A judge in Ontario has overturned key Canadian anti-prostitution laws, finding they force sex workers into the streets at risk to their safety.
She ruled with three prostitutes who had challenged bans on brothels, pimps and solicitation.
The ruling applies to Ontario province but could, if upheld on appeal, allow the rest of Canada to follow suit.
Finding the laws unconstitutional, Justice Susan Himel called on the Canadian parliament to regulate the sex trade: These laws... force prostitutes to choose between their liberty, interest and their right to security of the person, she
Plaintiff Terri Bedford, described in court documents as a prostitute who had been beaten and raped while working in the streets of Windsor, Calgary and Vancouver, said: It's like emancipation day for sex trade workers. The federal
government must now take a stand and clarify what is legal and not legal between consenting adults in private.
Justice Himel found national laws banning brothels, forbidding solicitation of clients, and banning Canadians from managing sex
workers as pimps or madams violated a provision of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guaranteeing the right to life, liberty and security .
The ruling will not go into effect for 30 days, giving the government time to appeal if it
Update: Canadian government appeals for unsafer sex work
Canada's federal government will
appeal an Ontario court decision that has cleared the way for legal brothels across Canada, the justice minister says.
Prostitution is a problem that harms individuals and it harms communities and this is why I am pleased to indicate to the
House that the government will appeal and will seek a stay on that decision, Injustice Minister Rob Nicholson told the Commons.
A senior police officer in Newport, the host city of golf's Ryder Cup, says his force tolerates brothels as long as they follow strict criteria.
Supt Julian Knight says it is better to work closely with those in the sex industry to enable proper
He told BBC Radio Wales' Eye on Wales that the law on prostitution created a dilemma, but he had to be pragmatic.
He spoke amid the tired old bollox claims that sex trafficking from abroad could rise around the Ryder Cup,
which begins on Friday.
Supt Knight told the programme: You have to be pragmatic about this. It is illegal. Society has a very Victorian moral code around this, as a result of which we find ourselves between a rock and a hard place .
The law on prostitution says that while it is not illegal to sell sex for financial gain, certain activities relating to it are. These include two or more people selling sex from the same premises.
However, rather than closing such premises down,
Supt Knight believes it is more effective to work closely with those involved. The Gwent Police policy in Newport, which has been in place since 2004, is to visit brothels on an ad hoc basis, and to develop relationships with the individuals involved. No
I have a list of 12 premises, he said: We know not only where they are, but also the type of individuals that are there, the type of services they offer, and the gender. That allows us, with our partner agencies, to monitor
them closely and to try to develop appropriate ways to get out of this lifestyle.
Eg Karen [not her real name] rents an apartment in Newport, from which she runs a business selling sex. Five women, including herself, work from the apartment at
different times of the day. She told Eye On Wales that she has CCTV and a panic line through to the police station.
We've got a good relationship with the police , she said: They would rather see this happening than vulnerable girls on
the street. They know we don't do drugs and that we're mature. If a man doesn't want to use a condom I ask him to leave. If he doesn't, I'd call the police and I believe they'd turn up .
Premises are tolerated as long as they do not use people
who are illegal or have been trafficked, under the age of 18, have no illegal drugs, and do not generate complaints of noise, nuisance or anti-social behaviour. Failure to comply will result in closure.
As a result, he claimed there was little
evidence of any trafficking in Newport, and those who work in the off-street sex industry can report instances of violent punters without fear of being arrested.
Eye on Wales was broadcast on BBC Radio Wales at 1300 BST on Sunday 26
September, and is now available on iPlayer.
Fresh from success at closing down the adult section of Craigslist, US censors are now targeting other small ads sites.
Village Voice Media and Backpage.com have issued a statement in response to a letter sent to them from 21 state attorneys
general demanding the closure of the adult services section on the online classified site. The response was a resounding if respectful no.
Backpage.com is a legal business and operates its website in accordance with all applicable laws, the
statement reads. In response to concerns raised by the AGs in recent months, Backpage.com has increased its efforts to provide clear, legal rules to users who post classified ads and to ban users who violate those rules. While no system is perfect,
even the AGs acknowledge Backpage.com's good-faith cooperation with law enforcement.
The company further states that while 58 million ads have been posted to the site in the past two years only 6 million have been in the adult services
section, and that state and federal authorities have asked Backpage.com to testify in cases involving the alleged abuse of minors a total of five times, and continues to respond to all valid law enforcement subpoenas.
disappointed that the AGs have determined to shift blame from criminal predators to a legal business operator in an apparent attempt to capitalize on political opportunity during the election season, the statement continues, in a tone that only
increases in exasperation. The Internet was born. The federal government enacted laws to regulate its use and to allocate responsibilities and immunities to web operators. Backpage.com follows those laws and it declines to censor an entire section of
free speech from its website.
Censorship will not create public safety nor will it rid the world of exploitation, the statement concludes.
Making it illegal to buy sex would supposedly help combat human trafficking for the sex trade in Canada, Conservative MP Joy Smith will say as she unveils dozens of repressive recommendations in the name of the fight against trafficking.
recommendations are part of a national action plan Smith has worked on for the last three years.
Human trafficking is the buying and selling of people, most often for sex or forced labour. Since human trafficking became a separate offence in the
Criminal Code four years ago, just five people have been convicted of it in Canada. There are another 32 cases before the courts now.
The U.S. State Department estimates 800 people are trafficked into Canada each year.
Smith's plan calls
for Canada to study ways to adopt a decade-old Swedish policy that considers prostitution violence against the sex trade worker and makes it illegal to buy or attempt to buy sex either on the street or in a business such as a brothel or massage parlour.
The policy cut demand for the sex trade and resulted in a significant drop in human trafficking there compared to its European neighbours. Some estimated the amount of prostitution in Sweden plummeted 90%.
She also calls for a wider public
relations campaign, training judges, lawyers and cops about Canada's relatively new human trafficking laws so they can be used better and establishing safe houses for victims in each province.
One of Smith's recommendations is to have Canada
Border Services Agency officials keep track of women arriving in Canada alone for six months after they arrive to ensure they are safe.
Smith said her plan has been given to the prime minister and several relevant cabinet ministers and she hopes
it will be presented to Parliament in full.
She noted one of the keys is to improve co-ordination between different levels of government and law enforcement and the non-governmental agencies which aid victims. A national human trafficking
co-ordinator, what Smith calls a national rapporteur, would be a liaison, make policy recommendations and report annually to Parliament so Canada can track its progress.
Smith's proposal has been met with skepticism by Canadian opposition parties.
Typical Conservative, says Liberal justice critic Marlene Jennings. Simplistic, not based on evidence, not based on fact. Human trafficking and prostitution are two different things, and that's what the Conservatives like to mix up,
Jennings says. They like to mix it up together into the same bowl so that they can confuse people and they can make outrageous statements.
It makes me very discouraged — it really does, says NDP MP Libby Davies, who was part of a
parliamentary committee looking into sex workers before the Conservatives came to power. They deliberately choose to avoid what is required, which is a sensitive and intelligent debate about the sex work laws in this country.
out that there is plenty of evidence to show that the Swedish model doesn't work, because it drives sex work underground, which places sex workers into vulnerable, high-risk situations where they can't come forward to report threats.
University of Ottawa criminologist Christine Bruckert agrees and adds that pushing the industry underground makes sex workers more likely to align with people who they feel can support them, such as pimps.
The trafficking thing is a smokescreen, Bruckert says. There's no conceptual link between the Swedish model and reducing trafficking, and there's absolutely no evidence coming out of Sweden that it has actually reduced pimping or trafficking.
NDP justice critic Joe Comartin also feels that the link between human trafficking and sex work is one that needs to be carefully managed. The problem we have of always equating human trafficking with the sexual abuse area is that, in fact,
we have a good deal of human trafficking in the manufacturing sector, in agriculture, hospitality, Comartin says. All of those industries have a history of abuse going on of the workers in those areas.
Green Party leader Elizabeth May
agrees. [Sex workers] need to know that they can safely go to law enforcement from the threats of physical harm. We need to go in the direction of protecting their rights, ensuring that they have access to appropriate medical care, access to police
and other security and law enforcement authorities. This is a disastrous and dangerous idea, and it goes in the wrong direction altogether.
May adds that the Green Party as a whole is debating the policy on sex workers, given that they are
unsure about legalization, but have not found a model they are comfortable following.
In a bid to discourage Nigerian girls from working as prostitutes abroad, the Benin traditional ruler, Oba Erediauwa, has urged the Swedish government and other industrialized nations to help rebuild Nigeria's economy so there will be more job
opportunities for the youth.
The Benin monarch said this would reduce the number of desperate young women used as sex slaves across the globe.
Hundreds of Nigerians, including a large number of young girls had, in recent times, been
deported from European countries for several offenses, especially prostitution and human trafficking.
He also wondered how people engaged in trafficking and international prostitution are able to obtain visas and other travelling documents. He
told the envoy that prostitution was alien to the Benin culture and it was time for western countries to do something to stop the ugly trend.
The Esogban of Benin, David Edebiri, appealed to the Swedish envoy to find ways of empowering Nigerians
in order to reduce poverty among the people, saying that prostitution is triggered by poverty.
Prague authorities are proposing to legalize prostitution in the Czech Republic, the Czech capital's deputy mayor said.
According to Rudolf Blazek, the mayor's office has prepared a draft law legalizing prostitution, which will soon be submitted
to the parliament.
Practicing prostitution would be considered legal if a relevant business license is obtained. The interested parties must pay taxes, have insurance and pass mandatory monthly health examinations, Blazek told journalists.
The bill stipulates that only women older than 18 would be allowed to work as prostitutes in brothels, in their own homes or on-call by clients. At the same time, the draft law prohibits public advertisement of sex services.
According to Prague
authorities, there are at least 70 illegal brothels in the Czech capital alone, and over 800 throughout the country. In addition, there are almost 200 websites for sex services in the Czech Republic, up from 45 in 1997, which enable sex tourists to book
their travel and appointments to buy sex acts before they leave home. Prague has the world's first online brothel, Big Sister, where customers get free sex with the sex acts being broadcast on the Internet.
In 2005, the Czech government approved a
law to license prostitutes and confine the trade to certain areas as part of an effort to curb prostitution and reduce organized crime. However, the parliament failed to approve it.
Malaga City Hall is set to ban street prostitution imposing fines for sexual practices carried out in public areas of up to €1,500.
Some local business associations and residents in Malaga City demanded that street prostitution be banned
completely, especially on the industrial estates where it is commonplace.
Residents and businesses claim they don't want to ban prostitution as everyone has a right to do what they desire with their body ...BUT... they do want to make sure
that it is transferred to a more suitable area.
Prostitution in Spain is not illegal and the council has found a way around this by proposing a local bylaw not referring to prostitution, but sanctioning sexual activity in public. If all
goes ahead as planned, it could be introduced by October.
Lighting fires on the street will also be banned, something which is linked to prostitution, as many of the women who work on industrial estates light fires to keep warm in the winter.
Street Prostitution has been outlawed by Alicante City Council in new bylaws set to curb the sex trade in public places. The move sees the threat of
fines and possible criminal prosecution to prostitutes and clients demanding sex.
Penalties range from €750 for offering or requesting sexual services in the street and is doubled to €1,500 if the offence takes place within an ultra forbidden
area - within 200 metres of a school. The punishment rises to €3,000 for having paid sex in a public place.
And while prostitution is not illegal, the council has taken legal opinion before introducing the new legislation that would mean
having sex in public would be on a par with indecent exposure or disorderly conduct.
A county in Minnesota is taking a stance about pornography. In most situations, Winona County will no longer reimburse workers for staying at hotels that offer pay-per view pornography.
Winona County is now the first in the USA to pass a clean
hotel policy. The decision makes employees stay in porn-free hotels if they want reimbursement.
Chuck Derry with the Gender Violence Institute claims: Contemporary pornography 90% of it is degrading and violent towards women and girls. For
the board members, it was an ethical decision. Derry says, The public is not going to pay for employees that stay in establishments that support this kind of material.
Policy initiators hope this action will cause a ripple effect throughout
Like Thailand, the Philippines, Brazil and many other countries outside of the United States, prostitution is permitted and looked upon with general acceptance in Costa Rica.
In order to control the propagation of venereal disease and AIDS,
prostitutes are required by the government to undergo regular health checkups by the Ministry of Health or Ministerio de Salud in order to practice their trade legally. Most upscale brothels make sure their employees have their health papers and tests up
It is therefore not surprising that many foreigners are attracted to Costa Rica because of the availability of women.
For some people, Costa Rica is a sexual paradise. Many older single retirees choose Costa Rica for this very
reason. I heard some of them remark that because of the availability of young women here, they feel like they have discover the Fountain of Youth.
In San José there is a myriad of bordellos, cabarets, escort services, massage parlors
and bars where an older man can find female company. One Costa Rican remarked jokingly when questioned about the number of whorehouses in San José, In order to put a roof over all of the houses of ill repute, you would have to cover the whole
The world famous Blue Marlin Bar at the Hotel Del Rey is open 24 hours and is the sexual epicenter of the city. The 104-room Del Rey is a neo-classic building in downtown San José and offers all the amenities of a luxury hotel.
The hotel is rumored to have the highest occupancy rate in the country for a very good reason.
The Pink Palace, as it is often called because of its pink façade, is the place to meet women of the night and experience the most
sizzling nightlife in Central America. Most evenings are standing room only in the bar. Hundreds of shapely Latin women strut their stuff show off their wares. Customers have their choice of beauties from Costa Rica, Colombia, Nicaragua, Panama and the
Dominican Republic. All shapes and sizes are available for a variety of tastes. Many male guests come to Costa Rica for a couple of weeks and never leave the hotel. Everything they need is right under one roof. Men who have been to brothels all over the
would who say they have never been in a place with so many beautiful women from which to choose.
Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, today thanked the public for their contribution to the Your Freedom debate, which he launched on 1 July. Now that 46,000 people have left 14,000 ideas and 95,000 comments on the Your
Freedom website, Mr Clegg said that it is time for ministers and officials to set to work examining every idea to see what might be feasible and how it might be brought into effect.
This phase of Your Freedom will
begin on Friday 10 September, after which the site will not be accepting new comments or ideas.
Melon Farmers Suggestions
Repeal of the Dangerous Pictures Act banning 'Extreme Porn'
Craigslist has removed the censored bar it had placed over its adult services section after it shut down the section last weekend.
The site replaced the section with the black bar about a week after a group of state attorneys said there weren't
enough protections against blocking potentially illegal ads promoting prostitution.
Craigslist spokesperson Susan MacTavish would not comment but told the New York Times that the ads are still blocked.
The Times report said that analysts
speculate that Craigslist used the word censored to make a statement: Though Craigslist is not legally responsible for what people post on its site, state attorneys general and advocacy groups have been pressuring the company to shut down the
adult services section. But analysts also said that the outpouring of attention that Craigslist's sex ads have received in recent days would make it very difficult for the site to bring back the ads .
Matt Zimmerman, senior staff attorney at
the Electronic Frontier Foundation wrote that supporters of the First Amendment should loudly voice their opposition to this type of misguided rhetoric from elected officials.
Several mean minded campaign groups have praised Craigslist for shutting down its adult services section in the U.S., but called on the online classifieds Web site to do the same throughout the world.
We feel that Craigslist did the
right thing, and we thank Craigslist for voluntarily closing the section, Bradley Myles, executive director of the Polaris Project, said: We feel like as the largest classified ads site to have an adult services section, this action will help
prevent sexual predators from targeting women and children. There are more erotic ads outside the U.S. than there are inside the U.S., he said. We feel like if Craigslist is serious about addressing this issue … they have a global responsibility
to close all these sections immediately.
Malika Saada Saar, executive director of the Rebecca Project, also said that she was pleased that adult services was removed from the U.S. site, but urged Craigslist to show the same conscious
and commitment to girls internationally.
Craigslist removed the adult services section but put a censored image over the former adult services link rather than delete it permanently. When asked if that made it seem like
Craigslist was making a political statement rather than actually taking steps to combat sex trafficking, Myles and Saada Saar said they would like to think Craigslist was doing the right thing.
We want to think the best, and … we want to think
that [Craigslist founder Craig Newmark] is trying to do the right thing, Saada Saar said: That being said, we are absolutely saddened by the framing of it as censorship, she continued. This is not a First Amendment issue; this is not
a free speech issue. This is about human rights. When a child or woman is sold for sex, that is a human rights issue.
Comment: Craigslist isn't now free of sex – you just
can't pay for it
Why should sex, alone among all forms of human interaction, be thought to spawn malignant magic when money changes hands?
Adult services, of course, is a euphemism for sexual services. Lawmakers hated Craigslist from the get-go
because sex workers used it to advertise their services. Yet if you listen to politicians praise themselves now that the ads are gone, you won't hear much talk about banning activity between consenting adults. No, politicos prefer to invoke The Children.
In a statement her office released Saturday, California congresswoman Jackie Speier blamed websites such as Craigslist for child prostitution. We can't forget the victims, we can't rest easy. Child sex trafficking continues and lawmakers need to fight
future machinations of internet-driven sites that peddle children.
No argument there: forcing children into prostitution is an utterly abhorrent crime. Forcing anybody into prostitution is, and when callous sociopaths turn innocent victims
into sexual slaves for their own profit, it's undeniably good when police shut down these loathsome enterprises.
Yet when attorneys general started crusading against Craigslist, it wasn't kidnapping rapists they worried about, but adults who made
money selling consensual services.
For the last 12 years, I've dedicated immense amounts of time, money and energy to end violence against women and children. As a victim of violence myself, I'm deeply committed to destroying any institution or individual leveraging the sex-power matrix
that results in child trafficking, nonconsensual prostitution, domestic violence and other abuses.
If I believed that censoring Craigslist would achieve these goals, I'd be the first in line to watch them fall. But from the bottom of my soul and
the depths of my intellect, I believe that the current efforts to censor Craigslist's adult services achieves the absolute opposite. Rather than helping those who are abused, it fundamentally helps pimps, human traffickers and others who profit
off of abusing others.
Who said pornography was acceptable in the workplace? An investigation into the use of pornography by NHS fertility clinics -
often we hear of a council worker, a judge or a teacher – someone in a position of trust and authority - being sacked for viewing pornography at work. Pornography is still considered unacceptable in the work environment, and should be illegal. The
Obscene Publications Act was designed to convey the message that it is unacceptable full stop, but the lack of prosecutions would imply that we have been feeble at enforcing this. Not surprisingly, both because of ease of availability and a largely
permissive culture, we have an alarming amount of graphic images that would imply a major disconnect. Is it that in our anti-censor society we have forgotten the negative impact on men, women and children of such material? Or have we subconsciously
accepted the pornographer's line that porn is just another word for sex and we dismiss the evidence base for pornography both encouraging aggressive, debasing treatment of women and being a causative factor in the hyper-sexualisation of our culture?
Either way, the workplace should be a location in which we can work in a safe and healthy environment, where our dignity is not threatened and we feel respected. The presence of pornography would compromise this.
One in three hospitals which provide fertility services provide pornographic material for donors, according to a report by nutters posing as a health think
Some 17 hospitals disclosed they had bought porn when questioned by 2020health.org, which highlights cases of NHS waste.
Most of the magazines were bought from newsagents, but two hospitals admitted having placed orders with
publishers while others said the porn had been donated by staff, patients and visitors, The Sun reported.
The think tank said the disclosure was disrespectful to women working for the NHS, many of whom face uncertain futures thanks to tight
Ladies & gentlemen, get ready for America's new moral panic—sex trafficking!
Yes, CraigsList has bowed to pressure from law enforcement, non-profits, and CNN, and has blocked access to its adult services section. They've replaced the
link with a black bar stamped censored. CraigsList has been pummeled with criticism for allegedly facilitating prostitution and sex trafficking in the U.S..
With large illuminated lettering affixed to its pasty white facade proclaiming Adult Movies, the all-night Ueno Okura Theater has been entertaining fans of erotic cinema for nearly five decades.
The two-screen building, however, closed
recently due to safety concerns and aesthetic problems resulting from its aged interiors.
But the theater widely regarded as Japan's top outlet for soft-core pink pornographic films will continue inside a new complex across the alley and
begin targeting a different type of cinemagoer: women.
Female customers can't typically come to this kind of place because they feel embarrassed, says the theater's bespectacled general manager, Hidekazu Saito. But we want them to come
Due to unfold Sunday in the new theater complex was a special ladies only event featuring a speaking engagement with three adult-film actresses (Chisato Shoda, Maki Tomoda and Riri Koda) and the screening of two new
films. These include director Tetsuya Takehora's Shiofuki Hanayome no Sei Hakusho (White Paper on a Gushing Bride's Sex Life) , a coming-of-age story about a young woman seeking love.
The new building is accommodating to female
sensibilities. With a well-lit lobby and bright red and blue signs covering its sloping concrete exterior, the new Okura creates a more modern atmosphere compared with the drab tile flooring and faded earth-tone wall coverings of the old structure.
Ueno Okura TheaterPink films, or pinku eiga, date back to the 1960s. These short films (usually running for 60 minutes) are made by small companies, most notably Okura Eiga, which operates the Ueno Okura, and differ from conventional porn flicks in
that the story lines are generally more broadly developed.
Originally the Okura opened under the Toei film company in 1951. It was 11 years later that it screened Flesh Market, a tale of torture and bondage directed by Satoru Kobayashi that
is typically considered to be Japan's first pink film. By 1971, it was entirely dedicated to the pink genre.
Around that time, the Okura was one of eight theaters in Ueno offering erotic entertainment. That number slowly dwindled over the next few
decades as home video crept into the market.
Longtime fans should not be disappointed with its reincarnation. The number of screens has increased by one to three, the former basement theater has been relocated to the second floor, and a wheelchair
space and headphones for the hearing impaired are provided.
The recent closing of numerous long-running theaters in Tokyo was not a deterrent in deciding the fate of the Okura. Saito believes that if the theater were simply closed the genre would
slowly die. If we lose this, we'll lose pink films, he says. This is to save them.
The online marketplace Craigslist has closed its adult services listings in the US.
The company has not said why it took the decision, but it has faced an ongoing barrage of criticism from attorneys general and nutters who claimed the
listing was a virtual tool for pimps and prostitutes.
The section has now been replaced with a black and white bar that reads censored . An erotic service is still active outside the US.
A statement from Craigslist executives
is expected in the coming days.
Last week in a joint letter to Craigslist, 17 attorneys general said women and children would continue to be victimised in the market and trafficking provided by Craigslist .
General Richard Blumenthal, a persistent critic of both the erotic and adult listings Said: We welcome any steps toward eliminating the adult services section and prostitution ads on Craigslist, as we have urged, and we are seeking to verify the
site's official policy going forward .
but at Wired, Evan Hansen said: Internet services may accelerate and exacerbate some social problems like prostitution, but they rarely cause them. The root of these issues - and their solutions - lie
in the realm of public policy, not web sites.
While many are still coming down from the excitement of the World Cup, Zodwa Sangweni is one South African who was disappointed by how the much-hyped event turned out.
A sex worker in Johannesburg, Sangweni said despite predictions that sex
business would be booming, the World Cup season was actually a bust: We didn't work well, there was no money, she said. Maybe for those who work in hotels but for us on the streets, we didn't get any business.
Ahead of the global
sporting spectacle – which has a reputation for off-the-pitch debauchery – many were speculating that the real winners of the event would be sex workers. An influx of as many as 40,000 sex workers was anticipated. However, just as there were fewer
spectators than planned, so too for sex workers.
According to Sangweni, there were no new faces in the streets of Johannesburg on which she works.
Cape Town wasn't much better, noted Dianne Massawe, Advocacy Officer at the Sex Worker
Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT), who said that most Cape Town sex workers she spoke with told her business was slower than usual.
Massawe is waiting for research being conducted by Stellenbosch University to find out the real numbers of
foreign workers who showed up for the World Cup, but after speaking to sex workers and looking at the number of sex advertisements in South African publications, it looks like the influx was insignificant and overhyped.
As far as the 'Great
trek' of sex workers, most foreign sex workers were already here prior to the World Cup, she said. The many Zimbabwean sex workers…are here because of unsteady economic climate in their country.
Henry Trotter, an expert on the sex trade
and author of the book Sugar Girls and Seamen, which explores issues of dockside prostitution in South Africa, agreed, noting that most World Cup fans weren't interested in paid sex: Most of the tourists were soccer fans and were here just for the
soccer, he said. We may be mistaken in our stereotyping of soccer fans by assuming that they always have sex on their minds.
Trotter said he's found that there isn't much of a demand for paid sex in South Africa by foreign visitors to
the country: most of the market is local men. He attributes this to the reputation South Africa has as the country with the highest HIV and AIDS prevalence in the world.
An Ontario Superior Court judge is expected to rule in September on a challenge by three sex-trade activists, who are seeking to repeal Criminal Code provisions that make it illegal to run a bawdy house, communicate for the purposes of prostitution and
live off the avails of prostitution.
They argue that these laws put lives at risk because they drive prostitutes onto the streets and limit their ability to talk to prospective clients to determine if they might be dangerous.
force us to work under the gun, under the radar, in the dark — with no one knowing who we are seeing, how long we've been gone — of course it's going to be dangerous, said Valerie Scott, a former Toronto prostitute and one of the plaintiffs.
But critics of decriminalization say repealing the laws will normalize prostitution, potentially lead to sex tourism, and will do little to curb the cycle of violence — maybe just move it indoors.
Whatever the judge decides, the case likely will be argued all the way to the Supreme Court.
Violence against prostitutes has made headlines across the country in recent weeks. In Ottawa, a 36-year-old prostitute was found stabbed to death
in a parking lot. In Halifax, police said a 29-year-old prostitute managed to escape from the trunk of a moving car after being sexually assaulted and threatened.
The first academic research project into lap dancing has found that, rather than being uneducated young women who have been coerced into the industry, one in four dancers has a degree and has been attracted by the money.
Dancers took home an
average of £232 a shift after paying commission and fees to the club, with most working between two and four shifts a week – giving them annual incomes of between £24,000 and £48,000 a year.
The researchers found no evidence of trafficking in the
industry, and concluded that career and economic choices were motivations for dancing rather than drug use or coercion.
Aspiring actresses, models and artists used exotic dancing as a career strategy which fitted alongside their other work,
training or studies. Unemployed new graduates – mainly with arts degrees – were also dancing because they could not find graduate jobs and found that lap dancing paid much better than bar work.
The main attraction of the work was the flexibility
it offered to combine different work options and studying.
The research by Dr Teela Sanders and Kate Hardy, from the University of Leeds, found the vast majority of dancers reported high rates of job satisfaction.
However, the researchers
also found dancers' welfare was often disregarded. They called for better regulation to improve dancers' safety and security, including the banning of private booths in clubs, arguing that women could be in danger when alone with customers or that
standards could be lowered by women offering more than was allowed in dances. Dancers were also open to financial exploitation by the clubs who could impose charges and fines.
The preliminary findings of the year-long study, which will include
interviews with 300 dancers, reveal that all the women interviewed had finished school and gained some qualifications. Most (87%) had at least completed a further education course, while one in four had undergraduate degrees.
Just over one in
three dancers were in some form of education, with 14% using dancing to help fund an undergraduate degree, 6% to help fund a postgraduate degree, and 4% using it to fund further education courses.
It's an unusual campaign pledge: a strip club in every town. That, however, is what Adriely Fatal, a stripper and erotic actress from north-eastern Brazil, is promising voters as she hits the campaign trail in search of a place in parliament.
With general elections taking place in October, four adult entertainers are preparing to battle it out for a seat in Ceara state's local assembly, aiming to rock the political establishment by forming a powerful sex lobby within government.
Leading Ceara's campanha erótica is 23-year-old Fatal, who also promises to focus on hospitals and education and is campaigning outside the local football stadium, where she dances on an open-backed truck dressed in skin-tight shorts.
claims that the latest opinion polls show she already has around 10,000 votes in the bag. If she can increase that to 12,000, her campaign manager, who was inspired by the Hungarian porn star La Cicciolina, elected to Italy's parliament in 1987, believes
Fatal will soon become Fatal MP.
There have been few victim's of the law punishing unknowing customers of prostitutes who have been coerced, the Guardian has learned.
Sources at the Metropolitan police and the Crown Prosecution Service said only three men have been cautioned for
going with prostitutes who were coerced or threatened into working, since it became a criminal offence in April 2009.
Two men using a brothel in east London were picked up on the day the legislation was introduced and only one other has been
cautioned since. The figure emerged as the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) claimed that at least 2,600 prostitutes working in brothels in England and Wales had been trafficked from abroad. Many lived in debt bondage and were strictly
controlled through threats of violence to family members.
The figures published by Acpo, relating only to off-street prostitution, suggest that almost one in 10 of an estimated 30,000 prostitutes are trafficked. Half of them come from China with
most of the rest from Thailand, other parts of south-east Asia, and eastern Europe. A further 9,200 migrant prostitutes were found to be vulnerable to further trafficking. That group is typically in debt, live outside mainstream society and many have
been recruited through abuse of their vulnerability, Acpo said.
Detectives said the maximum £1,000 fine for paying for the sexual services of a prostitute subjected to force means there is little incentive to dedicate resources to it and
said it is difficult to prove that prostitutes are being coerced and exploited.
The Acpo figures on trafficked prostitutes are based police interviews with foreign sex workers after raiding brothels. [Just at the time
when some will be tempted to claim that they forced into it]
The statistics are considerably lower than previous estimates. A Home Office report in 2003, based on an extrapolation of trafficking in London, estimated that there were 3,812
trafficked prostitutes in England and Wales.
It was described by the authors of the study as very approximate but three years later the then home office minister, Vernon Coaker, told a parliamentary committee on human rights: There are
an estimated 4,000 women victims.
In a debate in the Commons in November 2007, Denis MacShane, said that according to home office estimates, 25,000 sex slaves worked in British massage parlours and brothels.
The Acpo research,
Project Acumen – Setting the Record, claims almost 5,000 women from abroad work as sex workers in London in more than 2,000 premises. The majority, 55% of all prostitutes including British prostitutes, came from eastern Europe, while 22.5% came from
The count prompted a fresh row over the measurement of trafficking and prostitution in the UK. Anti-slavery International said the figures represents an underestimation of the problem of trafficking while the English Collective of
Prostitutes said the statistics were an over-estimation and claimed that law enforcement agencies use fear of trafficking as a premise for raiding brothels and prosecuting sex workers for lesser offences.
In the last six years, there have been 128
convictions for sex trafficking, seven for labour trafficking and three for conspiracy to traffic for sex, according to the Home Office figures.
Some female Asian tourists have been flocking to massage parlors in Cebu City that offer a different kind of service called yoni, according to Rene Joseph Bullecer of Aids Free Philippines.
Although it is not yet as popular as the male
equivalent, lingam, Bullecer said Asian tourists, mostly Koreans, avail the services of yoni or massage of the female genitals.
This is what the Asian (tourists) have been looking for. Filipino men touch their private parts, he said. These young women are looking for something. They don't want women to do the massage. They want men. Kasagaran Asian costumers ang hilig ana (Asian customers usually avail of that).
Yoni is the Sanskrit word for the female sex organ and is loosely translated as sacred space or Sacred Temple, according to the www.whitelotuseast.com. According to the website, the massage was a form of safe sex and was used to
assist women to break through sexual blocks or trauma.
Yoni, as well as lingam, is being offered in at least five massage parlors and spas in uptown Cebu City, said Bullecer. At least 25% of the massage parlors in Cebu offer lingam. He said he
didn't have the exact number of massage parlors that offered yoni.
Online marketplace Craigslist has responded to an open letter claiming the site helps promote prostitution.
A paid-for advert in The Washington Post saw two women make an appeal to close the site's adult section, saying it had wrecked their lives.
The ad featured a letter from a 17-year-old woman calling herself MC.
The letter said: I was first forced into prostitution when I was 11 years old by a 28-year-old man. All day, other girls and I sat with our laptops,
posting pictures and answering ads on Craigslist.
I am 17 now, and my childhood memories aren't of my family, going to middle school, or dancing at the prom. They are of making my own arrangements on Craigslist to be
sold for sex, and answering as many ads as possible for fear of beatings and ice water baths.
The letter said that Craigslist was now the choice of traffickers because it was so well known and there are rarely
consequences to using it for these illegal acts.
Craigslist responded by asking if the crimes had been reported to the police, adding it was combating trafficking. If Craigslist was misused, we want to learn more so we
can improve our preventative measures.
The firm's chief executive, Jim Buckmaster, replied by asking if the perpetrators are behind bars and if the advocacy groups who placed the adverts could let us know where the
police reports were filed. We have been unable thus far to identify police reports matching the crimes you describe. If anyone committing such crimes has not yet been apprehended and prosecuted, we want to do everything in our power to assist the police
in making that happen.
Connecticut's attorney general Richard Blumenthal - who is heading up a group of 39 US states examining Craigslist's adult services section - called on the section to be closed.
Earlier this year, the US
lawmaker subpoenaed Craigslist, and asked whether it is actually profiting from prostitution ads that it promised the states and public that it would try to block.
Buckmaster said that Craigslist had now implemented manual screening of each
adult service ad, adding that it thought that the events described [in the advert in the Washington Post] may have occurred before manual screening was implemented .
Sex workers in Vila Mimosa, Rio's red light district fear they may be forced out as the city revamps for 2014 Wortld Cup and 2016 Olympics.
Rio's business association, Firjan, estimates that some R$250bn (£89bn) in public and private money will be
invested in the city over the coming six years.
While most are celebrating the city's regeneration, Vila Mimosa's prostitutes and their employers are growing increasingly nervous that the city's makeover may see them driven out by mooted plans to
bulldoze the area and replace it with a platform for a high-speed rail-link between Rio and Brazil's economic capital Sao Paulo.
Vila Mimosa is a place where money talks. The residents' association claims the red-light district, which is open
around the clock, receives around 4,000 guests each day. The local commerce as a whole is said to generate around R$1m each month.
For those who run the local clubs – sweaty bars with names such as Queen 46 and Men's 44 – it
is a lucrative business. The former owner of one club said bar managers could draw an annual salary of up to £35,000 from their pontos or points – a sizeable wage in a country where the minimum monthly wage is around £185.
less kind to the women who work here, earning as little as £10 per program , many of them trying to pay college fees or support their families.
Prostitution is not a crime in Brazil and for tens of thousands impoverished women – from the
wealthy south-eastern metropolises to the isolated frontier towns of the Amazon – it represents a viable if often dangerous means of survival. A recent UN report suggested there could be close to 20,000 South American prostitutes working in Europe.
Not all of the women in Vila Mimosa oppose the move. I'd go happily. Have you seen it in there? said Monique, the 64-year-old manager of one of the area's houses . She pointed out onto Rua Sotero dos Reis, where more than 70 brothels
cram into squalid alleyways, buzzing with gyrating bodies. It's horrible. It stinks and the access [for cars] is bad. Maybe the next place will be better.
The proliferation of more convenient saunas in Rio's downtown business centre
had hit the area hard, she claimed. In the olden days it would be packed now with lawyers, oil executives, all sorts, she said, looking around at her half empty bar: Now just look at this place.
Men will go anywhere [for sex],
said a 21-year-old prostitute, who works under the name Julia: Men are addicts – this is an addiction.
Canada has upped the ante for running a brothel with the possibility of an additional charge: being a member of a criminal gang.
The federal government put through several regulatory changes to the Criminal Code in the middle of July. Justice
Minister Rob Nicholson announced the changes on Wednesday.
The definition of a criminal organization is three or more people engaged in committing serious offences for profit. Thanks to the cabinet fiat, serious offences includes close to a dozen new crimes. While most of the regulatory changes announced to the Criminal Code affect gambling, betting or drug trafficking, the government also included keeping a common bawdyhouse.
NDP MP Libby Davies says it's outrageous that the Conservative government has quietly enacted new organized crime regulations — which include making bawdyhouse offences a serious crime — while Parliament is on summer break.
Christine Bruckert, a professor of criminology at the University of Ottawa who has studied sex work, says the change in regulation could affect massage parlours, brothels, dungeons, bathhouses — even swingers' clubs. Bruckert calls the changes
a slippage in the discourse around trafficking, where anxiety about women being trapped by international pimps is now being applied to unrelated situations.
The Calcutta high court is set to hear an interesting petition on the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act (ITPA), 1956.
The petition has been filed by Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee (DMSC), an umbrella association of Kolkata-based sex workers.
The association wants changes since it believes this law violates the fundamental rights of citizens. It also wants clients of sex workers to be exempted from criminal prosecution.
Section 4 is full of contradictions, noted criminal and human
rights lawyer K Gupta said. Under this section, those dependent (parents, husband, adult children) on the income of sex workers can be prosecuted if they are aware that the money has been earned through prostitution, Gupta said. However, the
beneficiary cannot be prosecuted if h/she is unaware of the source of income. But it is quite difficult to establish this distinction and in most cases law-enforcement agencies take advantage of this.
Besides, this section is
self-discriminatory, or contrary to other laws that make it mandatory for a son or daughter to look after their dependent parents. In a way, this section discourages a sex worker from spending her money to look after her ailing parents or educating
her adult son or daughter. Under section 4, people benefiting from the income of sex worker can be sentenced to a maximum of two years in prison, Gupta said.
Similarly, another self-contradictory clause in ITPA is the one that makes it a
criminal offence to hire the services of a sex worker. Prostitution has not been defined as a criminal offence in our law. If the service is not illegal, then how can clients be criminals? We hope this historical petition will try to seek answers to
all such questions, the lawyer said.
Sex workers and their support groups have condemned a police operation to out prostitutes even when they have not been convicted of any crime.
Six street-based sex workers in Newham, east London, were named on the Metropolitan police
website. Police posted their photos, full names and dates of birth.
In a second case, two Polish women who were selling sex from their home in Aldgate, east London, were raided by City of London police as part of Operation Monaco.
Monaco was launched in May 2009 but police have admitted that just one charge of controlling a prostitute for gain has been made, as well as 52 charges for placing cards in phone boxes advertising sexual services.
Police took photographs of the
Polish women, who were not charged. Last Sunday, photos appeared in News of the World. The women said they were distressed by the police raid and the lack of warning that their pictures would appear in a tabloid newspaper. Vicky, one of the two women
Why have the police done this to me? I work as a childminder and a cleaner and do some sex work to make ends meet. I pay tax and national insurance and am not doing anything illegal. A lot of people know me, and
even though the News of the World blocked out my face I'm still identifiable by my hair, clothes and jewellery.
The police were looking for money and found £50 from a customer. We never use drugs and are always sober
when we're working. The police kept asking us over and over again if we'd been trafficked. We haven't been, and we signed a piece of paper to say that.
The women lodged a complaint with the newspaper, which removed their images from its
The Cebu City Council will draft an ordinance regulating spa and massage parlors that offer lingam massage to their clients, Vice Mayor Augustus Young said.
Young said the council committees on health and tourism will draft the guidelines to
ensure that lingam massage won't lead to prostitution. Young said restrictions will include age limits and licensing of attendants.
He said he talked with some doctors who confirmed that lingam massage is recommended for those with prostate
I didn't hear any complaints that lingam was harmful. That's why you have to look at both sides, But let's impose a sin tax on it. We welcome lingam but with the condition that it won't violate public morals, he said.
Mayor Michael Rama said he had to wait for the City Anti-Indecency Board (CAIB) recommendation on the issue.
City Treasurer Ofelia Oliva said a recent inspection of nine outlets offering lingam services showed that three of them offered extra
services to customers.
In a Provincial Board session, the owner of the Authentic Lingam Massage Venture in barangay Mabolo, Cebu City insisted that they were not engaged in prostitution. Owner Honey Yoo told board members that the massage
involved only the areas between the anus and the perinium, and not the male genitals. Ejaculation is just incidental, she said.
The Spa and Wellness Association of Cebu clarified to the board that their members don't offer lingam massage.
Association president Johnnie Lim said they would continue to bar lingam massage from their outlets.
A crackdown on China's fast-growing sex industry has prompted a backlash, with sex workers demonstrating for the legalisation of prostitution and an outcry about the treatment of women suspects.
The protest in Wuhan is thought to have been the
first of its kind in the country. The small group of women asked onlookers to sign a petition calling for an end to discrimination against sex workers and the scrapping of anti-prostitution laws.
Our society has many problems that are neglected
by the public and prostitution is one of them, Ye Haiyan, the activist and sex worker at the forefront of last week's demonstration. She said police had detained her for a few days for her part in the protest.
Prostitution is widespread and
blatant in China, despite frequent crackdowns. Many hotels, hairdressers, massage parlours and karaoke bars make little effort to disguise illicit activity. The World Health Organisation has estimated the country has 4 million sex workers, but academics
have suggested the figure is higher.
In May, state media said police had arrested 1,100 suspects from high-end establishments in Beijing alone. But pink-lit hairdressers and massage facilities appear to be operating unhindered in the
capital and elsewhere.
Ye, who tweets and blogs under the name Hooligan Sparrow, said the police campaign was harming the health of workers. She launched the Chinese Women's Rights Workshop, distributing condoms and Aids-prevention pamphlets to
brothels in Wuhan. But she said that sex workers were now reluctant to use condoms for fear they would be used as evidence of prostitution. On her website she said she also decided to speak out after seeing women publicly humiliated following police
Zheng Huang, of Shanghai Leyi – an NGO supporting male sex workers – said the crackdown was the most significant for at least a decade. He believed prostitutes have become more vulnerable because they are moving around to avoid police. He
said: Sex workers just need to regain the rights they are supposed to have rather than asking for more rights. For example, many prostitutes do not dare to call the police when they get robbed, because they are afraid of being arrested for their job.
Prostitutes are expected to flood south Essex during the 2012 Olympics, a Thurrock nutter group has claimed.
So called 'experts' at the South Essex Rape and Crisis Centre have already begun investigating what can be done to discourage an influx of
prostitutes and protect women from being trafficked into the area.
Sheila Coates, director of the centre, based in Thurrock, said: Research has shown that during large sporting events, sex crime actually increases because of
the large number of participants and a lot of people travelling from country to country. Sadly, pimps see that as a way of increasing their income and we will see women trafficked to the area.
We are going to start
looking at research available from the winter Olympics in Canada and the World Cup in South Africa to see what the impact may or may not be. In Vancouver it looks like it wasn't as big a problem as anticipated because they planned for it and planned it
out. [or maybe those 'anticipating' the big problem were making bollox claims to forward their own anti-prostitution ends].
A spokeswoman for Essex Police said the force had not been made aware of any expected problems.
A nutter Brent councillor has called for politicians and police across the capital to work together to tackle the 'problem' of prostitution.
Authorities are expecting a sharp rise in the number of brothels and prostitutes in London to coincide with the 2012 Olympic Games, as millions of people flow into the capital.
Councillor Ann John, leader of Brent Council, led a review while in opposition into the amount of brothels and street prostitutes operating in the borough and what measures should be taken to tackle the 'problem'.
John said she had not
appreciated the impact and scale of the problem of prostitution before undertaking the council study, and called on others to take it more seriously than it has been in the past. She said: Perhaps we should be rethinking our attitude towards it. It's
not legal so why are we tolerating it? I have asked for it to be a policing priority, I have asked other services to make sure we get support to exiting prostitutes.
John's study called on all newspapers to ban adverts for adult services, or
at least take more editorial control over what is printed, but she said this advice has not been adopted. She said: I am a bit disappointed nothing has happened about that. It is difficult to get hard evidence, and difficult to survey punters, but one
of the reasons advertising in local newspapers is so high [in Brent] is because of the sporting venues, and other boroughs don't get as much.
She added in one week she counted more than 100 adverts offering adult services in the two
local newspapers still carrying them, including some which mentioned race as part of the deal – something which is banned.
Work on tackling prostitution in Brent has now been taken up by the crime prevention strategy group, in conjunction with the
Scantily clad pop stars, TV shows such as Secret Diary Of A Call Girl, and the popularity of glamour models are legitimising prostitution in the eyes of men, and endangering women, a campaigner has claimed.
Ann Hamilton, head of the
Trafficking Awareness Raising Alliance (TARA), believes reducing the demand among Scottish men to purchase sex is the best way of tackling the root cause of trafficking and prostitution.
But she believes that popular culture portraying it as sexy,
empowering and enjoyable to women, allow men to believe that prostitution is harmless, when that is far from the truth.
Hamilton claimed: People tend to think that prostitution is dead sexy, very liberating and that there is
nothing harmful about it. It's portrayed as very attractive women having lots of sex and enjoying it, when in actual fact that's about 0.005 per cent of women.
Shows like Secret Diary Of A Call Girl have been
very damaging in the public's awareness. Even music stars like to look like a stereotypical call girl because they think there's something sexy and empowering about it. The women's outfits might be very sexy but the reality of prostitution is not.
We now have girls saying they want to be glamour models and lap dancers and it's all part of that culture making it more acceptable.
Göran Lindberg, chief of police of Uppsala was a staunch enemy of sexism in the police force. He argued with colleagues, made speeches and built up a reputation as a tireless proponent of women's rights.
From early in his career, Lindberg was seen
by the authorities as a policing role model and was duly made the national spokesperson on sex equality in the police force. Pretty soon he established a reputation as Sweden's leading progressive policeman. So renowned was Lindberg for his political
correctness and sensitivity towards women's issues that he was nicknamed Captain Skirt . In spite of the jokes, he was rapidly promoted, becoming the dean of the police training college and eventually the police chief of Uppsala.
Lindberg was jailed for six and a half years on charges of rape, pimping and procuring. He accepted that he bought sex, which is illegal in Sweden, but had denied the other charges. After Lindberg's arrest, a woman, calling herself Linda, was quoted in
Swedish newspapers. She claimed to have been sexually abused by several men. The police chief called me 'Daddy's girl', she said. I was told that he was important and that he would frame me if I told anyone. Again, she sounds as if she
emerged, fully formed, from the pages of Mankell's fiction.
Lindberg was found guilty of aggravated rape, rape, assault, 28 counts of purchasing sex, and one of being an accessory to procurement. As well as jailing him, the Södertörn District
Court ordered Lindberg to pay 300,000 kronor (about £26,000) in compensation to three victims.
The news of Lindberg's secret life rocked Sweden. While a certain scepticism about the police is common enough in intellectual circles, the notion that
the foremost advocate of women's rights in the police was in reality a serial user, and abuser, of prostitutes was enough to stun even the most grizzled cynic.
Lindberg's colleagues, and particularly his female supporters, were dumbfounded.
Beatrice Ask, the justice minister, spoke of the devastating and distressing effect of the news. While Cecilia Malmström, who is Sweden's EU commissioner and was a member of Uppsala police board when Lindberg was police chief, said: I have no
words. I am extremely shocked. This is a man who has dedicated his career to fight for women's rights. I feel physically sick when I think about this.
Handcuffed, shoeless and tied to a rope, these girls are being led through the streets of China as part of a police crackdown against prostitution.
But the images of the girls being frogmarched down the Guangzhou road - with their shoes removed to
stop them running away - have shocked many in China.
An outraged Chinese woman named Wan Yu took the images on her mobile phone and posted on the web.
A police spokesman defended the broad daylight action saying that the public humiliation
of the women and their customers would have been a further deterrent to other people considering getting involved in prostitution.
Update: Police Slavers Banned from Displaying
It's taken a while, considering public opinion had already turned against the practice years ago, but the Ministry of Public Security has finally issued an edict
saying that police around the country are no longer allowed to publicly shame prostitutes and johns as a method of stopping the acts from happening.
According to a circular issued by the Ministry of Public Security, provincial security departments
must absolutely not conduct activities such as prostitute parades, or anything else that would undermine human dignity, while cracking down on prostitution in their respective cities.
Guangdong police in Dongguan came under fire after they
released pictures of prostitutes they caught handcuffed and barefoot, led through the streets on a rope. Dongguan police backpedaled quickly, arguing that they hadn't meant to publicly shame anyone, and this was just standard protocol that happened to be
photographed and that the media put up.
The number of people reported to the police for buying sex has risen five-fold in Sweden in the past year, according to new figures.
During the first half of 2009 a total of 148 people were reported for paying prostitutes for sex. The number for
the same period this year was 770.
A large part of the rise - 430 cases - was due to the discovery of a major prostitution ring in Jämtland county, north-western Sweden. But even when these cases are discounted, the figures had more than
But police said the dramatic increase was probably not due to a sudden rise in the number of men visiting prostitutes. Rather, they credit increased measures to repress prostitution. An extra 40 million kronor has been allocated this year
to pay for training and strengthening of the police's operations against the sex trade.
The national pattern was reflected in Sweden's major cities. In Skåne, which includes Malmö, some 20 cases of paying for sex were reported during
the whole of 2009. So far this year, 50 cases have been reported. There, the extra money has been used to increase internet monitoring of the sex trade, which has resulted both in more reports of people paying for sex and in a fall in street
A leading expert on prostitution has insisted that Britain would have fewer murders if the sex industry was decriminalised.
His comments come after Prime Minister David Cameron said it may be time to look again at the UK's sex laws, in the
wake of three killings in Bradford.
Professor Basil Donovan, the head of the Sexual Health Department at the University of New South Wales, has seen the effect of legalising sex work - the Australian state decriminalised prostitution 15 years ago.
New South Wales has around 300 council approved brothels, 200 of them in Sydney. He said making the industry legal, makes it safer for all those involved.
Decriminalisation results in a healthier sex industry, which means that if your
son or your husband sneaks off to the brothel at night, he's far more likely to come home healthy.
The cases of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV have fallen, with prostitutes able to get condoms for free through government agencies.
Professor Donovan told Sky News sex workers are more likely to cooperate with police investigations, if they are not threatened with prosecution.
You couldn't get a Steve Wright situation in New South Wales, he said. Wright murdered five
women in Ipswich in 2006. Prof Donovan said the Wright case was made worse because you had an industry which was terrified of the police and gave them criminal status . The professor continued: One of the things criminal status does is it
depersonalises people. People lose their rights to protection by the state.
Three months into a crackdown against prostitution and gambling, a senior officer says police have a clear idea of how the businesses are carried out in Beijing - and a firm resolve to stamp them out.
Qian Jin, vice-head of the Security Corps
within the city's Public Security Bureau, told METRO that the operation that started April 14 has involved 9,000 police officers. Qian said 100 officers hit the streets each night along with 30 plain-clothes colleagues. They have hassled 2,000 KTV
(karaoke) clubs and bath houses in the city looking for people enjoying themselves.
Qian said: We are determined to put an end to the following five illegal activities in the entertainment places. I am referring to organizing, housing and
offering prostitution; staging obscene shows; setting up casinos; operating irregularly; and managing a business without qualified documents, such as the permits from the environmental and cultural departments.
Qian said the police raids on
KTVs have found that many are operated irregularly , incorporating such things as security doors and alarm systems to make people aware of raids who are deeper inside the building. Some, he said, have closed for redecoration during the
crackdown but have continued to provide sex services for their members.
He said police have also uncovered other deficiencies in the businesses such as broken equipment, poor security practices, a lack of required video surveillance technology,
loose management practices and even illegally stored knives and rubber staffs kept as weapons.
He continued that police will step up the crackdown by continuing to target KTVs and bath houses, this time concentrating on checking employee
authorization cards (IC cards) and ensuring workers do not have criminal records connected to prostitution, gambling or drug addiction: The IC card is a magnetic card carrying their real names that can show if they have a criminal record, especially
for pornography. If so, according to Chinese law, they are prohibited from engaging in the entertainment industry . They are required to swipe their cards when they go to work each day, so we can get a timely grasp of their tracks.
said entertainment places must also employ qualified security guards from formal security companies who have received state training.
Also, entertainment venues are required by law to have a fully functioning CCTV system capable of storing a clear
image for 30 days. They are, however, not allowed to set up cameras near the entrance and exit to watch out for the police, he said.
Businesses that fail to meet these obligations can be fined and have their business licenses suspended for up to
six months. And enterprises that have their licenses pulled twice in the space of two years and those that have them pulled three times in total will have their licenses revoked, he said.
Police plan to carry out a one-month clean-up of city bars.
Since the crackdown and the tighter regulation of the city's KTV clubs and bath houses, prostitutes have begun to flow to the bars and have continued to engage in prostitution, Qian said.
The Spanish government has put itself on collision course with the national press with the announcement that it wants to ban adverts offering sexual services from their classified sections.
The adverts, which fill at least a page in most of
Spain's dailies, are worth €40m (£34m) a year to the newspaper industry.
President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero made the announcement during this week's state of the nation speech, claiming it was part of a strategy to fight
the people trafficking and sexual exploitation: As long as these advertisements exist, they contribute to the idea of this activity as normal .
If the ads are banned, newspapers will want to be compensated and, worryingly for Zapatero, El
País, a staunch supporter of his socialist party, is the paper that earns the most from this form of advertising. With its left-liberal sensibilities and readership profile, El País is the Spanish paper that most resembles the Guardian, and
yet it earns €5m a year from advertising prostitution.
Yolanda Besteiro of the 'Progressive' Women's Federation was scathing about what she regards as the newspaper's hypocrisy: No media outlet can proclaim itself a defender of human rights
when it publishes this kind of advertising, which makes them directly complicit in this type of slavery .
The most openly religious daily, ABC, also runs the ads. El Publíco is the only national that does not run them as a matter of
policy. Spain is the only European country where the quality press carries adverts for sex. Prostitution is big business in Spain, worth an estimated €18bn a year.
A 'shock horror' sex scandal is rocking the Swedish government in the run-up to general elections, with the Aftonbladet newspaper reporting - three days after his resignation - that labour minister Sven Otto Littorin once hired a prostitute.
Paying for sex has been a crime in Sweden since 1999. Proven interactions with prostitutes are punishable with fines and, in some cases, imprisonment.
The affair is all the more explosive because Littorin, did not mention the paper's allegations while announcing his resignation on Wednesday, even though he reportedly had been informed of the charges shortly before.
A few hours earlier,
Aftonbladet had confronted Littorin with information and evidence provided by a 30-year-old prostitute that the minister had paid for her services four years ago.
Littorin is a member of Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt's conservative party and
joined Reinfeldt's cabinet as minister for employment in October 2006. The premier said that Littorin denied the paper's allegations before his resignation. Reinfeldt said he doesn't know how much the affair may harm him in the upcoming campaign.
People working in South Africa's sex industry expected an influx of customers during the World Cup but instead, tourists have been flocking to the country's museums.
The World Cup has been devastating, the owner of a Johannesburg escort
company told CNN. We thought it was going to be a cash cow but it's chased a lot of business away. It's been the worst month in my company's history.
The escort service's madam also added that she can't wait for the fans to leave. No one
is interested in sex at the moment. I think we've had three customers who travelled here for the World Cup which has seen my group's business drop by 80%. I enjoyed watching the games, but I can't wait for everyone to just go home now.
a prostitute and chairperson of a group that represents 70 prostitutes in Johannesburg told CNN, People went to the bars and stadiums to watch the games and afterwards they went home. They didn't bother themselves with coming to us.
March, South African officials expected 40,000 prostitutes would be flooding into the country but Zobwa said she has left the city because the money just isn't there.
On the other end, museums and art galleries have been booming with international
visitors. The Apartheid Museum received three times the number of expected patrons while the Johannesburg Art Gallery has seen an extra thousand people.
Playboy magazine is to terminate its Portuguese edition after an outcry over a photo shoot depicting Jesus Christ alongside topless models. It emerged yesterday that the Portuguese version of the men's magazine had recruited Christ as an unlikely
cover star in a purported photo tribute to the late author Jose Saramago.
The pictures show an airbrushed, idealised Jesus with familiar centre-parting, long hair, beard and robes radiating an unearthly glow as he watches various topless models.
Two women enjoy a lesbian clinch, another reads a book, a fourth seems to be a prostitute touting for business while the last woman appears to have died in Christ's arms.
We did not see or approve the cover and pictorial in the July issue of
Playboy Portugal, a spokeswoman for Hugh Hefner's empire told Gawker. It is a shocking breach of our standards, and we would not have allowed it to be published if we had seen it in advance.
As a result of this and other issues with
the Portuguese publisher, we are in the process of terminating our agreement.
Jose Saramago's 1991 novel The Gospel According to Jesus Christ is a fictional retelling of the life of Christ, seen from his perspective. Its publication
caused outrage because it depicts a human, passionate Christ who ends up firmly opposed to God's plan to create a new religion through him.
In one particularly criticised scene, a shepherd tries, unsuccessfully, to persuade Christ to have sex with
a sheep. The book caused such controversy in Catholic Portugal that Saramago moved to the Canary Islands to escape, dying there on June 18 this year.
Grindr brought gay men together via the iPhone. Grindr 2.0 will aim at the straight sex market
The phenomenal success of a phone application that allows cruising gay men to locate one another instantly using GPS technology has led to plans for
the release of a straight version by the end of the year.
The app, Grindr, which promises to help users Find gay, bi, curious guys for free near you! , launched in March 2009. It enjoyed a modest uptake in the UK until Stephen Fry showed it
to Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear, prompting 40,000 men to download the free iPhone app in a week.
There are now more than 700,000 men in 162 countries using it, with 2,000 downloading it every day. A Blackberry-friendly version was launched last
Users see a grid displaying photos of men and their proximity to them. If you like the look of someone, you can exchange flirty messages before meeting up immediately. One fan of the app told the Observer: I've probably had as much [sex]
in the past eight months of Grinding as I have over the 20 years since I came out.
Grindr is the brainchild of Joel Simkhai, a 33-year-old American international relations and economics graduate who worked in finance in his twenties. It took
him six months and $5,000 to build Grindr, with the help of a Danish app developer and a friend who was an expert in branding, marketing and design. It's about finding guys. Being among your peers. Socialising, he said.
The rapid success of
Grindr is prompting Simkhai to launch a straight version. This notion of: 'Who is around me? Who is in this room now? Who else is like me?' – this is not just a gay thing. Gay men don't have the monopoly on loneliness and isolation.
New plans to criminalise prostitution will be launched in the autumn, following a a one sided consultation with selected groups on how to tackle the oldest profession in the world .
Scottish Labour MSP Trish Godman has asked clerks to draw
up a list of agencies that should be consulted ahead of a bill being drafted.
MSPs rejected attempts to include legislation on prostitution in the Criminal Justice and Licensing Bill, which was passed last week. However, Godman believes this was
due to the way the amendment was written and the lack of consultation. She believes there is cross-party sympathy for trying to provide better protection for women who are trafficked, exploited and vulnerable to violence from pimps and punters.
She hopes to pass legislation before the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, which anti-prostitution agencies have warned could act as a magnet for traffickers and prostitutes from across the UK and overseas.
[Perhaps they are expecting the 40,000 sex workers who so noticeably didn't bother go to South Africa for the World Cup].
Godman said: There will be a full consultation, put together over the summer, but not
put out until the beginning of September or the end of August.
She believes she can gain the support of the Scottish Government after discussing her plans with justice secretary Kenny MacAskill. There is also the possibility that the bill will
be introduced after next year's election, when the make up of MSPs in the Scottish Parliament will be different.
The Scottish Government does not believe that legislation and enforcement alone can make the industry safer, but will consider it in
tandem with other measures, such as support through groups such as the Trafficking Awareness Raising Alliance (TARA) in Glasgow and Scotpep in Edinburgh.
An inquiry into sex trafficking in Scotland is asking punters who use prostitutes to talk to them - in secret.
Baroness Helena Kennedy, who is heading the probe, said men who buy sex can help build a realistic picture of the extent of the trade.
Kennedy said: I want to hear from these men. I need to hear directly from people who have experiences of trafficking. I think if you want to have a proper sense of the problem, it is better to hear from witnesses themselves
It might be they are men who have used prostitutes and they have had an experience where they have been with a woman who was clearly coerced into prostitution. We need help to understand the scope of the
problem but those who can do that are often the very people who, through shame or fear, don't want to step forward. We will guarantee them absolute anonymity.
The probe will focus on Scotland but will have an impact on policy across the UK.
It is the most far-reaching study of trafficking in Britain.
It will look at ways in which the country can tackle the hyped problem of trafficking, from policing and border control to how well victims are supported when they are found.
Kennedy and her team have talked to police, voluntary organisations and experts but want to widen their evidence-gathering over the coming months to punters and the victims of trafficking themselves.
The inquiry is being run by the Equality and Human Rights Commission Scotland and, although all trafficking will be covered, the emphasis will be on the women and children brought in for sex.
Police have reported an increase in the demand
for foreign women from men buying sex. She said: Senior police officers do think that there has been a shift. Perhaps because men are travelling much more, certainly on stag weekends and buying sex abroad. They are experiencing sex
in a more exotic way, activities that they don't participate in with their wives and partners. It becomes something that they want here.
Kennedy said that, contrary to speculation, the inquiry wasn't rooted in Scotland because we have a
disproportionate scale of trafficking. She said: The truth is, we just don't know the size of the problem because this hasn't been done before. And what makes it a substantial problem? Fifty, 100 women? If we were talking about the
sexual abuse of children, we would never consider any number acceptable. If this is happening at all and it is, we have to ask, how do we prevent it?
A final report from the probe will be out next year.
A Swedish law punishing the purchase -not the sale -of sex, has has reduced street prostitution in half, but the Scandinavian country is still facing sex sold over the Internet, a Swedish report said.
The evaluation shows that the ban on the
purchase of sexual services has had the intended effect and is an important instrument in preventing and combating prostitution and human trafficking for sexual purposes, the report said.
The report, handed to Justice Minister Beatrice Ask,
maintained that prostitution in Sweden, unlike in comparable countries, has not in any case increased since the introduction of the ban on buying sexual services went into effect in 1999.
While the law punishing the client rather than the
prostitute may not have caused a dramatic drop in prostitution as a whole, its true triumph, according to the report, is that street prostitution in Sweden has been halved.
The report also recommends that men should be liable to a a year in
jail for buying sex, rather than the 6 months current maximum sentence.
Offsite: UK Nutters Pounce
Unsurprisingly Julie Bindel has got in first to glory in the
The state has crept further and further into people's homes and their private lives under the cover of pretending to act in our best interest. That needs to change, says Nick Clegg:
their 13 years in power, the Labour Government developed a dangerous reflex. Faced with whatever problem, legislation increasingly became the standard response. Something needs fixing? Let's pass a new law.
over the last decade, thousands of new rules and regulations have amassed on the statute book. And it is our liberty that has paid the price. Under the cover of pretending to act in our best interest, the state has crept further and further into people's
homes and their private lives. That intrusion is disempowering. It needs to change.
The Coalition Government is determined to restore great British freedoms. Major steps have been taken already. ID cards have been
halted. Plans are underway to restrict the storage of innocent people's DNA. Schools will no longer be able to take children's fingerprints without their parents consent.
But we need to do more. The culture of state
snooping has become so ingrained that we must tackle it with renewed vigour. And, especially in these difficult times, entrepreneurs and businesses need our help. We must ensure we are not tying them up in restrictive red tape.
So today we are taking an unprecedented step. Based on the belief that it is people, not policymakers, who know best, we are asking the people of Britain to tell us how you want to see your freedom restored.
We are calling for your ideas on how to protect our hard won liberties and repeal unnecessary laws. And we want to know how best to scale back excessive regulation that denies businesses the space to innovate. We're hoping for
virtual mailbags full of suggestions. Every single one will be read, with the best put to Parliament.
It is a radically different approach. One based on trust. Because it isn't up to government to tell people how to
live their lives. Our job is to empower people, giving you the freedom and support to thrive. That belief is right at the heart of this Coalition. And both coalition parties recognise that Whitehall doesn't have a monopoly on the best ideas.
So, finally, after years in the wilderness, freedom is back in fashion. This is our chance to redraw the boundaries between citizen and state. It's your chance to have your say.
The proposed crackdown on lap dancing venues has been thrown out by MSPs despite winning the support of the government.
SNP backbencher Sandra White wanted to give local authorities the power to introduce a special licensing system which would
allow them to ban strip clubs.
Injustice Secretary Kenny MacAskill gave his backing to the move, but Labour, the Liberal Democrats and Tories opposed it and the proposal was defeated by 76-45.
The decision was welcomed today by campaigners
against the crackdown.
But Labour said it now plans to take its own look at the issue and bring forward proposals if the party returns to power at next year's elections.
Liberal Democrat Robert Brown said Ms White's proposal would introduce
a dual licensing system, where venues needed a separate licence in addition to their liquor licence. He said there was no real evidence of a problem with the current powers.
Tory John Lamont said he had met a politics student who worked as a lap
dancer in order to help her pay for university. He said: She was, quite frankly, insulted by the claims that lap dancers were either prostitutes being exploited or their work was demeaning.
Sarah Vernon, a former dancer who has just
completed a PhD in striptease and strip club culture in Scotland, welcomed Ms White's defeat. Vernon, who spent seven years carrying out field work as a participant-observer in two Edinburgh clubs as part of her research, had warned curbs on
adult entertainment would hit Scottish tourism. She said: The parliament has made the right decision, particularly at this time for Scotland's economy. It shows Scotland is a tolerant and progressive country and does take account of the views of the
nation and not just special interests.
MSPs have been discussing law reforms defined in the Criminal Justice and Licensing Bill.
The Scottish Parliament has passed its extreme porn laws. No surprise there.
But on the other hand, the Parliament actually did a decent job of
rejecting a bunch of other stupid laws. Sandra White's lap dancing regime got rejected (only the SNP supported it), and attempts to ban all prostitution, and also to introduce the English strict liability offence for using 'controlled' prostitutes were
both rejected (only Labour supported them). So some bad, but some good also.
Interestingly, the Police (particularly in the form of ACPOS) were fairly pivotal in providing cover for rejecting the prostitution laws. They basically said they didn't
want or need them, and that they might well make things worse, which made it a lot easier for the parties to reject them.
There was little debate about extreme pornography in this session but one substantive comment was made.
Harvie (Glasgow) (Green): I am sorry to ask to lower the temperature just a little, but I wonder whether the cabinet secretary will say a little more about one of the measures that has had less debate and attention but which involves some
contention—the measure that he mentioned on extreme pornography. He will be aware that themeasure that exists in England and Wales is having no effect in reducing the production of genuinely violent or abusive images, but is being used just as a top-up
charge in a small number of cases in which the most serious offence is rape or sexual assault, which attract a higher sentence. If we end up in a similar situation—with the charge being used in a similar way in Scotland, as a mere top-up—will we not have
to look again at whether it serves any purpose?