The purchasing of sex will be outlawed under new criminal offences. Miserable ministers signed have agreed to a bill that will see those buying sex face fines of €500 or up to €5,000 if the person is trafficked.
'Justice' Minister Frances Fitzgerald
is expected to publish the final legislation next week and make an announcement on when the new criminal offence will be enacted. It is unclear if it will or will not decriminalise sex workers in brothels or on the streets.
A group which calls
itself the sex workers alliance of Ireland said it was a sad day for sex workers and that there are efforts in Sweden to decriminalise sex workers or soliciting by prostitutes.
New legislation on sexual offences criminalises paying for sex with prostitutes, but ensures the person offering sexual services is not guilty of a crime. Presumably Ireland does not have laws against inciting people (their customers) to commit a crime.
Minister for Injustice Frances Fitzgerald published the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill 2015 on Wednesday, claiming she was committed to addressing the very real and tragic crimes of trafficking and exploitation associated with
prostitution. She said:
I am convinced that targeting the demand for such services is the way forward.
Ms Fitzgerald said her proposals mirrored the approach adopted in Northern Ireland and other
jurisdictions which she said had seen a reduction in demand for the services provided by prostitutes.
New evidence from international sex surveys show large and continuing differences between male and female perspectives on sexuality in all cultures. Male sexual desire is manifested at least twice as often as female desire, and men would like to have
sex twice as often as women. This gap in sexual desire between men and women is growing over time and cannot be dismissed as an out-dated patriarchal myth as argued by some feminists.
The sexual deficit among (heterosexual) men
helps to explain many puzzles, including why men are the principal customers for commercial sexual entertainments of all kinds. It is no surprise that sex workers (male and female) cater to men almost exclusively. Male demand for sex invariably outstrips
Demand for commercial sex is therefore inevitable and the sex industry is likely to continue to flourish in the 21st century. Not only does male demand for sexual activity greatly outstrip non-commercial female
supply, but economic growth, globalisation and the Internet facilitate access to the world's oldest profession.
Several factors suggest that the male sex deficit will not disappear, and might even grow in the 21st century. Women's
increasing economic independence allows them to withdraw from sexual markets and relationships that they perceive to offer unfair bargains, especially if they already have enough children or do not want any. Changes in national sex ratios towards a
numerical surplus of men helps women to reset the rules in their own favour in developed societies.
A key objection to the sex industry is that it damages women and that the presence of porn, lap-dancing and prostitution in a
country promotes rape and other violence against women. However, although there are too few rigorous studies to draw definitive conclusions, all the available evidence points in the direction of prostitution and erotic entertainments having no noxious
psychological or social effects, and they may even help to reduce sexual crime rates.
In many countries, including Britain, it is perfectly legal to sell sexual services; however any third-party involvement is illegal. The aim is
to prevent exploitation by pimps or madams. The effect is to criminalise the industry and brothels, to prevent girls working together in a flat for their mutual protection, to prevent anyone from lawfully supplying services to a sex worker or even rent a
flat to them.
The commercial sex industry is impervious to prohibitions and cannot be eliminated. Countries that criminalise buyers (such as Sweden) simply push demand abroad to countries with a more sex-positive culture. Policies
that criminalise sellers directly, or criminalise third parties who supply them with services, simply push the sex industry underground, increasing risks for sex workers. The sex industry is estimated to be worth over four billion pounds to the British
economy. It should be completely decriminalised.
The New Zealand experience of decriminalised sex work offers a practical alternative to the often-cited Swedish Model. Might it point to a more general way forward? By Fraser Crichton See
article from opendemocracy.net
Milan's deputy mayor is claiming that sex workers should wear high-vis jackets rather than more sexy attire. Deputy mayor Luciano Sinigaglia spouted:
The sex workers should be treated as employees who work on road
construction and forced to wear clothes that make them visible.
He said this meant sensible reflective clothing and no miniskirts.
Sex workers caught a second time without the right highway clothing will be hauled into the
police station. We are almost ready with the definitive draft of the document. I hope to have it [the ordinance] up and running by the start of September, Sinigaglia told teh newspaper Corriere Della Sera.
Actresses including Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet and Emma Thompson, write an open letter opposing an Amnesty International policy to endorse the decriminalisation of the sex trade.
The human rights group is set to review its internal policy document
on sex work at a meeting in Dublin next month.
But the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) said that if the new policy was adopted, Amnesty would in effect advocate the legalisation of pimping, brothel owning and sex buying that
forms the basis of the lucrative global sex industry.
Signatories from the lucrative media industry also includes Emily Blunt, Lena Dunham and Anne Hathaway.
Amnesty is reviewing its policy amid evidence that criminalising adults for
consensual sex work can lead to greater abuse against sex workers . The charity is in the final stages of receiving feedback on the draft policy but stressed that no decision had yet been made.
Offsite Article: The Amnesty Sex Work Argument, Broken Down
Obviously, Amnesty is right to say that sex workers have human rights and that these should be respected ...BUT... many Amnesty supporters believe that the trade itself tends to corrupt or to violate these rights, except for a lucky few
participants. The broadest coalitions unite around the narrowest agendas. A call to legalise sex work is a distraction from Amnesty's core mission, and dangerous to it too.
Offsite Comment: Amnesty must stand firm on decriminalising sex work
5th August 2015. See article
from theguardian.com . By Luca Stevenson, coordinator of the International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe and Dr Agata Dziuban, the organisation's
policy officer in Poland
What should matter to Amnesty's directors and members is the strong, growing and undeniable evidence collected by academics and international organisations such as the World Health Organisation , Human
Rights Watch and the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women that criminalising any aspect of sex work makes sex workers more vulnerable to sexual and other forms of violence, forced rehabilitation, arrests, deportation and contracting HIV.
What should matter even more is the voice of the sex workers themselves, who from every corner of the world are organising -- often in the most difficult environments -- to advocate for their rights and to change laws and policies
that harm them.
Men just want to get laid, whilst the sex workers just want to earn a bit of money to feed their kids. Yet some would like to see all these innocent people get jailed, just so that extremist feminists can feel good about their gender equality.
And it's good to see that Human rights group Amnesty International has also come out against the persecution and jailing of innocent people by voting to support the decriminalisation of prostitution at their biennial International Council Meeting.
Delegates from around the world gathered in Dublin for the meeting, and voted to adopt a resolution that will allow the organisation to develop and adopt a pro-decriminalisation policy. The resolution recommends that the full decriminalisation of all
aspects of consensual sex work is supported by the organisation.
Salil Shetty, Amnesty's Secretary General, said about the resolution:
We recognise that this critical human rights issue is hugely complex and
that is why we have addressed this issue from the perspective of international human rights standards.
Amnesty International now joins a host of other groups in their support for decriminalisation, including the World Health
Organisation, the United Nations AIDS programme UNAIDS, and leading medical journal The Lancet .
These groups see the stigma and criminalisation that surrounds prostitution as roadblocks to stopping abuse, trafficking and the spread of diseases
like HIV and AIDS.
History has just been made. The world's leading human rights organisation, Amnesty International has finally, belatedly, accepted that sex workers are people with rights, and has called for their trade to be decriminalised.
For liberals, this kind of decision would once have been a no-brainer. But liberalism has become infested with puritanical, authoritarian ideas, and many liberals are highly illiberal when it comes to core issues of individual liberty -- most of all, when sex is involved. Almost 4 years ago, I began to wake up to this, and wrote a piece about the Guardian's sexual hang-ups . My observation that the secular left and the religious right had almost blurred into one entity was one of the catalysts that ended my Guardian subscription, and began my growing disenchantment with the increasingly conservative political left.
An administrative court in Dortmund, northwest Germany has banned practising the oldest profession on the territory of the city as the number of sex workers, mostly from Bulgaria and Romania, has tripled.
Prior to the EU expansion of 2007 there
were about 60 sex workers on the streets of Dortmund, but with the entry of Bulgaria and Romania, the numbers swelled to 500 in the first year and 700 a year later.
We call on the Amnesty International Council to stand firm and support decriminalisation of sex work and protect the human rights of sex workers
30th July 2015
Support Amnesty International's proposed policy calling for the decriminalisation of sex work
The Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) and our allies take this opportunity to express our support for Amnesty
International's draft policy calling for the decriminalisation of sex work, which is to be tabled for adoption at the International Council Meeting, 6-11th August 2015. Amnesty International is facing a backlash from campaigners for proposing a policy
that seeks to uphold the human rights of sex workers.
We ask the Amnesty International Council to stand firm and support decriminalisation of sex work and protect the human rights of sex workers.
policy is backed up by the findings of country-based research carried out by Amnesty International on the human rights impact of the criminalisation of sex work and also on the 2014 consultation, which included input from many sex workers around the
world -- the community most affected by the proposals.
NSWP would also like to condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the CATW statement, open letter and online petition attacking Amnesty International's proposals. CATW's
position is stigmatising, discriminatory and misrepresents the facts, conflating sex work with human trafficking. Most importantly it ignores the lived experiences of sex workers, silences their voices and seeks to perpetuate legal systems which place
sex workers at increased risk of violence, stigmatisation, and discrimination; as well as limiting their access to health and social services. Furthermore, CATW is ignoring the overwhelming body of evidence and the findings of international bodies such
as the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, who recommend that governments should work towards the decriminalisation of sex work and The Lancet which recently published a special series on HIV and Sex Workers, which also recommends the
decriminalisation of sex work and reported "Decriminalisation of sex work would have the greatest effect on the course of HIV epidemics across all settings, averting 33--46% of HIV infections in the next decade."
is a wide recognition among international agencies that the decriminalisation of sex work is necessary to protect and respect the human rights of sex workers. These agencies include; UNAIDS , UNFPA, UNDP, WHO, The World Bank , Global Alliance Against
Trafficking in Women (GAATW) , Human Rights Watch , the Lancet, Open Society Foundations .
The Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) has issued a
Statement of Support for Amnesty International setting out some of the
extensive evidence that backs up Amnesty International's call for the decriminalisation of sex work and calls on human rights defenders to stand with sex workers in supporting this progressive policy.
Please sign this petition to
show support for the Amnesty International resolution to support decriminalisation of sex work and ensure the human rights of sex workers are upheld.
A miserable Russian lawmaker is drafting a bill introducing fines and community service for using the services of prostitutes. The bill introduces an interesting new concept with lighter punishment for single people and significantly harsher sanctions
for married men and women.
Oleg Mikheyev of the center-left 'Fair' Russia party wants to amend the administrative code with a new article specifically describing using sex services for money as an offence. The proposed penalties are that single people
would have to pay between 1,500 and 2,000 rubles ($26-$35) in fines, but married clients, men and women alike, would face either fines of between 2,000 and 5,000rubles ($35 - $88) or perform up to 40 hours of community service.
penalty is in the same range as the fines for prostitution itself and Mikheyev said in press comments that one of the reasons he wrote the bill was the desire to make the conditions equal for the workers and customers in the sex industry. Currently,
prostitution in Russia is punishable by an administrative fine of between 1,500 and 2,000 rubles ($26-$35) and pimping (defined as receiving income from another person's work as a prostitute) can carry fines between 2,000 and 2,500 rubles ($35-$44) or up
to 10 days of administrative detention.