trafficking.
That means some 300 sex workers will be without a place to work from July 25.
According to news agency ANP, a
spokeswoman for the prostitutes says that many of them will now disappear into the illegal sector. Instead, they suggest forming a collective which will rent the boats directly from the council. However, Wolfson has halready told RTV Utrecht that there
is no question of the council running prostitution boats .
If no solution is found by Friday, the women are threatening to put up a tent in front of the town hall. They may also take some form of legal action, RTV Utrecht said.
Sex workers have allegedly been operating more openly since the country shut down its prison camps, but experts are quick to note that poverty is the root cause of the problem.
Tran Thien Thu was delighted when Vietnam authorities scrapped the
policy of sending prostitutes to prison camps a year ago, as the oldest profession represents her sole means to eke out a living in Ho Chi Minh City. She explained:
It's easier to breathe now. I can't earn
enough doing anything else. It is difficult to get a good job because I quit school at fifth grade.
On the street I can earn VND400,000 (US$19) a night serving two customers. I can't get a legal job that pays VND2-3 million a
Meanwhile government officials and experts are still divided as to how to respond to the issue. Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc singled out leaders from HCMC, Nam Dinh and Hai Phong to report on their prostitution
situations, because there have been many emerging problems in those localities.
Last week, HCMC police raided several karaoke lounges in HCMC's Binh Thanh District and found dozens of female employees clad in bikinis seated beside guests. Police
believed that several rooms were being used for sex, but failed to catch anyone red-handed.
A recent report by the HCMC People's Committee claims that many criminals have 'abused' the open regulations -- meaning the elimination of
compulsory prison and the lack of punitive measures against sex acts other than intercourse -- to offer sex services at their places of business.