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26th July

 Offsite Article: Empowering...

Link Here  full story: Sex Work in Thailand...Fun for all, Thais and foreigners alike
empowers museum Museum of Bangkok sex work set to open to the public from mid August

See article from bangkokpost.com

 

23rd July

 Offsite Article: Time Enough for Love...

Link Here
abroad in japan logo British expat scores a hit with a YouTube Channel featuring the phenomenon of Japanese short time hotels

See article from mirror.co.uk

 

18th July

  Dreamy Thailand...

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Tourism minister to sell Thailand as an ethical, politically correct dream world with no more of the sexy stuff
Link Here

wattanavrangkul Thailand has promised to eradicate its sex industry as it attempts to somehow reinvent itself as a female-friendly travel destination.

Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, the country's first female tourism minister, made the pledge following a series of police raids on Thai massage parlours offering sexy services. She spouted to Reuters:

We want Thailand to be about quality tourism. We want the sex industry gone. Tourists don't come to Thailand for such a thing. They come here for our beautiful culture.

Kobkarn began her drive to clean up Thai tourism's image soon after arriving in office in 2014, singling out the resort city of Pattaya as a pilot project for the country at large. Pattaya has more than 1,000 bars and massage parlours, many of which offer sexy services.

In an attempt to diversify the tourism industry, Thailand is starting a month for women travellers campaign in August, in which female-only pink immigration lanes and parking zones will be set up in international airports.

 

16th July

  Extreme fines and jail...

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Italy gets nasty with a bill to criminalise people who buy sex
Link Here  full story: Sex Work in Italy...Street prostitution to be outlawed in Italy
Italy flag A bill seeking to introduce fines of up to ? 10,000 for anybody who pays for sex was presented in Italy's parliament on Wednesday.

Although organized prostitution and brothels are illegal, street prostitution is allowed and estimates suggest there are 120,000 prostitutes currently working in Italy.

The new laws aim to impose feminist morality by going after sex worker's customers and hitting victims caught paying for sex with fines of between ? ?2,500 and ?? 10,000.

Under the new rules, repeat offenders would face fresh fines and risk being sentenced to up to a year in prison.

 

6th July

 Update: You have 9 months to amass a collection of free porn before the government bans it...

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UK Government sets out new law to create an internet porn censor
Link Here

Result of Government Consultation

child safety online The Government has published a document summarising responses to its proposals to mandate restrictive age validation requirements for porn websites. 48% of responses opposed the proposals whilst 44% agreed with the proposals. However the government made clear that they will proceed with the proposed censorship law. The consultation document reads:

It is clear from our analysis of the consultation responses that this is an issue which tends to polarise opinion, with strongly held views on either side. Overall, there was a roughly even split between those supporting age verification (44%) and those not in favour (48%). Responses from individuals made up the vast majority of those which were submitted via our online questionnaire (94%). Over half of the individuals were men, the majority of whom were between 18 and 34 years old.

Crucially, however, many of the key organisations we work with in the online child protection sphere children's charities, support and advice groups, the BBFC, internet service providers, and payment service firms and credit card companies indicated their support for the proposals, and the overriding policy goal of protecting children online.

Over a quarter (26%) of the individuals who responded indicated that they are parents or carers, and 23% of individuals said that they work with children (in the education and health sectors, working in or with churches, in voluntary roles, mentoring, and as researchers). In both groups, a majority supported the Government's approach.

Notably, pornography providers who responded to the consultation also stated their support for the protection of children online, and (with caveats) the introduction of age verification controls to protect children from content which is not appropriate for them.

As was set out in our consultation, the Government's preferred approach to delivering this commitment is to establish a new law, requiring age verification (AV) controls for online pornography this was the manifesto commitment, and following consideration of the consultation responses, remains the Government's intention.

To underpin this, we will also establish a new regulatory framework, and we will ensure a proportionate approach by enabling the regulator to act in a sufficiently flexible and targeted way.

Following analysis of the responses to the consultation, Government will now take several next steps. We will:

  1. Bring forward legislation, in the Digital Economy Bill, to establish a new law requiring age verification for commercial pornographic websites and applications containing still and moving images, and a new regulatory framework to underpin it

  2. Continue to work with payments firms and ancillary companies to ensure that the business models and profits of companies that do not comply with the new regulations can be undermined

  3. Maintain ongoing engagement with pornography providers, age verification providers, and other parts of the industry, to ensure that the regulatory framework is targeted and proportionate, to achieve maximum impact and to enable compliance

  4. Continue to work on broader internet safety issues, including work led by the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS), and raising awareness and resilience

Digital Economy Bill

See Digital Economy Bill progress page from services.parliament.uk
See Digital Economy Bill [pdf] from publications.parliament.uk

House of Commons logo And indeed the new censorship law is included in the Digital Economy Bill introduced on 5th July 2016. Section 3 outlines the setting up of an internet porn censor and the remainder sets out website censorship options and financial penalties for contravening websites, their payment providers and advertisers.

The government is planning on passing the bill into law in spring 2017.

Section 3

  • 15 Internet pornography: requirement to prevent access by persons under the age of 18
  • 16 Meaning of pornographic material
  • 17 The age-verification regulator: designation and funding
  • 18 Parliamentary procedure for designation of age-verification regulator
  • 19 Age-verification regulator's power to require information
  • 20 Enforcement of sections 15 and 19
  • 21 Financial penalties
  • 22 Age-verification regulator's power to give notice of contravention to payment service providers and ancillary service providers
  • 23 Exercise of functions by the age-verification regulator
  • 24 Requirements for notices given by regulator under this
  • 25 Interpretation of this Part

 

4th July

 Offsite Article: Prostitution laws in need of overhaul...

Link Here
bangkok post logo Police brothel raids endanger sex workers and do more harm than good. By Chaiyot Yongcharoenchai

See article from bangkokpost.com

 

1st July

 Update: Soliciting the decriminalisation of soliciting...

UK Parliament Committee recommends an immediate end to laws prohibiting soliciting and brothel keeping (when adult and consensual)...but will then consider whether men should be criminalised for buying sex
Link Here  full story: Criminalising Paying for Sex in England and Wales...A selfish campaign to lock up men
home affairs sex work june 2016 If the committee realises that current prohibitions endanger sex workers then it seems unlikely that they can recommend the criminalisation of men. Even if the crime of soliciting is repealed, then instead of soliciting, the sex workers will be guilty of inciting men to commit a crime.

The Committee introduces an interim report saying:

The Home Affairs Committee publishes an interim report on prostitution, saying that soliciting by sex workers, and sex workers sharing premises, should be decriminalised.

Home Office should change legislation

The Committee says the Home Office should immediately change existing legislation so that soliciting is no longer an offence and brothel-keeping laws allow sex workers to share premises, without losing the ability to prosecute those who use brothels to control or exploit sex workers. There must be zero tolerance of the organised criminal exploitation of sex workers.

The Home Office should also legislate to delete previous convictions and cautions for prostitution from the record of sex workers, as these records make it much more difficult for people to move out of prostitution into other forms of work if they wish to.

Key facts

  • Around 11% of British men aged 16--74 have paid for sex on at least one occasion, which equates to 2.3 million individuals.

  • The number of sex workers in the UK is estimated to be around 72,800 with about 32,000 working in London.

  • Sex workers have an average of 25 clients per week paying an average of 78 per visit.

  • In 2014--15, there were 456 prosecutions of sex workers for loitering and soliciting.

  • An estimated 152 sex workers were murdered between 1990 and 2015. 49% of sex workers (in one survey) said that they were worried about their safety.

  • There were 1,139 victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation in 2014 and 248 in April to June 2015 (following implementation of the Modern Slavery Act 2015).

Prostitution inquiry

With regards to changing the laws on buying sex, this inquiry will continue. The Committee will be seeking further evidence on the impacts of the recently introduced sex buyer laws in Northern Ireland and France, and the model of regulation used in for example New Zealand, to make a better assessment for its final report. The laws on prostitution need ultimately to be reconsidered in the round, not least to give the police much more clarity on where their priorities should lie and how to tackle the exploitation and trafficking associated with the sex industry.

Trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation is an important and separate issue from prostitution involving consenting adults. It is too early to assess the impact of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 on levels of trafficking, but the Crown Prosecution Service identified 248 victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation in the first three months of the Act's operation, compared to 1,139 in 2014.

Research on prostitution

Despite the obvious difficulties involved in getting data on an essentially covert industry, the Committee is "dismayed" at the poor quality of information available about the extent and nature of prostitution in England and Wales. The figures cited above must be considered in this context.

Without a proper evidence base, the Government cannot make informed decisions about the effectiveness of current legislation and policies, and cannot target funding and support interventions effectively. The Home Office should commission an in-depth research study on the current extent and nature of prostitution in England and Wales, within the next 12 months.

Chair's comments

Keith Vaz MP, Chair of the Committee, said:

This is the first time that Parliament has considered the issue of prostitution in the round for decades. It is a polarising subject with strong views on all sides. This interim report will be followed by final recommendations, when we consider other options, including the different approaches adopted by other countries.

As a first step, there has been universal agreement that elements of the present law are unsatisfactory. Treating soliciting as a criminal offence is having an adverse effect, and it is wrong that sex workers, who are predominantly women, should be penalised and stigmatised in this way. The criminalisation of sex workers should therefore end.

The current law on brothel keeping also means sex-workers can be too afraid of prosecution to work together at the same premises, which can often compromise their safety. There must however be zero tolerance of the organised criminal exploitation of sex workers, and changes to legislation should not lessen the Home Office's ability to prosecute those engaged in exploitation.

The Committee will evaluate a number of the alternative models as this inquiry continues, including the sex-buyers law as operated in Sweden, the full decriminalised model used in Denmark, and the legalised model used in Germany and the Netherlands.

 

30th June

 Update: Green woman waiting for the green man to cross the road...

New road signs in Basel, Switzerland
Link Here  full story: Sex Workers in Switzerland...New ideas such as drive in privacy booths
sex worker zone basel New street signs showing a busty woman waiting beside a lamp post are being painted on the pavements of Basel, Switzerland, to show sex workers the zone where they can legally ply their trade.

The signs are aimed at keeping sex workers inside the tolerance zone in the city's Kleinbasel district. About 50 work outdoors in the area designated as legal for street soliciting.

Basel's security and justice department said in a statement:

There is a high turnover of street workers in that part of the city. But many are from Eastern Europe, which can make it difficult to convey the rules they must obey. So we hope these signs will make it very clear where they can and can not tout for business.

 

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