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Empowering...

Sex workers are petitioning to get prostitution legalised in Thailand


Link Here22nd September 2020
Full story: Sex Work in Thailand...Fun for all, Thais and foreigners alike
Sex workers in Thailand have launched a petition calling for prostitution to be decriminalised and urging authorities to remove all penalties for selling and buying sex.

Empower Foundation, a group that supports sex workers, said it hoped to collect 10,000 signatures and present the petition to parliament to help persuade lawmakers.

Sex work is commonplace in Thailand and is generally tolerated but anti-prostitution laws are still on the law book and are occasionally revisited when the authorities fancy a crackdown or else the police fancy a donation.

Women and LGBT+ rights activists say the current law, which made prostitution illegal in 1960, does little to protect sex workers, while repeated arrests and fines for doing sex work has driven them further into poverty.

Thailand's extensive sex industry, largely caters to Thai men, but attracts international attention via go-go bars and massage parlours that cater for foreign visitors. A 2014 report by the U.N. agency fighting AIDS estimated that there were 123,530 sex workers in Thailand but advocacy groups put the figure at more than twice that number.

Adult prostitution is currently punishable by a fine of up to 40,000 baht ($1,274) or two years in prison, or both. More than 24,000 people were arrested, prosecuted and fined for sex work-related offences in Thailand last year, according to the Thai Police.

 

 

Safer sex...

Maynooth University reports calls for Ireland's law criminalising sex buying to be repealed


Link Here12th September 2020
Full story: Prostitution Law in Ireland...Government solicits public suggestions for changes to the law
Sex workers feel less safe, more stigmatised and in greater fear of gardai since a law criminalising the purchase of sex was enacted, a report from Maynooth university warns.

Commissioned by HIV Ireland, the study looks at how the Part 4 of the Sexual Offences Act (2017) has impacted sex workers.

The report, which HIV Ireland is submitting to a government review of the legislation, says:

The findings ... point to the negative impact of current laws on the abilities of sex workers to keep safe and reduce harms to their health and well-being, in line with mounting evidence from other jurisdictions where sex buyer laws are in place.

While some international women's groups and radical feminists support the utility of such sex purchase laws to send a symbolic message on sexual behaviour there is little consideration of the impact on sex workers' safety.

The report, by Dr Paul Ryan and Dr Kathryn McGarry, of the Department of Sociology at Maynooth University, calls for the law to be repealed, to recognise the reality of sex work and keep those involved in it safe.

 

 

Electile dysfunction...

Germany's government does not act quick enough to prevent Cologne's mega brothel from going bankrupt due to delayed lockdown easing for sex work


Link Here11th September 2020
Full story: Coronavirus...Internet censorship and surveillance
Sex workers in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, and in other northern jurisdictions, filed court cases to force local officials to lift a coronavirus ban on sex workers.

On Tuesday, the Higher Administrative Court of North Rhine-Westphalia agreed that with similar close contact businesses open, there was no rationale to keep brothels closed. The court found no clear evidence that one-on-one sexual activity carried a higher risk of transmission than indoor gatherings of up to 150 people, which are allowed under Germany's current coronavirus health regulations .

While sex workers in North Rhine-Westphalia -- whose capital is Dusseldorf and largest city is Cologne -- may return to work this week, their counterparts in Hamburg and Bremen, where courts also overturned the ban, may resume their activities on September 15.

But the court ruling did not come soon enough for Cologne's Pascha mega-brothel, which according to a Mirror newspaper report , was so devastated by the shutdown that it has now filed for bankruptcy and closed its doors, putting 100 sex workers and dozens of support staff in the 11-story facility out of work.

 

 

The miserable party...

Major party in Netherland's coalition government calls for paying for sex to be criminalised


Link Here4th September 2020
Full story: Sex Work in the Netherlands...Netherlands less friendly to sex workers
The Dutch government coalition partner party, CDA wants paying for sex to become a punishable offence.

CDA MP Anne Kuik is tabling a motion asking the cabinet for a ban. She claims that prostitution turns women into a product to be bought and that is something that can no longer be tolerated in this day and age.

Kuik is proposing the Netherlands follow in the footsteps of Sweden which criminalised paid sex in 1999. The Swedish government claims that by prosecuting punters but not prostitutes street prostitution has been halved within a decade.

It is reported that the CDA call is unlikely to win over coalition partners D66 and VVD who are against the measure, saying it would drive prostitution underground.

MPs will also discuss a citizen initiative by Christian youth movement Exxpose which has gathered over 50,000 signatures in support of measures to curb prostitution.

 

 

Needs must!...

Canadian magazine publisher restores small ads for sex workers


Link Here28th August 2020
A Canadian publisher says that offering some relief to coronavirus hit sex workers will be good business. MediaCentral, the Ontario-based company that publishes NOW Magazine in Toronto and Georgia Straight in Vancouver announced this week that it will resume running adult classified ads in those publications.

In the United States the 2018 FOSTA/SESTA law has effectively banned the online classifieds market by unfairly holding platforms liable for third-party content that could be construed as promoting sex trafficking.

But in Canada, MediaCentral says that it expects to take in $2 million (US $1.5 million) annually from the resumption of adult classifieds, which it shut down in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior to eliminating adult advertising, NOW generated strong sales from its Adult Classifieds Category. The Straight has continued to offer adult advertising over the years, but the category was temporarily suspended during the height of COVID. The company's CEO Brian Kalish said in a statement: w

We expect this re-launch to drive strong sales numbers alongside our newly revamped and fully integrated sales platforms. Our decision to bring back the classifieds is part of our strategic path to creating sustainable, profitable publications.

 

 

Updated: Getting back to bed...

German sex workers protest against a slow easing of lockdown


Link Here19th August 2020
Full story: Coronavirus...Internet censorship and surveillance
Sex workers in Germany are appealing to politicians to ease coronavirus restrictions that have prevented them from working during the pandemic. Sex workers have taken their complaints to the streets, in demonstrations in Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart and Berlin.

There are growing reports of sex workers being subjected to violence, underpayment and being forced to compromise their health because of clients' demands during meetings in non-formal settings.

This week, Berlin's government appeared to give way to their demands after announcing a graduated return to sexual services without intercourse. From 1 September, intercourse will be allowed to take place between sex workers and their clients in the German capital, but only under strict hygiene regulations. Sex workers operating in Germany's 15 other states hope the governments there will soon follow suit.

The Federal Association of Erotic and Sex Services has accused lawmakers of failing to address the concerns of sex workers because of the stigma attached to the industry, while giving hairdressers, tattoo parlours, massage and beauty salons, fitness studios, saunas and swinger clubs the green light to reopen weeks ago. They point out that in neighbouring Switzerland, the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium and the Czech Republic, brothels are being allowed to operate again.

 

Update: Hand job only

19th August 2020. See article from newser.com

Berlin's brothels are back open for the first time in five months, but there's a catch: No sex allowed.

Sex acts remain banned until September under coronavirus restrictions.

A the moment customers are required to wear a mask and provide contact details, which are then kept in a sealed envelope. Customers can only request erotic massages.

Strict hygiene regulations will remain in place once paid sex is made permissible on 1st September.

 

 

Complete with mandatory hand and knob sanitiser stations...

Canadian province recommends glory holes as a covid safe form of sex


Link Here 26th July 2020
Full story: Coronavirus...Internet censorship and surveillance
Canada's province of British Columbia have issued guidelines recommending the use of glory holes as a method of COVID-safe sex.

Previously New York guidelines suggested the use of barriers to avoid risky, face-to-face contact during sex, B.C. health officials have specifically recommended glory holes to allow for sexual contact but prevent close face-to-face contact.

The B.C. health officials say that sexual partners should wear facial masks during their activities specifically because heavy breathing during sex can create more droplets that may transmit COVID-19.

 

 

Essential business only...

Amsterdam asks tourists to avoid its red light district


Link Here19th July 2020
Full story: Sex Work in the Netherlands...Netherlands less friendly to sex workers
Amsterdam's council is asking visitors not to visit the city's famous red light district and has closed off some of its narrow streets because they are too busy.

Sex workers in the Netherlands were allowed to return to work on July 1 and the red light district has gotten busier again.

The council claims that visitors could not maintain social distancing.

 

 

Miserable Israel...

New law comes into force criminalising paying for sex


Link Here16th July 2020
Full story: Sex work law in Israel...Israel wages war against sex workers
A new law criminalizing payment for sexual services took effect in Israel last week. A new survey by Tel Aviv University found that nearly one in every three Israeli men say they have paid for sex at least one time in their lives, and one in six say that they have paid on multiple occasions.

Sex work has long been legalized in Israel 204 but most of the activities that make professional sex work possible are not. Operating a brothel and pimping are outlawed in the country of about 8.8 million, and in January of last year, Israel's Knesset, or parliament, passed a new law making the payment of money for sexual services a crime.

That law finally took effect on July 10 of this year. Not only is paying for sex illegal under the new law, but even seeking the services of a sex worker can now be punished by a fine ranging from the equivalent of $530 for a first offense, to a maximum of $20,400 for repeat offenses, according to a report by The Times of Israel .

In fact, the law now makes it illegal even to be caught in a place where sexual services are offered, such as a brothel.

 

 

'Let us work'...

German sex workers protest that their industry has not been released from lockdown


Link Here7th July 2020
Full story: Coronavirus...Internet censorship and surveillance
Germany has been releasing most businesses from coronavirus lockdown but the country's sex work industry remains banned. Brothels and similar sex-related businesses have been closed since mid-March due to the pandemic -- though other close-contact businesses such as nail salons and massage therapy parlors have been permitted to reopen.

In response, a group of sex workers in Berlin staged a protest on Friday, wielding an inflatable sex doll outside the Bundesrat, the upper house of Germany's parliament. The protesters also brandished placards with slogans including, Let us work, Open the brothels now , and Our sector is being driven underground.

The Federal Association for Erotic and Sex Services, a trade association and lobbying group for the sex industry, said that the sex workers seem to have been forgotten by politicians. The trade group called the continued shutdown of the sex industry incomprehensible in view of the developments in other sectors.

 

 

Window cleansing...

Amsterdam sex workers have to fight the authorities to get permission to return to work


Link Here30th June 2020
Full story: Sex Work in the Netherlands...Netherlands less friendly to sex workers
many businesses, including those involving close contact such as hair salons, have been allowed to reopen in the Netherlands, sex work was scheduled to remain shut down until September. However an outcry from sex workers sparked a change of heart and the Dutch government announced last week that legal sex work could resume on July 1.

Sex workers had staged a demonstration at Amsterdam's City Hall, with chants of, Open the windows, open the windows! We want to work! We want to work!

It was reported by Euronews that sex workers and business owners had suspected that the government may be using the coronavirus crisis as a pretext to end legalization.

 

 

Safe sex...

Austrian brothels to re-open from lock down on 1st July


Link Here25th June 2020
Full story: Coronavirus...Internet censorship and surveillance
Brothels will be allowed to re-open in Austria on 1 July, in an easing of coronavirus restrictions. The health ministry is working with groups representing the country's 8,000 registered sex workers to develop hygiene measures, according to the Austria Press Agency.

Elsewhere in Europe, the Netherlands also plans to reopen brothels on 1 July.

Those in Greece opened last week. Rules brought in by the Greek government include card-only payments, a time limit of 15 minutes per customer, compulsory face masks and workers taking a list of clients' contact details in case they need to be traced.

 

 

Updated: Playing doctors and nurses...

Greek and Swiss brothels set to re-open after lockdown, but now with requirements for additional PPE


Link Here29th May 2020
Full story: Coronavirus...Internet censorship and surveillance
sexy ppe
 It'll be 50 quid luv
...and bareback will be 20 quid extra
Brothels in Greece are set to re-open after lockdown with requirements for additional PPE.

According to the Greek press, customers at brothels will be required to wear plastic masks and gloves while having sex.

In addition there will be temperature checks along with a requirement for disposable sheets and frequent periodic disinfection of the premises.

And should thing go awry whilst in the throes of passion, then lets hope that the contact tracers who knock on your front door are well trained in the importance of discretion.

Update: Doggy in Switzerland

29th May 2020. See article from dailymail.co.uk

Swiss brothels have been given the green light to open on June 6 as the country exits lockdown, with strict health rules including keeping your faces one forearm length apart during sex.

Doggy style and reverse cowgirl positions are among those which would comply with the new rule - but threesomes are out and anal practices will require gloves.

Anonymity is also a thing of the past, because clients' personal details will have to be kept for four weeks in case they are needed for contact tracing.

Rules drawn up by a sex workers' group also call for masks to be worn if possible and bed sheets to be washed after each client departs to stop the spread of coronavirus.

 

 

Amsterdammers cannot face sex workers...

Residents, comfortably cushioned by lockdown bail outs, dream about keeping coffee shops and red light windows locked down permanently


Link Here25th May 2020
Full story: Sex Work in the Netherlands...Netherlands less friendly to sex workers
People are clearly enjoying clean air, traffic free roads and empty buses and trains, but maybe they should be a little bit careful in what they wish for.

Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema is due to publish avision for tourism which will outline how she sees tourism developing post coronavirus.

And now a group of organisations have published their own vision for the future of the city centre, ahead of the mayor's proposals. The residents' associations say their plan of action will restore the balance between residents, companies and visitors.

The plan calls on officials to uphold the ban on holiday rentals and to close down illegal hotels. Cannabis cafes, it says, should only be open to residents. There should be fewer music festivals and a ban on amusement park activities such as beer bikes, water bikes, segways and the like. In addition, the city, as a shareholder in Schiphol airport, should pressure for a reduction in holiday traffic. Mini supermarkets should be banned from selling alcohol and the sex industry should be moved in its entirety to a hotel in a different location.

In fact moving the red light district is one of the options which mayor Femke Halsema has already mooted. And earlier this year, a report drawn up by city officials suggested that a special room rental complex for prostitutes or an erotic centre complete with prostitution, sex theatres and other facilities are the two most likely options on the table.

Geerte Udo, chief executive of city marketing department amsterdam&partners, told DutchNews.nl earlier this month that the city will aim to build a new industry that is socially, economically and ecologically sustainable. Instead of attracting the hen parties and stag nights who once turned the red light district into an all night party, it is aiming for a culture and history-loving audience. Amsterdam has always been an open and international city, and we would love to welcome visitors as soon as possible, she told DutchNews.nl. But the right visitors.

Meanwhile, sex worker organisation Red Light United has published its own plans which would allow window prostitution, currently banned until September 1, to resume. The protocol would require both sex worker and client to wear masks and rubber gloves and only positions which do not involve face to face contact would be permitted.

 

 

Socially distanced forever...

Miserable German lawmakers have fallen in love with the lockdown rules and want sex workers to be permanently distanced 2 metres from their customers


Link Here22nd May 2020
Coronavirus has caused Germany's brothels to close their doors, but some politicians inevitatbly want the ban to become permanent.

Prominent German politicians called for brothels to be closed indefinitely, extending their temporary closure due to coronavirus restrictions.

Sixteen lawmakers from Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right CDU party and the center-left Social Democrats wrote a letter, seen by German media, to the premiers of the 16 German states claiming that sex workers could become super spreaders of the virus.

In their letter, the German lawmakers express hope that the closure of the brothels could be a good opportunity to improve opportunities for sex workers in Germany. Re-opening the brothels will not help these women. Instead, they need apprenticeships, training or work in a secure job.

The letter calls for Germany to take the opportunity to adopt the Nordic model, under which paying for sex is illegal.

 

 

Offsite Article: 'I Work in Amsterdam's Red Light District'...


Link Here30th April 2020
Full story: Coronavirus...Internet censorship and surveillance
--Here's What It's Like in a Pandemic. By Jen Rose Smith

See article from fodors.com

 

 

Short time relief...

Japan will provide covid financial relief to sex work businesses


Link Here12th April 2020
Full story: Coronavirus...Internet censorship and surveillance
Japan has reportedly reversed its decision to discriminate against sex workers who are economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

CNN has reported that Health and Labor Minister Kazunobu Kato declared that Japan's legal sex workers will be eligible to receive government assistance as part of the nation's economic relief package.

Japan's original COVID-19 relief plan initially barred sex workers, along with bars, restaurants and gangsters, from receiving any economic aid and was widely criticized for being discriminatory in its application

The financial relief will be paid to businesses and it is still unclear how self-employed sex workers would be treated under the new plan.

 

 

An unconstitutional contradiction...

Canadian court judgement notes that the country's laws endanger sex workers when the stated purpose is to protect them


Link Here22nd February 2020
Full story: Criminalisng Buying Sex in Canada...Reducing prostitution by endangering sex workers
Canada introduced nasty sex work laws in 2015 that criminalised men and ended up endangering the sex workers.

Now a landmark case has resulted in a small victory that may challenge the constitutionality of the 2015 laws.

Charges against a London, Ontario couple, Tiffany Harvey and Hamad Anwar, who were arrested in 2015 following a raid on their business, Fantasy World Escorts, have been stayed following a landmark decision by Judge Thomas McKay that the charges are unconstitutional. In his decision, McKay noted, legislation for which the stated purposes include eliminating exploitation and reducing the risk of violence to sex workers actually has the effect of exposing sex workers to an increased risk of exploitation.

Harvey and Anwar were tried for charges which prohibit the procuring, advertising and materially benefiting from someone else's sexual services.

Although legal analysts suggest the Crown will appeal McKay's decision, the ruling nonetheless denotes a landmark case regarding sex workers' rights, one which could set a precedent for future cases.

 

 

Tour groups told to avert their eyes...

Amsterdam to ban red light tours that gawp on the sex workers and their customers


Link Here14th February 2020
Full story: Sex Work in the Netherlands...Netherlands less friendly to sex workers
Amsterdam Council has banned guided tours that take groups around the city's red-light district gawping at sex workers behind windows.

Sex work doesn't sit well with PC lawmakers these days so the council euphemistically claimed that the policy was to address 'over-tourism'.Amsterdam Deputy Mayor Victor Everhardt said in a statement.

It is disrespectful to treat sex workers as a tourist attraction. Tours of the red-light district still will be allowed if guides stick to the new restriction, which takes effect in April, and keep the windows off their itineraries. Banning group tours of the red-light district windows will help to prevent disruptions for residents and businesses.


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