Copenhagen prostitutes say they have been left out in the cold and victimised after a court ruled against a pornographic cinema that rented video booths out to sex workers to conduct their business.
Copenhagen City Court gave the operator of the porn cinema on Istedgade Street a six month suspended sentence for renting his premises out to prostitutes.
The video booths had been rented to the prostitutes for 90 kroner for 45 minutes over the last number of years. The defendant was also ordered to hand over the earnings obtained from the rental which were estimated at 3.3 million kroner over a
five year period.
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges and is now appealing his ruling to the High Court.
A tax on prostitution that is earning Cologne hundreds of thousands of euros a year is gaining favour elsewhere in Germany, with other big cities also considering a levy on sex work.
The WAZ media group reported that other municipalities in the large western state of North Rhine-Westphalia were eyeing such a tax, and that the state's Interior Minister, Ingo Wolf, was favourable to the idea. Big cities such as Essen, Duisburg
and Dortmund, were looking into the plan and the ministry already has proposals from Oberhausen, Dorsten, Gladbeck and Sprockhovel.
Cologne made headlines in 2004 as one of the first cities in the world to introduce such a sex tax. There, the levy is simple: it is charged on establishments that operate legal prostitution, either on individual sex workers at a rate of
150 tax per month, or on the size of the establishment, at 3 per 10 square metres of area.
It remains legally controversial, however, whether the sex tax is a variant of the long-practised entertainment tax or should be assessed as an entirely new one. For a new tax, a city municipality needs the green light from the state government.
At the moment the sex tax is paid as a so-called miscellaneous tax along with pleasure taxes and dog licenses, which put 590 million in cities' coffers in 2008.
Dozens of French sex workers proclaiming themselves proud to be prostitutes marched to protest a lawmaker's proposal to legalize brothels in France, arguing that such a law would deny them the freedom to work on their own.
A lawmaker in France's governing party has proposed reopening brothels just over six decades after they were banned in order to move prostitutes off the streets and provide them with medical, financial and legal protection.
The protesters say the proposal limits their options to make their own decisions and are demanding, instead, a repeal of a 2003 law that outlaws solicitation.
The men and women marched through Paris' Left Bank, many dressed in their skimpy work attire. Some carried signs reading, You sleep with us, you vote against us.
We are workers and we want the choice to work as we want, said Thierry Schaffauser, 27, a sex worker from Paris now living in London. For doctors, they can work for a company or they can be independent. I think the importance is to let
people choose how they want to work.
Brothels were legally outlawed in France in 1946. The 2003 law tightened restrictions against prostitution by making solicitation punishable with two months in prison and a euro3,750 ($5,000) fine.
The Icelandic Parliament is debating a bill proposing a ban on striptease in Iceland to be effective on July first.
An evaluation by the Capital Region Police states that around a hundred foreign women come to Iceland annually to dance at strip clubs and that it has proven difficult to determine whether they are being forced into such practices. Presumably
that is simply because there is no evidence that these women are forced into stripping.
The evaluation concludes that clubs should not be permitted to organize striptease on the grounds of human rights, the public's interest and policing.
The parliament's General Committee concludes that in light of the information from police authorities it is highly likely that some of the women working in strip clubs in Iceland don't enjoy full personal rights and are possibly victims of human
trafficking or other abuse.
The bill therefore proposes the abolishment of a legal exemption which permits clubs to stage striptease for profit. An unequivocal ban on striptease and profiting from the nudity of employees or other attendees of clubs is recommended, the
Minister of Social Affairs presented an action plan against human trafficking last March to put a ban on operating strip clubs and purchasing sexual services. After the presentation of the action plan, MP for the Left-Greens Atli Gislason
presented a bill on banning the purchase of sexual services, which is backed by other MPs from the government parties and the 'Progressive' Party.
Iceland has voted to ban striptease shows, making it an offence for any business to profit from the nudity of its employees. Iceland's legislature, the Althingi, passed the ban with just two abstentions and no votes against, although almost
half the country's 63 MPs were absent.
Both opponents and supporters of the bill said yesterday it was a European first. With the exception of the Vatican and tiny principalities like Andorra, strip clubs operate across the continent.
I am quite happy about Iceland being the first European country to take this step, said Steinunn Valdis Oskarsdottir, a Social Democrat MP who supported the ban.
Kolbrun Halldorsdottir, a former MP who was the first to propose the bill, said the law made it clear that society does not accept that access to a woman's body is sold.
Club operators dispute the notion that strippers are unwilling victims. They are closing striptease (clubs) because they think there is prostitution there, said Asgeir Davidsson, owner of Iceland's largest strip club, Goldfinger. They
think there is organised crime. They have had the police running around, and they have not found anything.
Davidsson said he would fight the ban, which takes effect on 1 July.
European judges have ruled that a sex shop with movie cubicles does not qualify for a reduced rate of sales tax because it is not a cinema.
The decision by the European Court of Justice follows a dispute in Belgium involving a sex shop which levied value-added tax of 6% on its activities rather than the standard rate of 21%.
The owner of the coin-operated Erotic Center in Bruges argued his business qualified for the lower rate -- which applies to cinemas in Belgium -- because it allowed customers to pay money to watch one or more movies.
The court ruled the Erotic Center's cubicles did not meet the definition for a reduced VAT rate, which states that an establishment must be available to the public on prior payment of an admission fee giving all those who pay it the right
collectively to enjoy the cultural and entertainment services.
More than 60 years after Paris shut its famed maisons closes, or brothels, an MP from President Sarkozy's UMP party is campaigning to legalise them again.
Chantal Brunel, who was appointed last month to head the national watchdog on sexual equality, is arguing that crime would be cut and sex workers would benefit from sexual services centres similar to those run by most of France's
A national poll by the CSA agency found that 59% of the French public approved the reopening of the regulated brothels that were a fixture of French life and culture until they were abolished in 1946. The proposal was supported by 70% of men and
49% of women. Only 13% of women were opposed, with 38% undecided, according to the poll for Le Parisien newspaper.
The idea is not to go back to the situation before 1946. I propose that we should consider the creation of places where the purchase of sexual services would be possible with medical, legal and financial protection, Ms Brunel said. Her
campaign is outlined in a book to be published this month and comes after controversial results from a previous attempt to curb prostitution.
A tough law introduced by Sarkozy in 2002, when he was Interior Minister, created an offence of passive soliciting , allowing police to charge any woman deemed by her appearance to be seeking custom in public, even if she makes no approach
to potential clients.
The Sarkozy law has resulted in the removal of prostitutes from the boulevards of Paris and other towns, driving them to more dangerous back streets, parks and on to the internet, campaigners say.
Ms Brunel is part of a working group at the Interior Ministry that is assessing the impact of the law and looking at policies among France's neighbours. Her proposal has yet to elicit a response from the Government.
David Beckham might not be going to the World Cup in South Africa this year, but 40,000 hookers will be. That is literally what a headline on the NBC sports website claims: 40,000 hookers making their way to South Africa for World Cup.
Other media outlets have been a bit more PC: 40,000 prostitutes to enter South Africa , says the UK Daily Telegraph; 40,000 prostitutes bound for South Africa , says the New York Daily News. Apparently many of these hookers will be
trafficked into South Africa against their will, forced into a life of grimy prostitution for the satisfaction of drunken football fans.
Stag dos are tricky beasts, aren't they? You're going to get drunk, you're going to be sick, and, chances are, you're going to be very close to absolute strangers' naked breasts - and pay for it, too.
So in an effort to make your next prospective trip to the top of a lamppost more comfortable, we've had a look around to see what's what in the world of dancing girls, feather boas, high kicking and general sexy times so that you can make an
informed decision about where you pass out on your next stag.
An Indonesian court jailed six people under the country's anti-pornography law for performing an erotic dance at a bar in the early hours of New Year's Day.
The four female dancers, the show promoter and bar manager received a two and half months each for a performance in Bandung, West Java, which violated a repressive anti-pornography law that came into effect in October 2008.
They have been proven guilty of showing an erotic dance in front of the public, prosecutor Dodi Junaidi told AFP, adding that the judge in his ruling also fined them one million rupiah ($109) each.
The law criminalises all works and bodily movements deemed obscene and capable of violating public morality.
Plans by a Toowoomba brothel owner to enter a float in the Australian town's Carnival of Flowers parade have been quashed before they could get off the ground.
Jim Welch, owner of Deviations, had planned to enter the float in conjunction with the Queensland Association for Healthy Communities, saying it would have featured sex workers and other volunteers promoting a safe sex message.
But the plan was rejected by the Prostitution Licensing Authority which reportedly deemed it inappropriate .
We operate above board and everything we do is legal so, being a legal business in the town, we thought we had every right to do it, Welch said.
A sex shop in the Turkish province of Batman was forced to close after only two days of operation due to reactions from other local shop owners.
S.G., manager of the shop, gave out advertising brochures saying, Drop by for a healthy sex life, throughout the city for his shop in the.
Masum Padir, the local headman, said many people replied to him asking that the shop be closed: As soon as it opened we learned that the shop was selling sexual material. The shop owners and locals on the street complained about it. We made
the necessary warnings since this is against our moral values and social structure. So the shop manager closed down his place.
The adult-entertainment industry is in a tailspin, shattering the notion that it is one of the few recession-proof industries.
The slump is especially stinging because technology which helped adult-entertainment enterprises reap riches through innovations such as video streaming, webcameras and online payments is contributing to the misery.
DVDs and online pay sites, which make up the majority of porn-related sales, are in a free fall largely because of the rise of so-called tube sites. Knockoffs of video-sharing site YouTube, the sites serve up snippets of free porn that is often
Some 1,000 tube sites double those of a year ago have put a sizable dent in the estimated $13 billion porn industry, prompting a flurry of copyright-infringement lawsuits. Most tube sites run ads to make money.
We're dealing with the perfect storm: declining DVD sales, rampant piracy, free content and a weak economy, says Steven Hirsch, founder of porn heavyweight Vivid Entertainment. He says its DVD sales plunged 20% last year. This is the
worst I've seen in this industry in 25 years.
A recent report by market researcher XBIZ. It says initial orders of DVD titles by distributors have sunk, on average, to 1,500 to 2,000 now, vs. 5,000 to 6,000 in 2005.
A legislator for Muslim-based National Awakening Party (PKB), Riki Solihin, has proposed collecting tax from the brothel industry.
Riki suggested a 10% tax be collected from every prostitution transaction in Batam.
He told The Jakarta Post that sexual transactions at the city's prostitution hub of Sinta yielded about Rp 180 million (US$19,000) a day. He added that there were about 40 bars operating in Sintai, each employing at least 30 commercial sex
workers. Each sex worker, he said, could serve at least three customers with the lowest fee of Rp 150,000 per service.
Hendriyanto, secretary-general of Riau's PKB, said that prostitution fees were not included in the party's policy yet: In the spirit of democracy, Riki has the freedom to voice his opinion. But he does not voice PKB's .
Separately, chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council's (MUI) Riau Islands provincial chapter Azhari Abbas said that money generated from haram activity was also haram: We don't want Batam to be involved in using haram money. We are strongly
against the plan and will soon issue an edict regarding the matter.
Meanwhile, head of Batam's public relation division, Yusfa Hendri, said that such proposal was legal in the era of democracy: It's only a proposal. Whether it is approved will depend on the municipal legislature's decision . Yusfa,
however, admitted that Batam had limited income sources and therefore revenue optimization was needed in all sectors.
The exaggeration of numbers of trafficked sex workers and sex slaves has been going on for over a decade. Much of this stems from a general misunderstanding about the differences between sex work per se, sex slavery and trafficking a
misunderstanding amplified by the fact that in many countries, ALL of these activities are crimes, and ALL are under the gaze of a migration-sensitive and politically astute police force, media and government trying to jockey for brownie points
among a difficult public landscape of financial crisis and celebrity sensationalism. Career politicians, conservative feminists and desperate journalists have exploited the public's penchant for stories about sex and the ethnic other to
replicated the lie that all migrant sex workers are trafficked sex slaves.
An area of Dublin city centre has remained cordoned off following an incident of suspected arson at a head (legal highs) shop.
Dublin Fire Brigade said that three shops, including a souvenir store and Utopia, a sex shop, will have to be demolished.
Firefighters tackling the blaze rescued almost half a million euro in cash from a safe in the basement before one building was partly knocked down. The 485,000 sum of money was found in the Nirvana head shop and kept by gardai over the weekend.
The money was taken to the Bridewell Garda Station with the consent of shop owner Jim Bellamy. The cash is believed to be takings from the lucrative trade in legal highs and the adult store.
Hacking attacks, dubbed Operation Titstorm , have targeted the websites of Senator Stephen Conroy and the Australian Parliament House, taking them both down with Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) for a period of time.
Anonymous' Operation Titstorm is protesting Australia's upcoming Internet censorship legislation, in particular the proposed banning of images of small-breasted females and female ejaculation, and also claims it will follow up with
pornographic emails, spam faxes and prank calls to government offices.
Australia's laws on internet censorship are already among the most restrictive in the western world. Their government filters more internet content than any other Parliamentary Democracy. For some elements within the Government, including
Telecommunications Minister Senator Stephen Conroy, this still is not enough. Late in January of 2009 he proposed legislature that would lead to mandatory ISP filtering for all of Australia. The stated goal is to prevent Australia from viewing
'illegal and unwanted content' on the Internet, Anonymous said in an email release to Australian media.
The ambiguity of the term 'unwanted content' is completely unacceptable. No government should have the right to refuse its citizens access to information solely because they perceive it to be 'unwanted'.
Fiji's new Crime Decree will be harsher on prostitution, penalizing not only those who make a living off prostitution but also those involved in prostitution-related activities.
According to Fiji Times Online, under Fiji's new Crime Decree, those who make a living off prostitution are liable for a jail term of six months while people caught hiring prostitutes can get jail terms of up to 12 years. In addition, anybody
found operating a brothel, or services which procure prostitution are liable for prosecution with the penalties being harsher when the crime involves people under the age of 18. Also, anyone residing with a prostitute is also liable.
A couple have been jailed today after running a prostitution business using girls trafficked from Nigeria.
Thomas Carroll an Irishman, and Shamiela Clark his South African wife, controlled their multimillion-pound business from Castlemartin, Pembrokeshire.
Among the prostitutes were six trafficked girls, aged from 15 to 21, some of whom had been terrified into working for fear of breaking a juju oath they were forced to take during voodoo ceremonies in Nigeria.
Carroll was jailed for seven years, and Clark for three and a half years, at Cardiff crown court, after both admitted conspiracy to control prostitution for gain and conspiracy to 'money-launder' (ie use ill-gotten gains). Carroll's daughter,
Toma, was imprisoned for two years after admitting 'laundering' the profits which, in one year totalled more than £800,000.
The couple ran more than 35 brothels, mainly in the Irish Republic, from the rented Welsh farmhouse to which they fled after coming to the attention of the gardaí.
The Nigerian women and girls, who were not trafficked by the defendants, were among prostitutes supplied to the ring. One girl was 15 when placed in one of the Carroll brothels.
Of the 15 prostitutes caught in the police raids on Carroll's brothels, some were from South America and Europe and willingly worked for him.
Some of the 6 trafficked women lived in fear of juju oaths, made during terrifying and humiliating rituals they were forced into by traffickers. An important part of the oath was each was told they had to pay back, on average,
£65,000 to their traffickers. If they breached the oath, they would die, or their families back in Nigeria would die.
Investigations continue to track down those responsible for trafficking them out of Nigeria and those passing them through Europe to Ireland.
Sentencing the defendants, judge Neil Bidder, told them: I'm not sentencing you for trafficking those women and accept you were unaware of the personal circumstance of the women who worked in your brothels and you were not responsible for any
violence and threats of violence. But the Nigerian women who were threatened with dreadful coercion all ended up working for you. You did not ask and did not care what personal tragedies had befallen those women submitting for your profit.
The couple will now be subject to confiscation proceedings to seize the proceeds of their crime.
The man who headed a family-run chain of brothels around Ireland and Wales has failed to convince top judges his seven-year jail term was excessive.
Thomas Joseph Carroll was jailed at Cardiff Crown Court after admitting conspiracy to control prostitutes and launder money.
Lord Justice Hooper, sitting with Mr Justice Butterfield and Mr Justice Kenneth Parker, remarked on the hefty scale of Carroll's vice operation, which reaped turnover topping 1million euros in one financial year. He was behind 35 brothels in
Northern and southern Ireland, the court heard, and must have been well aware of the climate of fear under which the women worked.
His sentence was not manifestly excessive , the judge concluded, dismissing Carroll's appeal.
German police raided about 600 brothels in 13 states Tuesday night targeting human trafficking from West Africa.
The Federal Criminal Police Office said Wednesday that it was interviewing more than 100 women from different West African countries who were forced to work as prostitutes, some of them minors.
Tuesday's raids follow an investigation of several years. Only if we manage to win the trust of victims and persuade them to cooperate with the authorities can we break the cycle of repression, intimidation and dependency, said federal
police chief Joerg Ziercke in Wiesbaden.
A billboard west of Brisbane, which features a bikini clad actress, has been slammed as inappropriate and too rude by the local council.
The billboard advertises Brisbane's 2010 Sexpo event next month.
Ipswich Councillor Trevor Nardi said the billboard was not only a distraction for drivers but too sexual for its busy location and should be taken down immediately.
The Advertising Standards Bureau said yesterday it was yet to receive any objections.
I'm definitely not a prude, ...BUT... I don't think we need billboards like this in our face, Cr Nardi said: I don't think it's appropriate and I don't think many people in the community would find it in good taste.
The Sexpo billboard has now been removed by owners Bishopp. It will be relocated in coming days.
Police have raided the Mood Pictures BDSM porn set in north Budapest mid-shoot.
A woman desperate for money answered an ad in a newspaper two weeks ago for a non-sex role in a BDSM film where everything was supposed to be imitated and not real, origo.hu reports.
Later, when to her horror she realized it was very quite real, the producers ignored her repeated use of the safe words and kept filming, with the producer jumping in after the woman originally assigned to hit her refused to continue.
After the incident, the woman wrote an anonymous letter to the police, who then took commandos to the location and raided the set Tuesday night during filming.
Police seized video on a server and discovered a first aid room where a licensed EMT sat should his services be required. Police arrested 14 people at the scene and have charged three of them.
According to a police captain, Hungarian law states that a person cannot consent to be harmed, meaning that any contracts signed by the victims are invalid.
Five victims have so far come forward, and police believe there are even more, some of whom are male, albeit he added that all were over the age of eighteen.
Last week the Australian Classification Board (ACB) confirmed to Somebody Think Of The Children that a person's overall appearance is used by the Board to determine whether someone appears to look under the age of 18 in a film or publication.
However, the Director of the Australian Classification Board, Donald McDonald, refused to answer repeated questions from this blog about the specifics of breast size in deciding on a person's apparent age. Asked whether breast size was considered
by the Board when determining age, McDonald said he had no further comment to make.
Colin Jacobs, Vice Chair of Electronic Frontiers Australia, said the Classification Board has a duty to be transparent with the public about what is being censored and why.
A process as subjective as determining the apparent age of a model is really a very problematic basis for a classification guideline, and this demonstrates it perfectly, he said. We don't blame the Board for enforcing the law, but we do
blame them if they aren't forthcoming on how or why they're enforcing it in this case. The only reason censorship is compatible with democracy is that it's transparent.
The owner of a Belgian sex shop posed a puzzler for European judges yesterday does a coin-in-the-slot peep show count as a cinema?
If it does, then it qualifies for reduced-rate VAT under EU tax rules.
Belgium's tax authorities say the cubicles for private film viewing at the Erotic Centre in Bruges are an automated recreation device , and the owner must pay VAT at the normal rate of 21% instead of 6% for a cinema.
Lawyers for the owner told a hearing in the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg that cinemas are explicitly identified as a cultural exception under EU VAT rules and only attract the lower VAT rate applied to normal cinemas in
The exact question posed to the EU court in legal documents asks: Should a cubicle consisting of a lockable space where there is room for only one person and where this person can watch films on a TV screen for payment, where this person
personally starts the film projection by inserting a coin and has a choice of different films, and during the time paid for can continually modify his/her choice of projected films, be regarded as a 'cinema'?
The three-judge panel is not expected to make a site visit, and their verdict, which could affect peep show operators across Europe, is expected later this year.
The Australian Censor Board has started to ban depictions of small-breasted women in adult publications and films.
This is in response to a campaign led by Kids Free 2 B Kids and promoted by Barnaby Joyce and Guy Barnett in Senate Estimates late last year.
Mainstream companies such as Larry Flint's Hustler produce some of the publications that have been banned. These companies are regulated by the FBI to ensure that only adult performers are featured in their publications.
Fiona Patten of the Australian Sex Party said : We are starting to see depictions of women in their late 20s being banned because they have an A cup size , she said. It may be an unintended consequence of the Senator's actions but they
are largely responsible for the sharp increase in breast size in Australian adult magazines of late .
Patten explained that Australian culture was being dumbed down in the sexual department and that political leaders were actively propagating an increasingly narrow window of acceptable sexual acts and cultures. She said that all new appointees to
the Classification Board and the Classification Review Board should undergo a short course in the latest scientific developments around sexuality and some sort of biology course to bring them up to date with the broad range of acceptable adult
sexuality and body types.
The misleadingly named Australian Classification Board (ACB) has responded to accusations by The Australian Sex Party that material with depictions of women with small breasts has been banned. A spokesperson for the ACB told
somebodythinkofthechildren.com that publications which contain offensive depictions or descriptions of persons who are, or appear to be , persons under the age of 18 (whether they are engaged in sexual activity or not) must be banned.
They said the Board classifies publications on a case by case basis, in accordance with the Guidelines for the Classification of Publications, the Code and the Classification Act and that the Publications Guidelines do not specify breast size.
The shadow of convicted serial killer Robert Pickton hung over the BC Court of Appeal Jan 21 as a group of Vancouver sex workers sought to have Canada's prostitution laws overturned.
The case is an appeal of BC Supreme Court Justice William Ehrcke's December 2008 decision that the Downtown Eastside group would not be permitted to challenge laws that criminalize sex workers. The appeals court heard arguments from Jan 21-22 and
has reserved judgment.
The Downtown Eastside Sex Workers United Against Violence Society (SWUAVS) say the laws are unconstitutional. It's a fight for safety, human rights and equality before the law, say SWUAVS and former sex worker Sheryl Kiselbach, who brought the
However, Ehrcke ruled in December 2008 that neither the group nor Kiselbach could bring the case as they had not been charged with any of the offences a standard precursor to a constitutional challenge. And, in their presentation to the appeal
court Jan 22, lawyers for the federal attorney general agreed with Ehrcke.
While it is legal to sell sex in Canada, many of the activities related to the sale of sex are considered criminal offences.
Australian government censors are directing Customs officials to confiscate depictions of the female orgasm when it is accompanied with an ejaculation.
The Classification Board is also starting to classify films that feature female ejaculation as Refused Classification rather than X. Films that show both male and female ejaculation have routinely been given an X rating since 1983.
The new ruling follows a boom in the numbers of adult films featuring female ejaculation since the pioneering research of Professor Emeritus Beverly Whipple was published in her book The G Spot. Recent articles in the New Scientist and on Norman
Swan's Health Report on ABC radio have raised public awareness of this largely hitherto unknown aspects of female orgasm.
The films are being banned (Refused Classification) on one of two grounds:
That the depictions are a form of urination which is banned under the label of golden showers in the Classification Guidelines or
Female ejaculation is an abhorrent depiction
Australian Sex Party convenor, Fiona Patten, said that the decision showed a lack of intellectual rigour and a lack of understanding of female sexuality on the part of Australia's censorship authorities. She said it appeared that some members on
the Board did not believe the science around female orgasm.
Female ejaculation has now been described in scientific literature as being as real as male ejaculation and women's ejaculate is as different from urine, as men's is , she said. All women ejaculate at orgasm, in the same way that all
men do. In some women, the amount is very small and not distinguishable from normal vaginal lubrication however some women can and do ejaculate large quantities of fluid and under great pressure.
Ms Patten said that some depictions of female orgasm could be faked and possibly showed an expulsion of water from the vagina, however there was nothing in the Guidelines to suggest banning depictions of douching only urination.
These changes to what is now a Refused Classification depiction also affect the amount of material that will be black listed by Senator Conroy's proposed Internet filter. There are over one million sites featuring female ejaculation and for
Australia to be banning depictions and discussion of this important issue, takes us back into the Victorian era where they didn't even believe that women could have orgasms , she said.
A survey by Tempep, an EU-funded network of sex industry health agencies, found that one in eight foreign prostitutes in Europe was Romanian, replacing Russians as the main nationality since the previous assessment in 2006.
This week Evenimentul zilei, a Bucharest newspaper, under the headline Romania top exporter of prostitution , wrote: Barely three years after its accession to the EU, the country can lay claim to yet another lofty distinction.
The newspaper called for a fresh debate on calls for prostitution to be legalised, in line with a proposal by a presidential commission four months ago. That was blocked by an alliance of civic and religious groups including the powerful Romanian
Orthodox Church. The result of Europe's strictest anti-prostitution laws, according to sex workers, is that prostitutes are regularly sent to prison while their clients are hardly punished.
The report assessed that about two fifths of Britain's estimated 80,000 prostitutes were migrants, most commonly from Lithuania, Thailand and Poland. The proportion of foreign prostitutes was highest in London at 70-80%.
Where they come from:
1 Romania 12% of migrant total
2 Russia 9%
3 Bulgaria 8%
4= Ukraine, Nigeria 7%
6 Brazil 5%
7= Belarus, Moldova, Poland, Hungary, Thailand 4%
Dozens of prostitutes, most using headscarves or hoods to hide their faces, demonstrated in central Athens, demanding working licenses for brothels across Greece.
Prostitution is legal in Greece, and sex workers have personal permits to exercise their profession, but not to operate brothels. As a result, many end up working illegally and facing arrest because they operate out of brothels.
We are here to put an end to our hardship and degradation, said Dimitra Kanellopoulou, president of Greece's sex workers' association, SEPE. The situation is tragic, hypocritical and miserable.
About 100 sex workers held a rally outside the Interior Ministry, chanting: We will not back down until we are given justice.
Kanellopoulou, the head of the union, said Interior Minister Yannis Ragoussis met briefly with union members and agreed to discuss their grievances, including cutting red tape and making it easier for prostitutes to obtain licenses.
The Valencian Federation of Municipalities and Provinces has introduced a law making sex on the street punishable by a fine of 3,000 euros. The new framework also outlaws prostitution, begging and any other activity that disturbs the
tranquillity of neighbours . Also included for the first time is legislation that aims to control the behaviour of club doormen.
The law, which will apply everywhere within the City of Valencia, provides for penalties of up to 3,000 euros for having sex in a car within the city or 400 euros for people who buy pirated DVDs and CDs in the street.
The legislation has been unanimously approved by the council representatives.
The law seeks to end prostitution in the street and is aimed equally at prostitutes and their clients. For a first offence clients and prostitutes face penalties of between 1,500 and 3,000 euros. If sex workers continue to offend they will suffer
imprisonment. The document warns that any person who has sexual intercourse in a vehicle in the street will also be fined up to 3,000 euros.
Denmark's Blue Movie adult shop, believed to be the world's oldest adult store, having opened its doors before the country legalized pornography in 1969, will be closing March 31, local sources disclosed.
Established nearly 45 years ago, Blue Movie is located on a busy main street in central Copenhagen with a porn-themed facade and huge window displays showing explicit images.
According to a long-time customer, the store is an old-school XXX shop with an endless selection of very kinky hardcore videos, books and magazines, plus a smaller selection of bondage equipment.
Although extremely popular for many years, the store is now closing due to diminishing sales as a result of customers moving online to buy their adult material, according to reports in Denmark's press.
Amsterdam Councillor Lodewijk Asscher has launched a plan to raise the minimum age of prostitutes from 18 to 23. Asscher wants to 'clean up' Amsterdam's Red Light district and is proposing a whole raft of measures. In addition to raising the
minimum age, he also wants the red light district in the Wallen area to close down between 04:00 and 08:00 in the morning.
Speaking to Dutch daily De Telegraaf, the councillor denied that he wants to turn Amsterdam into a prudish bourgeois paradise. Look, Amsterdam is a metropolis and prostitution is part of that. There is nothing against prostitution if the women
are doing it of their own free will ...BUT... there are many of examples where that is not the case. Imagine it's your mother or your sister working as a prostitute.
Asscher's proposal will probably be presented to the city council after the 3 March municipal elections, so the plan is in the hands of the voters.
South Africa could legalise prostitution during the 2010 World Cup amid fears that the tournament will spread the HIV epidemic.
Due to the rise in demand, health bosses want the government to consider making prostitution legal so sex workers can come forward to be screened for sexually transmitted infections and get free condoms.
Eric Harper, director of the Sex Worker Education and Advocacy Taskforce, said: It could be a potential recipe for disaster both for clients and sex workers.
Garion Hall, the boss of AbbyWinters.com, has been charged with 54 counts of producing and possessing supposedly objectionable films.
Hall also was charged on three under age porn counts after police in Victoria raided his business, G Media, in June and seized footage of allegedly illegal sex acts. Computer records and DVDs were among items seized.
The charges relate to sexually explicit DVDs allegedly made by his multimillion-dollar company, G Media.
Previously 35 DVDs have been submitted to the Australian film censors who reported that they would be classified X18+ (for explicit sex, legal to supply in 2 Australian territories but not Victoria)
Two of Hall's former models who appear on the AbbyWinters website as Blaire and Melita accused G Media of exploiting them and other nude models by not warning them it was illegal to profit from making objectionable films in Victoria, according to
Australia's Herald Sun. The women claim G Media used large cash incentives to lure naive women into performing sex acts on camera.
Hall is due to appear in Melbourne Magistrates' Court on Jan. 27 to face 57 charges.
AbbyWinters.com is a paysite that specializes in lesbian and solo erotica of amateur female nude models. The site has about 30,000 subscribers.
Hall, in June, said that the police raids were instigated by a tabloid journalist from the Herald Sun.