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 2014

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 Update: Window Cleaners...

Amsterdam dreams up more spurious rules to target red light windows


Nice n Naughty
Link Here 30th September 2014  full story: Sex Work in the Netherlands...Netherlands less friendly to sex workers
Amsterdam red light area New regulations supposedly aimed at the hygiene of sex toys have irked Red Light District window operators, who are now appealing the rules change by Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan.

As part of the new licensing conditions, window landlords are responsible for ensuring that sex toys maintain proper hygiene standards rather than the sex workers who use them.

Under the united front Wallen Ondernemers Prostitutie (WOP) window operators say the responsibility for the cleanliness of sex toys should rest with the people who rent the windows, and they have filed an official complaint with the city over the change, according to the Telegraaf.

In July 2013, new regulations imposed much stricter rules on window operators across the Red Light District. To receive a license, operators must ensure that each window is adequately supplied with clean towels, condoms and disinfectant soap, with checks carried out eight times annually. The addition of sex toy hygiene proved to be too much for operators, they said.

 

 Offsite Article: Why the Price of Sex Is Getting Cheaper...


Melonfarmers.co.uk
Link Here 14th September 2014
alternet logo Hard times have hit the world of sex work.

See article from alternet.org

 

 Update: Reasonable Suspicion...

Finland to widen the definition slightly of the offence of buying sex from a suspected pimped or trafficked sex worker


Link Here 13th September 2014  full story: Sex Work in Finland...Campaign to ban paying for sex
Finland flag Finnish authorities are in general backing the proposal that buying sex from a victim of pimping or sex trafficking would become illegal, even if the buyer is unaware of the sex worker's circumstances. A court could sentence a person paying for sex if it considers that there was reason to suspect that pimping or human trafficking was involved.

The proposal was sparked by a previous ruling by the Supreme Court in 2012 when the court dismissed the charges against a young man suspected of abusing a victim of sex trafficking. According to the court, the accused could not have known for certain that the Estonian woman was a victim of pimping, even though there were many circumstances that pointed to that assumption.

The Supreme Court's ruling raised the threshold for sentencing a person paying for sex so high that the Ministry of Justice decided that a law reform was necessary. The changes would mean that sex workers' customers are liable to prosecution if there is reason to suspect pimping or sex trafficking. The maximum sentence for this offence would go up to a year.

The proposed reform has garnered support from the National Police Board, the Tukinainen support centre for rape victims, the Finnish Bar Association and the Ombudsman for Equality.

 

 Offsite Article: Criminalising Small Ads in Canada...


Link Here 7th September 2014  full story: Human Rights for Sex Workers...Sex workers battle for human rights
Escort Ads Sex workers contribute significantly to the economic health of print publications--and many other industries. How criminalization around sex work hurts everyone

See article from thedailybeast.com

 

 Update: Running Like Clockwork...

Drive in booths for Zurich sex workers deemed a success


Link Here 29th August 2014  full story: Sex Workers in Switzerland...New ideas such as drive in privacy booths
zurich boxes The world's first drive-thru brothels has been deemed a success by Swiss social services, a year after being created.

The drive-in sex boxes were installed in Zurich last year, offering sex workers a safer place to provide their services rather than the street. Set up on the edge of the city, the facility provides bathrooms, laundry and even has its own security.

The creation cost the government 2million Euros to build and has risen in popularity over the last 12 months. Around 30 to 40 women ply their trade there each night.

Zurich authorities believe the idea has been extremely positive and want prostitution, which has been legal in Switzerland since 1942, to continue running safely. A statement from social services read:

The new regulation of street prostitution has attained its objectives of protecting the population and the sex workers. The first year of the service has been positive.

 

 Offsite Article: Hidden Surprises...


Link Here 25th August 2014
bangkok nightlife Bangkok's underground porn cinemas reveal a secret world of gay sex and trans sex workers

See article from bangkokpost.com

 

 Update: Flatly Repressive...

German politicians seek to force sex workers to register, impose a minimum age of 21, and ban flat rate pricing


Link Here 24th August 2014  full story: Sex work in Germany...Legal and very popular
Germany flag The ruling coalition of Conservatives and Social Democrats in Germany has agreed on restrictions to the Prostitution Act of 2002.

In the future, sex workers will have to register with the authorities, the owners of brothels will have to submit to reliability checks, and flat rate sex and gang bang parties are going to be outlawed.

Manuela Schwesig , Federal Minister for Family Affairs (Social Democrats), declared that the new regulations meant that for the first time, there would be clear rules for legal prostitution in Germany that will protect the women .

Social Democrats (SPD) and Conservatives (CDU/CSU) still negotiate on other items, including a minimum age for sex workers of 21. Conservatives want to raise the minimum age for sex workers from 18 to 21.

A law demanding mandatory registration would harm the women, criticised Fabienne Freymadl, political spokeswoman of the Professional Organisation for Erotic and Sexual Services (BesD) , where sex workers in Germany are organised{

Especially sex workers who work on a part-time basis do not want to register due to the risk that their data may be passed on to third parties and women could be outed for their stigmatised professionl. If women experienced assaults, they could henceforward not report them to the police anymore, if they weren't registered with the authorities.

The BesD is also critical of the planned statutory permission requirements and reliability checks for brothel owners. According to the new regulations, brothel owners with criminal records can be barred from operating brothels. However, an exemption from the statutory permission requirements is planned, if individual persons sell sex in private apartments. Freymadl said:

Outlawing flat rate sex and so-called gang bang parties showed how moralising the debate actually was. Outlawing certain business models and practices, which the public perceived as particularly demeaning, contributed nothing to fight forced prostitution , since criminals wouldn't heed such bans anyway.

 

The remaining points of contention regarding the reform of the prostitution law are to be clarified in the early fall. The plan of the Conservatives to punish customers of forced prostitutes remains controversial. Critics fear that even less customers would then provide tip-offs to the police about forced prostitution , should they involuntarily encounter such women.

 

  US Bullies...

US bill attempts to bully countries into criminalising the purchase of sex


Link Here 20th August 2014

US Senate Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW) and the  Freedom Network (USA) have condemned a new bill, introduced into the US House of Representatives by Congressman Hultgren, which seeks to put pressure on countries that "do not prohibit the purchase of commercial sex acts".

If passed, bill H.R.4703 will amend the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 to demand that the State Department take a country's prostitution laws into consideration when determining its rankings in the annual Trafficking in Persons Report. Placement in the lowest tier of the Trafficking in Persons Report can trigger sanctions including the reduction or loss of non-humanitarian, non-trade-related foreign assistance.

GAATW and the Freedom Network believe that this move is not about preventing human trafficking or protecting its victims. Under the guise of addressing trafficking in persons, the amendment instead seeks to include efforts to eradicate prostitution. Creating such a strong link between prostitution and trafficking in persons is not uncommon but it is mistaken. GAATW has documented the harm done to sex workers, migrants and to people who have been trafficked by anti-trafficking laws, policies, programmes and initiatives that conflate the two.

There is no evidence that criminalising or otherwise penalising sex workers' clients has reduced either trafficking in persons or sex work. International law on trafficking in persons makes a distinction between prostitution and trafficking. The USA's international anti-trafficking work too makes this distinction plain, as several countries in the top tier of the State Department's Trafficking in Persons Report -- i.e. those countries who meet the minimum standards for addressing trafficking -- indeed do not criminalise sex work. If anything, we can look to the 14 years of the Trafficking in Persons Report as the evidentiary link that sex work and trafficking are not connected.

The text of bill H.R.4703 is available here . The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

 

 Offsite Article: Sex work in the UK: Just what would decriminalising prostitution mean?...


Link Here 20th August 2014  full story: Criminalising Paying for Sex in England and Wales...A selfish campaign to lock up men
brooke magnanti An article in the Economist reignited the debate around legalising prostitution in the UK. Dr Brooke Magnanti explores what decriminalisation would look like and says that we're long overdue a rethink of workers' rights

See article from telegraph.co.uk

 

 Commented: More Norwegians go without a sex life and more innocent people are prosecuted...

But the law against buying sex is at least making miserablists feel better


Link Here 19th August 2014  full story: Paying for Sex in Norway...Norway law criminalises paying for sex abroad
Norway flag Norway's ban on buying sex has reduced demand for prostitution and has not increased violence against women, as some had feared, a study commissioned by the government said.

Norway criminalised buying sex in 2009, but critics said the law would push prostitution underground, making women more vulnerable and increasing the likelihood of violence against them.

 The report based on six months of research says:

Street prostitution in Oslo, the country's biggest city, is down between 35-60% from before the ban, while the indoor market has shrunk by 10-20%.

This report does not find any evidence of more violence against prostitutes after the ban on buying sex entered into force.

The enforcement of the law, in combination with the laws against trafficking and pimping, makes Norway a less attractive country for prostitution-based trafficking than what would have been the case if the law had not been adopted.

However, the lower demand has resulted in lower prices, a problem for prostitutes who often come from poor countries and have few other options to earn a living.

Norway's ruling parties have favoured relaxing the law, but said any proposal to change it would be dependent on this study, which would form the backbone of the government's planned white paper, a precursor to any change in the legislation.

Comment: Censored whilst claiming to be uncensored

19th August 2014. See  article from  nswp.org

nswp logo The Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) has published a statement in response to the recent release of a report by the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Public Security following an evaluation of the ban of the purchase of sex which came into force in 2009 in Norway. The report has been heavily criticised by various sex worker rights groups for its poor quality and contradictory claims and findings presented throughout the report's 168 pages. 

The report claims that a number of outcomes identified by researchers are positive (in terms of the stated objective of eliminating sex work) when in fact these outcomes affect the working conditions and incomes of sex workers negatively to an unacceptable degree. 

Some findings of the report include:

  • reduced power for sex workers and more favourable market conditions for clients - sex workers negotiating position has been weakened due to clients' fear of arrest resulting in fewer clients and lower prices. These factors compound to reduce sex workers' incomes and their agency and autonomy with regards their choice of occupation;
  • more police surveillance as police need to find clients who are committing the illegal part of the transaction - sex workers have routinely reported increased police surveillance and harassment (although not considered in this report) in Norway;
  • displacing sex workers from their homes and other places where they work. The police do 'education' of landlords and hospitality managers to allow them to recognise potential sex workers and to evict suspected sex workers summarily from their homes or other rented accommodation;
  • the violence that sex workers are vulnerable to is reported as something that comes with the territory, and according to the authors sex workers are weary to report as it may come back to haunt them (due to the stigma attached to being a sex worker affecting someone's chances of 'improving their  life and situation'). That this is reported in such a tone is heavily problematic and should be of concern to human rights advocates everywhere. It effectively condones violence committed against sex workers as sex workers are involved in an activity that is condemned by the state.
NSWP member, SWOP-NYC said the following about the report: 

The most disturbing parts of the findings were the many noted increases in vulnerability, while acknowledging the on-going need for resources and services. The findings openly state that "there is a need for providing more options for people that want to get out of prostitution. Language classes, work training and work options are considered to have clear positive effects and there is a need for more of such initiatives." But despite this need for more options the study points out that for those in the sex trade, life is harder.

Pye Jakobsson, President of NSWP said:

This report shows the responsibility the police has in terms of the impact of their tactics and policing of the ban. Sex workers face tougher conditions in that outdoor sex work environments have become less favourable; sex workers are more reluctant to report crimes of violence to the police, sex workers' income is reduced due to sex workers now having weaker negotiating power as clients are nervous, want to leave faster, and there are fewer clients. Indoor sex work has also become more difficult as working together for safety is not an option due to third party laws; also distressing is the fact that sex workers working indoors are constantly in danger of being evicted from the premises they are working in due to police 'educating' landlords and hotel managers on how to recognise sex workers and to evict them."

NSWP's statement strongly condemns this report published by the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Public Security as it fails to recognise the grave violations to Norwegian sex workers' human rights that are taking place with state impunity under the current model that bans the purchase of sex. The statement further urges the Norwegian Government to listen to the experiences of sex workers and acknowledge that the criminalisation of the purchase of sex in Norway is resulting in health and human rights violations of sex workers. 

 

 Commented: Dr. BJ's Salon...

Sexy fun in Bangkok


Link Here 15th August 2014  full story: Sex Work in Thailand...Fun for all, Thais and foreigners alike
dr bjs

Comment: This idiot amazed me.

15th August 2014. From DavidT

It's about this guy who pays for a physical, erotic experience at a place where the staff deal with scores of clients daily and probably do a good (blow-) job. The the stupid sod complains that lack of a sense of affection spoiled his enjoyment ! Maybe he should buy a dog or stay home and take care of his grandparents.

 

 Updated: More bang for your buck...

How new technology is shaking up the oldest business


Link Here 12th August 2014
economist sex business The Economist,  a respected magazine, which publishes well-researched, substantive articles has published a substantial article setting out the arguments for a legalised sex trade .
 

Update: Morality in Media recommends Economist artilce

12th August 2014. See article from  pornharms.com ,

According to the campaigners of Morality in Media, the Economist article ignores the more subtle and broader complications to such a proposal, ie that anything to do with sexual entertainment is morally bad.

Morality in Media has called on its supporters to write to the Economist and point out the error of its ways.

But surely the article must have done something write to rattle the moralist's cage.

 

 Update: Taking Notice...

Police weigh in as sex workers protest the closure of their red light area


Link Here 3rd August 2014
Indonesia flag Indonesia's sex workers have been protesting against a local authority which has announced the closure of the sex trade. In Surabaya's famous Dolly red light district, local residents, pimps and sex workers have been battling with law enforcement.

On Sunday afternoon riot police moved in to occupy Dolly, in an attempt to reinforce an earlier blanket shutdown of the local sex industry. Those who resisted the encroachment were shot at with tear gas, pummelled by baton-wielding officers, and ultimately forced to flee the area in fear of further bloodshed or detention. By the end of the melee 10 people had been arrested, including the leader of the Local Workers Front (FPL), Ari Saputro, who has been spearheading community resistance efforts since the Surabaya city government initiated a shutdown of the area on June 18.

Police weighed in when Saputro and other members of the FPL ceremoniously tore down and set fire to a placard erected by the city's authorities to signify Dolly's foreclosure, as well as a recent name change. We reject the instalment of this sign here, Saputro reportedly said as he ripped out the placard, And after Ramadan, we will operate as normal. We refuse to shut down!

Riot police then gathered in response to the immolated placard, whilst Saputro and other protestors attempted to barricade their positions with stacks of flaming tyres, knowing that they had defied an earlier police order to leave the placard intact or else face detention for vandalism .

On Sunday evening several news channels released footage of the police crackdown, showing pictures of bloodied protestors being dragged away from smouldering wreckage, including one man who was repeatedly punched in the face by what appears to be a plain-clothed police officer, even though he had already been restrained by two other officers.

 

  Aids: Don't Die of Prejudice...

Former health secretary Norman Fowler writes that criminalising prostitution is killing countless people around the world


Link Here 27th July 2014
Aids Dont Prejudice Norman Fowler Aids: Don't Die of Prejudice Paperback by Norman Fowler

Promotional Material:

Eighteen million people around the world live with HIV but do not know they are infected. Endangering both themselves and countless others, they represent a public health challenge that affects not only Africa but every part of the world, including Europe and the United States.

We stand at a tipping point in the AIDS crisis - and unless we can increase the numbers tested and treated, we will not defeat it. In spite of the progress since the 1980s there are still over 1.5 million deaths and over 2 million new HIV infections a year.

Norman Fowler has travelled to nine cities around the globe to report on the position today. What he discovered was a shocking blend of ignorance, prejudice, bigotry and intolerance. In Africa and Eastern Europe, a rising tide of discrimination against gays and lesbians prevents many from coming forward for testing. In Russia, drug users are dying because an intolerant government refuses to introduce the policies that would save them.

Extraordinarily, Washington has followed suit and excluded financial help for proven policies on drugs, and has turned its back on sex workers. In this lucid yet powerful account, Norman Fowler reveals the steps that must be taken to prevent a global tragedy. Aids: Don't Die of Prejudice is both an in-depth investigation and an impassioned call to arms against the greatest public health threat in the world today.

Sex work should be decriminalised in the UK to slow the spread of HIV and combat prejudice, says Norman Fowler, the former health secretary who led the country's response to the emergence of Aids in the 1980s. Speaking at an AIDS conference he said:

The British system needs another look at. It's all over the place, he said. Australians have a system where prostitution is totally decriminalised; as long as you meet normal business requirements on health and safety you can act perfectly legally as a sex worker or run a brothel. [But] the whole input of British law has been to take them off the streets and keep them out of sight. That might have been OK in the 1950s and 1960s but today it is badly out of date.

Are we prepared to recognise sex work and cooperate with sex workers, bringing them in to the policy dialogue, or do we call them prostitutes and assume they have no input? It is slightly a matter of attitude and requires a revolution in attitude. We need to make up our mind.

Few countries have totally decriminalised sex work, but where it has been attempted, it has led to reductions in HIV infections, and greater confidence among sex workers that they can contact the police to protect them from violence, with no significant increase in the number of street-based sex workers.

 

 Offsite Article: Online payments and prostitution...


Link Here 27th July 2014  full story: Bitcoin...Internet cash
bitcoin logo How the internet is transforming the oldest profession

See article from thenextweb.com

 

  Not to mention reducing the amount of people persecuted, marginalised and jailed...

Scientists in the Lancet calculate that decriminalising prostitution would reduce HIV infection by 46%


Link Here 22nd July 2014
the lancet logo Sex work must be decriminalised if the world is to stand a chance of controlling the Aids pandemic, say scientists contributing to a series of research papers in the Lancet medical journal.

Sex workers, whether female, male or transgender, are subject to repression, violence and abuse even at the hands of those who are supposed to uphold the law, according to the series of seven research papers presented at the International Aids Conference in Melbourne, Australia. Fear of the police and other authorities, as well as the abuse itself, prevents sex workers protecting themselves from HIV infection.

Studies in Canada, India and Kenya contain testimony from sex workers who report having condoms confiscated by police, who regard them as evidence of crimes, and being subjected to physical or sexual violence. Both the sex workers and their clients are put at risk of infection by this.

Governments and the police should uphold the human rights of all people, including sex workers, say the series authors. Reducing sexual violence by clients and abusers could reduce HIV infection rates by around a fifth in both high- and low-income settings, they say, and getting more sex workers on antiretroviral treatment for HIV would reduce the amount of active virus in their bodies and cut the rate of new infections by a third. But decriminalisation of sex work would be the preventative measure with the biggest impact, they say. Across all settings, it would reduce HIV infections by 33% to 46% over the next decade.

Lancet editor Richard Horton and senior executive editor Pamela Das said in a commentary:

We might prefer to think that sex and money were unrelated, that sex was somehow immune from the transactions so common elsewhere in our lives. But why should this exception be so? And why should we condemn and criminalise the exchange of money for sex, especially if the severely adverse conditions we create for such exchange hurt women and men, and often fatally so?

Sex work is part of the human story. Accepting and embracing sex work -- supporting those engaged in sex work to protect their health and bodily integrity and autonomy -- should be our humane, as well as our pragmatic, approach to the reality of our human lives. And to our common efforts to defeat Aids.

 

 Update: Endangering Sex Workers and Criminalising Customers...

A summary of Canada's proposed anti-prostitution law


Link Here 21st July 2014

Canada flag Canada's government is fast-tracking a nasty Bill C-36 to criminalise people who buy sex. Here's a glance at what the government is proposing, and what critics say about the changes.

1. Going after the buyers

The bill criminalizes the buying of sex -- or obtain[ing] for consideration... the sexual services of a person. The penalties include jail time -- up to five years in some cases -- and minimum cash fines that go up after a first offence.

2. What's a sexual service ?

The bill doesn't say, meaning it would likely be up to a court to decide where the line was drawn. A government legal brief, submitted to the committee as it considered the bill, says the courts have found lap-dancing and masturbation in a massage parlour? count as a sexual service or prostitution, but not stripping or the production of pornography.

3. What about sex workers?

They also face penalties under the bill, though the government says it is largely trying to go after the buyers of sex. Under the bill, it would be illegal for a sex worker to discuss the sale of sex in certain areas -- a government amendment Tuesday appears set to reduce what areas would be protected -- and it would also be illegal for a person to get a material benefit from the sale of sexual services by anyone other than themselves. Some critics have warned that latter clause could, for instance, prevent sex workers from working together, which some do to improve safety.

4. What about those who work with sex workers?

Anyone who receives a financial or other material benefit, knowing that it is obtained by or derived directly or indirectly from the sale of a sexual service, faces up to 10 years in prison. This excludes those who have a legitimate living arrangement with a sex worker, those who receives the benefit as a result of a legal or moral obligation of the sex worker, those who sell the sex worker a service or good on the same terms to the general public, and those who offer a private service to sex workers but do so for a fee proportionate to the service and so long as they do not counsel or encourage sex work.

5. Can sex workers advertise their services?

This is a key plank of the bill, which makes it a crime to knowingly advertise an offer to provide sexual services for consideration, or money. This could potentially include newspapers, such as weekly publications that include personal ads from sex workers, or websites that publish similar ads. Justice Minister Peter MacKay appears to believe the ban could go after such publications. It affects all forms of advertising, including online. And anything that enables or furthers what we think is an inherently dangerous practice of prostitution will be subject to prosecution, but the courts will determine what fits that definition, he told reporters after speaking to the committee July 7. This has been welcomed by some, including Janine Benedet, an associate professor at the University of British Columbia who supports the bill overall, though she called for some changes. I didn't actually expect to see this advertising provision in this bill but I would say it's actually a really important step, to say that kind of profiteering needs to stop, she said. ]

6. Can anyone still advertise the sale of sex?

Yes -- sex workers themselves. The bill includes an exemption that says no one will be prosecuted for an advertisement of their own sexual services, though platforms that actually knowingly run the ads may face prosecution.

...

10. What's the status of the bill?

Canada's current laws, struck down by the Court, officially expire in December, and the government has pledged to pass Bill C-36 by then.

 

  A Big Stick...

Bangladesh's oldest brothel closed down after threats of religious violence


Link Here 19th July 2014
Bangladesh flag Bangladesh's oldest brothel has been shut down following pressure from local religious leaders and politicians amid rising extremism in the Muslim-majority country.

More than 750 prostitutes in Tangail city were forced out of a cluster of houses that made up the 200-year-old Kandapara brothel after the dwelling's owners ordered them shut.

District police chief Saleh Mohammad Tanvir said the owners made the decision after Muslim religious leaders and civil activists staged a march last week demanding the eviction of the sex workers. He said:

On Sunday, the house owners of the brothel issued a notice ordering all the sex workers to leave the brothel. They left without any protest.

Monowara Begum, who heads a sex-workers group at Kandapara, accused the local mayor of using violent intimidation to evict the sex workers. She said:

He (the mayor) sent dozens of young men to the brothel on Saturday. Armed with sticks, they told us that we have only one hour to leave the place or they would burn down the brothel with kerosene. After that owners started dismantling their houses, she said.

The brothel's more than 773 girls were panicked. As they were leaving, their belongings such as televisions, fridges and furniture, which were loaded on seven trucks, were looted by local people.

 

  A Miserable Anniversary...

Indonesian politician set to close brothels as an anniversary gift


Link Here 19th July 2014
Indonesia flag At least seven Indonesian red-light districts in Malang regency, East Java, are to be closed down by the end of November.

Malang administration secretary Abdul Malik said that the prostitution centers would be given a deadline of November 28, 2014 to shut down business, the date of the regency's 1254th anniversary. The closures will be a gift for the regency's anniversary, Malik said.

The seven red-light districts to be closed are Suko in Sumberpucung district, Kebobang in Wonosari, Kalikudu in Pujon, Slorok in Kromengan, Girun in Gondanglegi, Embong Miring in Ngantang and Sendangbiru in Sumbermanjing Wetan district.

Malik said the buildings of the red-light districts would be converted into new businesses.

 

 Update: Extreme Moralism...

29 sex workers murdered in Baghdad


Link Here 18th July 2014
Iraq flag Twenty-nine women, reported to be prostitutes, were executed inside the apartment where they worked in the Zayouna neighborhood on Baghdad's east side. Two men also were found dead inside, one of them the reported pimp. Many of those killed had gunshot wounds to the head. Police found one woman's body inside a cupboard where she had tried to hide. Photographs of the gruesome spectacle have circulated widely on the Internet.

Officially, Iraq's Ministry of the Interior is still investigating the crime, but many Iraqis believe it's clear who is responsible. They say the killing was carried out by members of a local Shia militia, religious extremists whose armed members both cooperate and compete with the government for control of the area where the killing occurred.

Written on the door of the building was the warning: This is the fate of any prostitution. The carnage and the inscription are read by Iraqis as a militia's show of power, declaring authority in the area, and warning locals that what the militia deem moral crimes can be punished with summary execution.

No one will name the group responsible for the slaughter but privately Iraqis say that it was likely carried out by Asaib Ahl al-Haq, an Iranian-backed Shia militia group that operates openly in Zayouna. There is no proof that it is responsible for the killing Saturday, but few Iraqis doubt that it is capable of such violence.

 

 Update: Wild West Goes East...

South Korea pays bounty hunters, snitches and vigilantes for preying on sex workers


Link Here 11th July 2014
Bounty Hunters DVD Trish Stratus Ostensibly keen to be seen to be making an effort to rid South Korean of its vices and corruption, South Korean Prime Minister, Ms. Park Geun-Hye, has implemented a national job scheme offered to those with a simple penchant for nosiness, or possibly an overzealous sense of nationalism.

Park has expanded a policy in which citizens act as professional whistleblowers or bounty hunters for organised crime . Under the legislative interpretation of Korea's current sex industry legislation, virtually aspect of sex work falls under the definition of organised crime . Park has failed to specifically identify whether the sex industry will fall under her organised crime whistleblower program; however, given that the outsourcing of law enforcement has also been something of a boon for local governments and administration with, local administrators claiming that They can save money on hiring (police) officers, and that the fines imposed on offenders generally outstrip the rewards paid to informers. For example, the reward for reporting illegal garbage dumping is about $40, whilst the fine is about 10 times as much.

Currently the professional-do-gooders for money community , as they refer to themselves, have concentrated on anti-social crimes such as dumping garbage at camping sites, coin-operated coffee machines in Internet sites lacking proper sanitary tags, and publically disposing of cigarette butts inappropriately. However, as more South Koreans are attracted to the seemingly well-paid and romanticism of the self made spy , whistleblower or bounty hunter industry, some are taking on specialities; for example, professional spies who sell information about the sex industry to the government are known within their community as seongparazzi .

As for the Park regime's new plan to stamp out organised crime, Korean sex workers have made the following statement:

Prostitution is already illegal in Korea. That is why sex workers cannot ask for protection during their work. Rather than protecting sex workers, the police violate their human rights during crackdowns. Amidst all this, this new policy will pose a new threat to the survival of sex workers. With bounty hunters at large, sex workers will have to hide in the shadows where there is neither safety nor a regular income. This policy is also dangerous as it may direct public frustration at the Park administration's incompetency, incapacity and dishonesty towards sex workers by defining sex workers as the delinquent others. Stigmatising minorities as criminals and putting them into dangerous circumstances represents nothing short of a witch hunt.

To most of male, female and transgender sex workers, sex work is a matter of survival. Before asking sex workers why would they go into this business, the government should reflect on the circumstances that renders sex work inevitable. A weak social safety net, prejudices within Korean society, and the attitude of Korean society towards poverty should be held accountable. Sex workers constantly have to be afraid and will have no access to workers' rights and human rights as long as prostitution is deemed a crime and prostitutes as filthy.

We, the members of Giant Girls, the Network for Sex Workers' Rights, express our outrage over this incompetent and irresponsible government announcement and declare that we will take every measure against the situation.

 

 Update: Liberte...

Victory for French sex workers and their customers as proposal to criminalise buyers of sex is dropped


Link Here 10th July 2014  full story: Criminalising Paying for Sex in France...Mean minded politicians consider new law
France flag The International Committee for the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe (ICRSE) has welcomed the withdrawal of the criminalisation of clients of sex workers from the law proposal that will be presented to the French Senate.

In the words of STRASS , the French Union of Sex Workers:

the Senate Select Committee has taken the time to organise real hearings, to listen to all points of view, including those of national and international health and human rights organisations and considered the evidence of the negative impact of the criminalisation of clients of sex workers. Above all, the Senate Select Committee has taken into account the voices of those first concerned, sex workers themselves.

This is a great victory for sex workers who have fought tirelessly against this law proposal not only in France but in every country where this dangerous approach has threatened our livelihood and our safety.

ICRSE hope that this victory in France will inspire sex workers to keep fighting for their rights and for organisations and policy-makers supporting the failed Swedish Model to really consider the growing amount of evidence against it, to follow the steps of the French Senate Select Committee and to abandon the criminalisation of clients in favour of the only human rights based approach to sex work: full decriminalisation.

 

 Offsite Article: Exploiting Trafficking to Target Sex Work...


Link Here 8th July 2014
newstatesman logo Power Trip: Margaret Corvid on desire, change and culture

See article from newstatesman.com

 

 Update: Putting the Myths to Bed...

Researchers will analyse whether there really is a hoard of itinerant trafficked sex workers who descend on sporting events, in this case, the Glasgow Commonwealth Games


Link Here 4th July 2014  full story: Sport of Trafficking Hype...40,000 trafficked sex workers travelling to sports events
commonwealth games 2014 logo How many times have we been told that there is going to be an increase in the number of sex workers operating (and a related increase in human trafficking) whenever a major sporting event is organised? Panic over an increase in sex work and trafficking surrounded all three of the recent World Cups in Germany, South Africa and now Brazil as well as the London 2012 Olympics. Next month Glasgow, Scotland plays host to the 20th Commonwealth Games and the same stories are surfacing as can be seen from this recent newspaper article in the Glasgow Herald:

With just under three months to go until the Glasgow 2014 Games, a strategy designed to tackle sex trafficking and prostitution is being put in place, together with a campaign aimed at changing attitudes around violence against women. High-profile sporting events, such as the World Cup and the Olympics, have historically resulted in a spike in sex crimes because countries experience a large increase in population as athletes, officials and spectators visit host cities involved. MSPs raised fears last year that the Games, which are expected to attract one million visitors to Glasgow, would lead to an influx of victims of human trafficking in Scotland.

These scare stories are finally going to be subjected to some scrutiny in an academic study run by Dr Kate Hardy of the University of Leeds called Sex in the stadium: labour and coercion in the sex industry and the Commonwealth Games . As well as exploring whether there is any truth in the allegation that high-profile sporting events result in an increase in sex work this study is also focussed on exploring the impact that these scare campaigns have on sex workers. Dr Hardy explains:

This research examines the relationship between the Commonwealth Games and working conditions in the sex industry in Glasgow. The focus is on changes to the safety and well-being of sex workers during the games and any changes to the industry as a result of it. It is being undertaken in response to arguments that coercion and trafficking increase during events of this type and to evidence from sex workers in London that they were displaced from long term working premises during the Olympic Games in 2012. The ultimate aim is to influence policy in relation to 'mega-events' in order to protect sex workers' working conditions in the short and long term.

The research is being undertaken in full partnership with sex worker rights organisations in Scotland, the Sex Worker Open University and SCOT-PEP (Scottish Prostitutes Education Project). Sex workers will be trained as peer researchers and will identify and interview other sex workers about their experiences of working in the lead up to, during and after the Commonwealth Games. Despite the many newspaper articles and blog posts written about the issue of sex work and sporting events this study will be the first that examines it from an evidence-based perspective and is very much welcomed.

 

  The tangled mess of Swedish PC extremism...

Swedish court finds that stereotyping Thai women as sex workers is acceptable and that a bar can therefore implement a blanket ban on Thai women


Link Here 3rd July 2014
Sweden flag A pub called Harry's Bar in Vaxjo in south central Sweden had a policy where they refused entry to "Asian-looking women". This policy was put in place on the grounds that the pub were trying to prevent prostitution from taking place on their premises as the pub owner had been informed by the police that prostitution was taking place in the area and that Asian women were involved.

A group of Asian women (who were not sex workers) and who had been refused entry to this particular pub in 2012 pursued a claim for race discrimination against the pub owner and six members of the security staff. Talking about the experience one of the women, Merlita Malmstrom, said it was a traumatic experience. No one should be treated the way they treated us.

The case was heard by the Vaxjo District Court in 2013. While prosecutors believed strongly that the actions of the pub had amounted to unlawful discrimination the court disagreed and the women lost their case. The court found that the prevention of prostitution, a 'criminal activity', was a 'legitimate reason' to refuse entry to the women.  In a nonsensical judgment the court said that the women had been refused entry not on the grounds of their appearance but on the suspicion of criminal activity.

Some of the women pursued an appeal and the decision of the Appeal Court was released a few weeks ago.  Sadly, the Appeal Court upheld the decision of the lower court finding again that no discrimination had taken place.  The Appeal Court agreed with the lower court that the prevention of prostitution was a 'legitimate reason' for the actions taken by the pub in refusing entry to Asian-looking women.

Wendy Lyon, blogging at Feminist Ire , analyses the decision:

First, of course, there's the blatantly racist nature of the policy, now formally endorsed and legitimated by a Swedish judiciary which sees nothing wrong with singling out women of colour for whore stigma. The second thing is that this decision exposes the lie that the Swedish law is not about targeting sex workers. Of course it is. They may not be targeted for prosecution, but the Swedish authorities are more than happy to go after them with any other means at their disposal.

This decision from the Swedish courts is highly disturbing.  Not only does it condone the racial profiling of women of colour but it also gives services in Sweden the green light to discriminate against sex workers. While the women in this case were not sex workers the courts have stated that preventing prostitution is a 'legitimate reason' for permitting discrimination that would ordinarily be unlawful. That means that any discrimination against people who do actually sell sex can be justified on the same grounds and discrimination against sex workers will go unpunished.  This confirms what we already know -- that the Swedish approach to sex work hurts most those it is supposedly designed to protect.

 

  The right to be forgotten extended to sex clubs...

Belgian court bans brothel owner from using the name DSK Club


Link Here 1st July 2014
Dsk Story DVD Region NTSC A Belgian court has ordered a brothel owner to change the name of his DSK sex club, which shares its initials with those of fallen one-time French presidential contender Dominique Strauss Kahn. He objected to the name in a lawsuit.

Owner Dominique Alderweireld or Dodo la Saumure , is linked to sex parties attended by Strauss-Kahn and dubbed his latest brothel DSKlub, in an admitted reference to the scandal-hit politician.

The court decided in favour of Strauss-Kahn who is well known by his initials DSK in France and neighbouring French-speaking countries such as Belgium and Switzerland. Strauss-Kahn's lawyers said they sued Alderweireld  for deliberately choosing a name that reproduces his (Strauss-Kahn's) initials which identify him to all.

Alderweireld chose the acronym for the new brothel Dodo Sex Klub which opened this year in the town of Blaton, near the French border in Belgium where prostitution and brothel ownership are legal.