Five foreigners were arrested for operating nightclubs in a former US Air Base in central Philippines, where hundreds of sex workers were supposedly trafficked from the south of the country.
Three Americans, a Japanese and an Australian were arrested after the Philippine National Police's Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) launched several raids on Sunshine Bar, the Blue Nile and the Golden Nile night clubs on Fields
Avenue in Balibago village, said CIDG director, Chief Superintendent Samuel Pagdilao Jr.
The only detainee whose name was given out was Australian Terrence James Smith, manager of Sunshine Bar. Three of the other four remain in detention while one American has been released, said a source.
If convicted, they would be charged with human trafficking, which is penalised by life imprisonment.
About 17 women worked at the Sunshine Bar. The rest were from the other bars that were raided.
Most of the women came from Mindanao. They were promised jobs as factory workers, waitresses or sales ladies, CIDG Women and Children's Protection Desk head Superintendent Emma Libunao said in an unlikely sounding justification.
The sex workers did not voluntarily join their police 'rescuers', Libunao admitted.
It seems likely that the Philippines authorities reacted to a recent criticism of a lack of anti-trafficking commitment. The arrestees were probably just victims of an operation pandering to US anti-prostitution moralists.
Australian classification laws are in the process of being overhauled, an overhaul which may see their powers increased. But few people know exactly what is currently banned in Australia.
Discussion of what might or might not be excluded by an internet filter hits a road block when it comes to Refused Classification or RC - a term that is at best vague. We are told that the promised filter will be set to catch RC
content. However, few people (including some of the legislators) actually know what RC means.
Refused Classification is also the basis for the term illegal pornography , a description now appearing on Australian airport landing cards. All travellers must declare potentially-RC items when arriving in Australia. However,
because neither the Classification Board nor Customs publish their guidelines, no-one knows what might be potentially-RC - until they are told that they have broken the rules. The penalties for breaching these invisible regulations include fines,
deportation and imprisonment.
The Classification Board briefs Customs on their Guidelines and periodically gives scaled-down presentations to adult publishers in order to clarify the broad, grey, contradictory area that the Code defines. But other than that, no-one knows what
they are in detail... until they get caught flouting them.
One adult publisher has sought to document the official Guidelines, based on briefings by the Board and noting over time the reasons given for submitted content being Refused Classification. According to a former Classification Board member, this
document accurately reflects the official but unpublished Guidelines.
According to the document, material including any of the following is refused classification:
No depiction of violence, sexual violence, sexualised violence or coercion is allowed in the category. It does not allow sexually assaultive language. Nor does it allow consensual depictions which purposefully demean anyone involved in that
activity for the enjoyment of viewers.
Fetishes such as body piercing [and tattooing], application of substances such as candle wax, golden showers , bondage, spanking or fisting are not permitted. As the category is restricted to activity between consenting adults, it does
not permit any depictions of non-adult persons, including those aged 16 or 17, nor of adult persons who look like they are under 18 years.
Violence: rough or injurious physical force, action, or treatment. This includes actual violence (shooting, punching, pushing, throwing a person, etc), implied violence (gunshot sound effect, news article, mugshots), aftermath of violence
(person with injury, dead body), threat of violence ( I'll kill you ), and violent behavior (woman holding gun while engaged in sex with man). Note down ANY and ALL violence, even if it looks contrived or unrealistic (plastic swords,
etc). Depictions of dead people are also not permitted.
The implied violence comment is so strict that it renders virtually all crossover drama/porn films (those that ape cop shows, fantasy films and drama, but with added full sex scenes).
Adult videos have for instance been Refused Classification for showing a gun on a table or for showing a headline in a newspaper describing a murder. One video was refused classification because it was about people looking for a friend that had
been kidnapped - even though the kidnapping was never shown. Another was rated RC because a character simply had a black eye. Another was rejected because of a scene showing a doctor putting on a pair of rubber gloves.
Sexual Violence: Spanking, choking, pinching, stepping on the face, hair pulling (either as a violent act or consensual fetish act), rough or man handling, face slapping, and general rough play are all prohibited;
General rough play is a description that could be attributed to virtually every film that features sex. Only one spank (as in a slap on the bum) is allowed at any one time. And that can't be very hard. All BDSM is banned.
Sexually assaultive language - a tone of voice or language that is demeaning and disparaging. Eg. Calling someone a whore or slut, or telling them to do something demeaning in a disparaging way. This does not include dirty talk .
Golden Showers: Urinating on one self or another person is objectionable. Female ejaculation or squirting is considered to be golden showers. The latter is controversial with medical discussion suggesting female ejaculation is a minority
but normal sexual response.
With both the Mumbai excise and police department refusing to budge from their earlier restrictions, bar girls have decided to take matters into their own hands and commit mass suicide if they cannot get their jobs back.
Over 4,000 bar girls from the city have been jobless for the past month and a 48 member group will be submitting a written petition to the police department and the High Court today, seeking to resolve the matter at the earliest.
Kiran, who has been working in a dance bar for the last two years, said: I am homeless and my savings are exhausted. I am forced to live with friends and relatives, but even they refuse to let me stay on. The only option left is to commit
Similarly, other girls like her have been supporting their families and with their income stopped, they are facing a terrible crisis. Meena will lead the group to appeal to the Bangalore Police Commissioner: We are suffering because of someone
else's mistake. The cops have to answer why they are being so unfair, she said. She added that many girls are approaching prostitution agents from other states to generate income to sustain their families: Our actions are being forced by
the cops since we have no other option.
David Flory has been arrested for allegedly running a website promoting prostitution. It was a sex worker review site featuring 200 women and about 1400 customers.
Police are now trawling through the client database to find out who was using the website, and are urging members to give themselves up.
Flory was arrested in Albuquerque after a six-month undercover operation to track down who was behind the site, Southwest Companions. According to police, Southwest Companions was run entirely by Flory, who designed three categories of
membership, each of which had to be approved by him.
First-time visitors had to gain Flory's trust before they could access the website, police said. They did this by sleeping with one of the girls, who allegedly reported back to Flory with details of payment and the sexual acts performed. At this
point members were classed as verified , and could access more of the site. Only once they became frequent users were they upgraded to trusted members, allowing them to view the whole site - including tips on how to avoid police.
Lieutenant William Roseman said Once you became a trusted member you had access to reviews of the girls... where they would actually write reviews of the girls they've slept with, what acts they would commit, how much their charged.
He told the Record: They had descriptions of my officers, phone numbers they used, videos of an attorney telling them that if you get busted by the police, here's what you should do. This was a website designed, managed and run fully for
He said police tracked Flory down after one of the prostitutes tipped them off. Undercover detectives then posed as website users for months, eventually becoming trusted members so they could see the whole site and eventually find Flory.
Thousands of men and women in Wales are ditching studies and careers to become sex workers, new research reveals.
Researchers at Swansea University tracked down 400 off-street sex workers in brothels, escort agencies and over the internet in Cardiff. They found:
More than three-quarters of those questioned had qualifications including GCSEs, A-levels and even a law degree
The majority had come into the sex trade from respectable careers, including one woman who had been a senior manager in a private sector business
None had been trafficked or coerced with many quoting high wages, flexible working hours and job satisfaction as their reasons for going into the trade
The majority were working independently by advertising on the internet, some of whom said they were doing it for fun
The results challenge the myths put about by anti-prostitution campaigners that men and women trapped in a dangerous trade by controlling pimps, financial insecurity and a downward spiral of drug and alcohol abuse.
Dr Tracey Sagar, a lecturer in Criminology and Social Policy at Swansea University and co-author of the report, told WalesOnline the results called into question the effectiveness of current Government strategies, which are attempting to wipe out
the sex trade for good. She said:
We're not talking here about women on the streets, who are extremely vulnerable to crime, violence, who often have serious problems with drug abuse and who do need our help.
The women we spoke to for this research were articulate and knew exactly what they were doing -- no-one who we talked to had been pushed into it.
Many were giving up well-paid jobs to do it, quoting good money and flexible working hours. One even said, 'I'm my own business, I'd never go back to a normal job.'
These women definitely don't want to be saved -- they have made a choice and we have to respect that choice -- Government policy needs to recognise that the sex industry has been around for ever and it's not going to go
Off-street sex workers are not the same as on-street and trafficked women and no-one policy will do for all.
Dr Sagar and her colleague Debbie Jones worked with HIV charity Terrence Higgins Trust Cymru to track down sex workers in Cardiff. Of the 395 men and women they found, an overwhelming 343 were working independently by advertising their services
on adult websites, while another 18 had placed ads in a local advertiser, 14 were with an escort agency and 20 were working out of seven well-known massage parlours in Cardiff.
Dr Sagar said that these figures barely scrape the surface of the industry, with many more brothels and escort agencies existing that did not respond to the survey, as well as an invisible majority of prostitutes selling their services via
dozens of specialist adult websites.
A programme on a local Zurich radio airs what it calls acoustic porn, hoping to inspire people to sex.
The night programme on 104.1 or 88.2 MHz in Zurich features erotically-tinged music and sounds at midnight for five hours.
Producer Oliver Scotoni said: With me, there are no pictures, but only selected acoustics which inspire the audience, he said. These acoustics include porn movies soundtrack from the 70s, which according to Scotoni have more value than
cheap music in today's sex movies.
Other sounds include disco classics such as Love to love you by Donna Summer or erotically-named reggae, such as Play with Your Pussy or Doctor Dick.
Slavery remains as much of a problem in the UK as when it was officially abolished 200 years ago, a 'think'-tank has ludicrously claimed.
The Centre for Social Justice will launch a review of slavery and human trafficking using estimates that supposedly show at least 6,000 women have been trafficked into the UK and forced into prostitution. Others are working as domestic servants
or forced labour.
Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, patron of the 'think'-tank, will help launch the inquiry, which will look at the role, impact and training of the police and other frontline organisations. It will also consider the effectiveness of
the National Referral Mechanism, which aims to identify victims
Gavin Poole, the CSJ's executive director, spewed:
Every slavery victim represents a family torn apart and an individual's freedom and choice destroyed. They mark the continuation of an illegal trade which, since its official abolition in 1807, has grown to devastate
many more people than it did 200 years ago.
The 15-month review, which will be led by Andrew Wallis, director of the anti-trafficking and victim support group Unseen UK, will also consider the UK's laws on prostitution, trafficking and domestic servitude.
The government is expected to publish a separate review of its anti-trafficking strategy later this month.
In a heated and contentious advisory panel meeting, nearly 70 porn performers came out in force to voice their concerns and give input on a Cal/OSHA draft proposal containing modifications to California's health code to extend adult industry
workplace safety regulations.
The purpose of the meeting was to gather comments from industry stakeholders to crystalize specific areas of proposed regulations in the draft. Several items were on the agenda including discussing definitions, control measures, alternative
measures, medical services and record keeping.
The draft described adult entertainment as the production of any film, video, multimedia or other recorded or live presentation in which performers actually engage in any activity that may result in exposure of the eyes, skin, mouth, anus,
vagina or other mucous membranes to the blood or other potentially infectious materials -- sexually transmitted infections (OPIM-STI). Many took issue with this description saying this was too broad of a definition.
The meeting then moved on to barrier protection, described as a condom or other physical block that prevents the passage of blood and OPIM-STI to another person. A female performer said that if condoms are enforced, that every legitimate
studio will be affected and productions will either go underground or leave the state.
Dan O'Connell, president of Girlfriends Films, said enforcing condoms especially for girl/girl scenes would be problematic: If we provide barrier protection, it'll be the end of the industry here in California, he said. Fans of
girl/girl who are into the oral part will not put up with barrier protection.
Another topic that was hotly debated was permitting alternate measures to control risks of oral sex.
At the end of the meeting, Deborah Gold, Cal/OSHA’s senior safety engineer reminded everyone that current standards still apply to adult, which means the use of condoms as a form of barrier protection.
Sex workers in Malaga have been given an area where they can ply their trade without police interference. The plot of land, which is in the same area of the Guadalhorce Industrial Estate in Malaga where they currently work, does not breach
municipal regulations. Malaga City Hall is improving the plot by fixing up access routes and installing bins, so everything points to a definitive solution for the city's working girls.
A local law passed six months ago made it illegal for them to carry out their activities within 200 metres from schools, homes or businesses. In the months following the new laws, many prostitutes complained they were being persecuted by
police and given no alternatives .
Malaga City hall has also approved a programme to improve the conditions of women working in the sex trade, with a budget of EUR350,000.
Meanwhile, on the nearby Azucarera Industrial Estate, an establishment advertised as the Sala Blue Hotel, which according to neighbours is a brothel, was prevented from opening by police. Thirty women were in the premises at the time. It planned
to open with porn actress Maria Lapiedra as the star of the inauguration. The reason cited for the closure was a minor planning issue.
In what may be the first move to clean up Burma's male entertainment industry, the Rangoon authorities have ordered all massage parlours to close in major cities, according to the 7 Day News Journal.
The order was said to go into effect on June 2. The Rangoon area has between 3,000 to 3,500 illegal massage parlours, a senior police officer at the Rangoon Region Police Commander's Office told Mizzima in early 2010.
Sources said that most of the massage parlours in Rangoon, Mandalay, Naypyitaw and other major towns in Burma are involved in prostitution. Prostitution is illegal in Burma and if the accused is found guilty, they can be sentenced from one to
five years in prison.
Later, authorities will look at the KTV karaoke lounge bars , the Rangoon based weekly journal reported.
The Rangoon Region Administrative office issued the order to close massage parlours on May 27. The order also said that all restaurants and teashops in Rangoon must close by 11 p.m, sources said.
Kimberly Kupps, who co-operates namesake site KimberlyKupps.com with her husband, has been charged lwith 13 obscenity counts for content distributed over the Internet.
Kupps specializes in the big-boobs niche and had been on the radar of the nutter Sheriffs Department of Polk County for three months.
The Sheriff's Department booked her under statute 847.5 on 13 counts of wholesale promotion of obscene material. Kupps was jailed along with her husband, Warren Taylor, who remains locked up; Kupps was released Saturday night after posting $7,500
According to the police report, a deputy paid an initial $19.95 membership fee to her website, where he found videos of Kupps having sex with men and women. The deputy downloaded six videos, burned them to CDs and asked Judge Reinaldo Ojeda to
review them. Ojeda, according to the police report, claimed the videos were obscene material under state law.
Gallup has just released the results of its annual values and beliefs poll, and as far as the issue of pornography goes, a majority of the country's citizens 66% believes it is morally wrong.
A slightly deeper look at the poll's results reveals a marked age factor with respect to their acceptance of porn. Among those 55 and older, 19% said it was acceptable; among those 35 to 54, the percentage rises to 29, and it rises to 42% among
18-to-34-year-olds. Clearly, an acceptance trend is in the making.
There were others moral issues run by the thousand plus adults, of course. On the more acceptable side of the scale, gay or lesbian relations was seen as morally acceptable by a margin of 56-39 percent, sex between an unmarried man
and woman was given the green light by a margin of 60-36 and having a baby out of wedlock was morally permissible by a percentage margin of 54-41.
A South Australian Labor MP has launched another bid to decriminalise prostitution, the latest in a handful of attempts to reform sex worker laws over the past 30 years.
Steph Key will later this year introduce a bill to decriminalise all forms of prostitution, including home or brothel-based sex work, escort services and street work.
It will also ban minors from being involved in the industry and will prevent brothels being established within 200 metres of schools, any centres for children and places of worship. It seems to be an appropriate time to put the reform of our
sex industry in SA back on the legislative agenda, Ms Key said. She said there had been five attempts to introduce reforms over the past three decades, the last being voted down in 2001.
But Christian nutters of FamilyVoice Australia said there had actually been six attempts to decriminalise brothels since 1979, with each attempt failing once MPs realised the implications of the changes. Steph Key's latest attempt to
decriminalise brothels is worse than any of the previous six, FamilyVoice researcher Ros Phillips said: One of its disastrous features would allow three prostitutes to operate a brothel next to suburban homes without any controls by
government or police.
Supporting Ms Key's bill, about 50 sex workers and their supporters rallied on the steps of parliament house in Adelaide on Thursday and presented the MP with a 2000-signature petition backing law reform.
Sex Industry Network manager Ari Reid said sex workers in South Australia were still treated like second-class citizens: Decriminalisation isn't about putting a brothel on every corner. It's about providing basic workplace rights and
protection for hard-working South Australians.
One of the biggest insurance companies in the world held a party for salesmen where they were rewarded with the services of sex workers.
One of its divisions, Ergo, told the BBC that the party had taken place to reward salesmen in 2007. A spokesman told the BBC that it was not the usual way of rewarding their employees.
The gathering was held at a thermal baths in the Hungarian capital Budapest. There were about 100 guests and 20 girls were hired. A German business newspaper said the prostitutes had worn colour-coded arm-bands designating their availability, and
the women had their arms stamped after each service rendered.
According to Handelsblatt, quoting an unnamed participant, guests were able to take the women to four-poster beds at the spa and do whatever they liked . After each such encounter the women were stamped on the lower arm in order to keep
track of how often each woman was frequented, the paper quoted the man as saying. The women wore red and yellow wrist bands. One lot were hostesses, the others would fulfil your every wish. There were also women with white wrist bands.
They were reserved for board members and the very best sales reps.
Two former managers at a German insurance firm have been charged with criminal breach of trust - for organising a sex party and trying to hide the costs of prostitutes hired for their colleagues.
The orgy party involved around 20 prostitutes at the historic Gellert spa in Budapest, organised for sales representatives who had performed well.
It became a bit of a scandal for Ergo insurance, a subsidiary of Hamburg-Mannheimer when details leaked last year.
Now two former Ergo managers are accused of violating the company's internal rules by commissioning the prostitutes and concealing the associated costs, said a state prosecutor spokesman.
The state is also filing charges against the former joint manager of an event-planning agency who worked with the two company managers to plan the trip. The participation of prostitutes in the party was part of the plan from the start, as the two
managers approached the company about the trip with a motto total party, the prosecutor's office said.
The prosecutor's office estimates that the party, which involved at least 64 insurance agents, cost Ergo EUR52,000. An investigation shows that the company's executive board at the time did not know of the trip, the spokesman for the prosecutor's
Automatic image-analysis systems are already used to catch filtered pornography before it reaches a computer monitor. But they often struggle to distinguish between indecent imagery and more innocuous pictures with large flesh-coloured regions,
such as a person in swimwear or a close-up face. Analysing the audio for a sexual scream or moan could solve the problem, say electrical engineers MyungJong Kim and Hoirin Kim at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology in
Daejeon, South Korea.
The pair used a signal-processing technique to create spectrograms of a variety of audio clips, each just half a second long. They found that speech signals are normally low-pitched and musical clips have a wide range of pitches; both vary only
gradually over time. In contrast, pornographic sounds tend to be higher-pitched, change quickly and also periodically repeat. These characteristics allow software to distinguish porn audio from other content.
It's quite ingenious, says Richard Harvey, a computer scientist at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK, who previously worked on image-based pornography detection. But image-based methods are no less accurate, he says, and only
require a single frame whereas the performance of the audio method needs to analyse longer clips.
He suggests it might be better to combine both methods to weed out unusual cases: Think of that scene in When Harry Met Sally [in which a female character fakes an orgasm while fully clothed in a diner] -- the audio is very clearly pointing in
one direction, but the video is not.
In an attack on prostitution a new Utah law has made it illegal for people to touch themselves in a supposedly 'lewd' way.
Two escort services have now filed a lawsuit to try to stop the solicitation law, claiming strippers or escorts could be arrested just for acting sexy.
The new law, which was introduced in the state earlier this month, has broadened the definition to include any person who indicates through acts such as exposing or touching themselves that they intend to exchange sex for money.
Lawyer Andrew McCullough, who is representing the escort services said the law is so broad it could lead to police officers arresting pole dancers or strippers who are just doing their job. He said that the law is virtually identical to
one struck down by a federal judge as being unconstitutional in 1988.
The expanded law includes language that states that a person exposing their genitals or touching themselves sexually is an indication that they are offering sex.
Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank claimed that under the new law officers would not target anyone who is not a prostitute.
A 'dating' app, with the strap line: Where romance meets finance , has achieved Apple's approval for inclusion in its AppStore.
According to the dating site SugarSugar.com, its Dating App will be available for download on June 1st through SugarSugar.com and iTunes. It will, the site says be compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, and BlackBerry
The app will use GPS technology to instantly identify those seeking 'mutually beneficial' arrangements within the user's vicinity. After 'checking in, the application will map out the profiles of nearby members. Users will
be able to trade stats, show photos or send messages to arrange an effortless rendezvous.
The website explains its fun loving ethic:
SugarSugar.com is for generous men looking to spoil, and dynamic women looking for financial support with bills, or who just need some excitement in life! Started by a real sugar baby, SugarSugar.com only accepts true,
proven sugar daddies and sugar babies, and provides a staff of sugar dating experts to help you find the perfect mutually beneficial arrangement.
Sugar Daddy relationships are as old as mankind itself. Men have a natural instinct to surround themselves with beauty, and women have always sought out the security of a mature, financially stable man. While these aren't
the only qualifications for a good dating experience, they are a good place to start!
Hundreds of sex workers rallied near a red-light district in Seoul to protest a police crackdown on brothels. A crowd of about 400 people, mostly women, chanted slogans like Guarantee the right to live! at the rally.
The rally comes weeks after officials began stationing police cars near brothels in a bid to drive away people looking to pay for sex.
Prostitution is illegal in South Korea but is widespread despite repeated government crackdowns.
Thai Immigration police arrested a British man at his shop for selling sex toys which are bizarrely banned in Thailand.
An undercover agent ordered an item from the shop's website and had arranged for pick up at his Boutique Sexy shop on Pattaya 3rd Road.
The officers arrested their victim and seized various sex toys found at the shop. These sex toys are made in a factory located in nearby Naklua. The police raided the premises and arrested eight employees.
The police took all the evidence to Pattaya Police Station for further examination.
Pattaya's miserable police have been continuing their campaign against the sale of sex toys.
A second shop selling items commonly used as sexual stimulants has been raided by Police and shut down. The Pattaya House of Condoms is located on the second floor of the Central Center Pattaya, known to many as Big C North Pattaya.
Following the recent raid of an adult shop in Central Pattaya and its storehouse in Naklua, this time it was the Child and Women Protection Unit who conducted the raid. Inside a selection of dildos, sexual stimulants and condoms were seized by
Police, along with the shop assistant.
Back at the Police Station it was discovered that the owner of the shop was currently out on Police Bail pending court proceedings following a previous raid.
Sex shops might seem to be an unlikely place for violent crimes to take place but police ludicrously insist that patrons of these establishments contribute to sexual crimes.
Police have continued to clamp down on the distribution and sale of sex toys and illegal sex-enhancing drugs. The misleadingly named Consumer Protection Police Division (CPPD) has now raided a large warehouse storing sex products worth
about 20 million baht.
Police Colonel Phrutthiphong said most pornographic products and sex toys available in the market were not produced in Thailand. Products such as artificial male and female genitalia, sex dolls, artificial tongues and artificial fingers, were
imported from China.
He said the pornographic products arrived in Thailand through border provinces in the North and Northeast. The products were firstly sent to storage sites and then sold on to retailers.
In Bangkok, the products are sold illegally on Patpong Road, Soi Nana and Khlong Thom. However, distributors can sell more of such products through websites, Pol Col Phrutthiphong said. He said his team would soon expand their operations to
tackle pornographic businesses on the internet.
Two Swedish men and three Filipinos have been sentenced to long jail terms for running a live porn webcam operation that catered to foreigners from a southern Phillipines city.
According to reports, the length of sentences was unprecedented in the Philippines. A court found the two Swedish nationals, Bo Stefan Sederholm and Emil Andreas Solemo guilty of trafficking charges and sentenced them to life in prison. They were
also fined $46,000 each. The three Filipinos were each given 20-year jail sentences and fined about $23,000 each.
The Swedes were first arrested when police raided a commercial building in the town of Kauswagan, Mindanao, in April 2009.
Justo Yap, National Bureau of Investigation regional director said 18 women, aged 19 to 24, some of whom were naked and sending live feeds to clients abroad, were found after a raid on the premises. The performers were reportedly paid $350 a
month. [Which is a well above average wage in the Philippines].
Law enforcement agencies said providing sexually explicit material over the Internet is a growing industry in the Philippines where the perception is low risk and high returns. All Internet sex is classified as pornography and therefore illegal
in the Philippines.
The judge in the case stressed the need to protect Filipino women and said in his ruling, Disrespect for Filipino women and violations of our laws deserve the strongest condemnations from this court. It will not shirk from its duty to impose
the most severe of penalties against anybody, be he a foreign national or a citizen of this country, who tramples upon the dignity of a woman by taking advantage of her vulnerability.
Update: Philippines: where trafficking means getting the bus to work
Two Swedish IT-experts jailed for life in the Philippines for running a cybersex den say they are living a nightmare among hardened criminals and maintain that they have done nothing wrong.
Emil Andreas Solemo and Bo Stefan Sederholm were convicted of supposed human trafficking after being found running an operation in which 17 naked women in an office building performed in front of cameras for overseas internet clients.
The Philippines government hailed the verdict as a landmark victory in the battle against human trafficking because the Swedes were the first to be handed life sentences for what has in recent years become a booming cybersex industry.
But both men appear bewildered why they should be jailed for Internet pornography when prostitution is rampant across the Philippines.
We don't see ourselves as human traffickers at all, Solemo said in an exclusive interview with AFP: The women were not forced to do it. It was nothing like that at all . He said he and Sederholm were IT consultants who had been
hired to set up the computer systems at the cybersex shop where the women worked in Cagayan de Oro.
The Swedes also pointed out that the women working in the cybersex operation were all adults - prosecutors never alleged that minors were involved - and said the case against them smacked of hypocrisy. Some say it's (cybersex) demeaning and
horrible, but you can go to any city in the Philippines and see girls who are dancing on poles in skimpy clothes. It's absurd...there are places there that openly sell girls, Solemo said: What we have undertaken here would not have been
considered as trafficking anywhere in the West. In the United States or elsewhere it is not illegal to undress before computer cameras if you are of legal age.
Sederholm said they believed they had become scapegoats to make authorities look good to the United States, which put the Philippines on a blacklist of countries deemed as not doing enough to combat human trafficking.
Beverly Musli, the head of a local women's rights group that helped prosecutors gather evidence in the case, also said the Swedes deserved to be in jail. It's still trafficking because the victims were recruited from all over the Philippines
and transported to the south, said Musli, who is a lawyer.
Australian scientists are working on a new gel-based contraceptive that will protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as well as preventing pregnancy.
It's still at least a decade off, but Professor John Aitken, says the gel could be applied to a small, pliable sponge and inserted in the vagina up to 48 hours before sexual intercourse. As soon as semen makes contact with the gel, the sperm are
paralysed and any STI-causing organisms are killed.
Professor Aitken, a reproductive scientist at the University of Newcastle in NSW, said the product being developed would be aimed at women between the ages of 15 and 25. He said: You want to be able to have intercourse in the safe knowledge
you will neither get pregnant, nor will you catch some terrible microbe.
He added that there have been no new forms of contraception since the pill was introduced in 1959: We're now in a completely different environment. We need contraceptives that meet the demands of the 21st century and one of those demands is
that there's now a much higher risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease than there was in the 1950s and '60s.
Meanwhile, 46 million abortions are performed each year because of contraceptive failure, Prof Aitken said: If we can stop young people getting pregnant unintentionally and we can protect them against sexually transmitted disease then that is
The agents have been developed and the chemistry is being tested, said Prof Aitken, who spoke at the Shine Dome in Canberra this week.
Animal and human trials will follow before the contraceptive can be released to the public.
The orchestra bars in South Mumbai are facing a unique problem, which the bar owners claim; is affecting their already-depressed business.
They complain that a particular police officer often visits their bars and tries to lecture the patrons against visiting the bar.
Sources say that this particular police officer regularly visits the bars at night. He then snatches the mike from the singer and randomly picks up a patron for a conversation . The cop quizzes them on other personal details including
martial status and how much he loves his family and children. After knowing these facts, the cop then starts giving lectures on family and responsibilities. He then further questions them about the logic behind having vices like drinking alcohol
and visiting the orchestra bars and throwing away money on the bargirls.
The sources added that the said moral cop seems to be non-corrupt and does not in anyway try to extort money from these orchestra bars, unlike many of his colleagues.
This moral policing has resulted in patrons decreasing steadily, causing a loss to the business. The bar owners are planning to take up the matter with the higher authorities in the police department.
Orchestra bars became popular after the Maharashtra government banned the dance bars. The state government added that these dance bars were encouraging prostitution and thereby supposedly destroying scores of families. The government allowed
orchestra bars to perform after the ban but with lots of limitations.
However, sources claim that soliciting occurs under the guise of orchestra bars too.
The Kajimoto Laboratory at the University of Electro-Communications in Japan is conducting research into tactile communications, with the aim of creating a device which can effectively transmit the feeling of a kiss:
This device is for communications within the mouth, in other words, the goal is to obtain the feeling of kissing.
If you take one device in your mouth and turn it with your tongue, the other device turns in the same way. If you turn it back the other way, then your partner's turns back the same way, so your partner's device turns
whichever way your own device turns.
If a system is put together to handle the values over a network, then it would be easy for this operation to be conducted remotely.
The elements of a kiss include the sense of taste, the manner of breathing, and the moistness of the tongue. If we can recreate all of those I think it will be a really powerful device.
The South Korean government has put its plan to establish the legal grounds to punish the operators of bars and clubs that are a cover for male prostitution on hold.
Cabinet members suspended a vote on the bill for the law revision proposed by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, asking for a more thorough review and examination.
The suspension came after President Lee Myung-bak put the brakes on the move said the revised law could legally acknowledge host bars where young males entertain female customers, often sexually, and therefore more profound measures
to prevent such illegal practices were necessary.
Under the current law the authorities cannot arrest such male workers and their employers as only females are defined as jeopdaebu, a Korean term referring to those who serve drinks and sell sex at bars or clubs. The proposed bill was to
include males in the definition to fix the loophole.
The health ministry now plans to discuss the issue with the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Gender, Equality and Family, as well as the National Police Agency.
Scotland Yard has been accused of endangering sex workers after it emerged that police were targeting brothels in London's Olympic boroughs as part of a coordinated clean-up operation ahead of the 2012 games.
The Yard's human exploitation unit (SCD9) incorporates a team dedicated to tackling vice-related crime in the five Olympic host boroughs: Waltham Forest, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Newham and Greenwich.
Figures recently released to parliament by the Home Office show SCD9 carried out 80 brothel raids between January to August 2010 in the five boroughs. There were a further 20 raids in Westminster and 13 in Camden expected to host the majority of
tourists who come to the capital for the games. In contrast, in the remaining 25 London boroughs, there were just 29 raids over the same period.
But the probation union, Napo, claimed the crackdown would have unintended consequences. Attempts to remove sex workers from the Olympic boroughs will be only a partial success, said Harry Fletcher, Napo's assistant general secretary: The strategy will drive the trade underground and prohibition merely distorts the laws of supply and demand. As a consequence, the trade will be more dangerous for women. Policy initiatives should address real problems, such as housing, health and safety, and not be based on flawed ideology which distorts the market and endangers the women.
Figures from the Open Door agency, a health clinic based in East London, appear to partially confirm Napo's claim. The agency reported that there has already been a significant displacement of sex workers throughout Newham, with a decline of 25%
in referrals to health clinics since the previous year. Napo said it appeared the women had not stopped working, but were moving to other areas where they could be more at risk of rape, robbery and assault.
The London initiative comes amid the usual bollox claims that increased numbers of trafficked sex workers will try to work in the capital during the Olympics.
Research shows no increase in trafficking of women during international sports events, said a spokeswoman for the English Collective of Prostitutes. Figures on the numbers of women trafficked into the UK have been exposed as false, yet
they are still used as an excuse to hound sex workers. Prohibition has never done anything but drive sex workers underground and into more danger. Is the government prepared for further tragedies like Ipswich and Bradford?
Soliciting sex could soon be criminalised, with jail sentences and hefty fines for offenders, if mean minded French lawmakers pass legislation that has been recommended by a parliamentary report.
The report recommends a EUR3,000 fine and up to six months in jail for those who solicit sex. Prostitution is not illegal in France, but procuring or soliciting other people for sex is.
Penned by lawmakers Danielle Bousquet (Socialist Party) and Guy Geoffrey (ruling UMP), the report argues that, Punishing clients would make them understand that they are engaged in a form of exploitation. It would reaffirm the principle
of non-commercialisation of the human body and bury the myth that prostitution is simply the 'oldest trade in the world' once and for all.
But Mistress Gilda, a spokesperson for the French prostitutes' union STRASS, said the law would push the sex trade further underground and would have a profoundly negative impact on thousands of women and men who work in the sex trade in France.
It would send prostitution even further to the fringes and put some of the most vulnerable people on the streets, under complete control of exploitative pimps.
Writing about the widely-reported story of a man who ran from a San Francisco porn shop engulfed in flames, AOL crime journalist David Lohr penned the following headline: A Sign? Man Bursts Into Flames at San Francisco Sex Shop.
This is a quote from a local pastor who's tried for years to close down local sex shops?
Could this bizarre incident be attributed to a higher power? Pastor Roget Huang is asked. I believe so, answers Huang. I definitely believe so.
The police aren't ruling anything out, writes Lohr. The police lieutenant agrees. We don't know what caused it, says SFPD Lt. Troy Dangerfield. It's still under investigation.
The man (burnt by the flames of hell) remains in critical condition with first, second, and third-degree burns over 90% of his body.
A fire investigator is still looking into the case, reports Lohr: Oddly, authorities have found 'no damage to the inside of the building at all.'
I don't know if you believe in prayer, Huang tells AOL News, but ... the last seven years, every August, I go to every store and pray that it [will] be closed down. We have had seven or eight that have been closed down ever since.
Presumably Pastor Huang now appears on the suspects list.
It began just over a decade ago as a social experiment aimed at getting prostitutes off the streets of the industrial city of Dortmund. With local council help, a 300-metre red light area was set up in the city's Ravensburger Street.
Containers nicknamed Bird houses were installed to facilitate the oldest profession. A Catholic-run advice centre set up near by and there were doctors' practices to help out. The project was so successful that delegations from throughout
Europe came to inspect what became known as the Dortmund model .
But, this week the city council bowed to overwhelming public pressure and shut down Ravensburger Street.
The city council says that the project worked well until 2007 when impoverished Bulgaria and Romania joined the EU. Mayor Ullrich Sierau said that after 2007, hundreds of Bulgarian prostitutes arrived with the gangs who control them. There were
shootings and big increases in organised crime. Dortmund now has about 700 registered prostitutes, many of them Bulgarian.
Under intense scrutiny from the government and crusading advocacy groups, as well as state attorneys general, owner Craig Newmark memorably applied the label Censored in his classifieds where adult advertising once
During the same September hearing of a subcommittee of the House Judiciary, members of Congress listened to vivid and chilling accounts regarding underage prostitution.
The congressmen heard testimony from half a dozen nonprofit executives and law enforcement officials. But the most alarming words of the day came from Deborah Richardson, the chief program officer of the Women's Funding
Network. She told legislators that juvenile prostitution is exploding at an astronomical rate.
An independent tracking study released today by the Women's Funding Network shows that over the past six months, the number of underage girls trafficked online has risen exponentially in three diverse states, Richardson claimed.
Michigan: a 39.2 percent increase; New York: a 20.7 percent increase; and Minnesota: a staggering 64.7 percent increase.
In the wake of this bombshell revelation, Richardson's disturbing figures found their way into some of the biggest newspapers in the country. USA Today, the Houston Chronicle, the Miami Herald, the Minneapolis Star Tribune,
and the Detroit Free Press all repeated the dire statistics as gospel.
The successful assault on Craigslist was followed by a cross-country tour by Richardson and the Women's Funding Network.
None of the media that published Richardson's astonishing numbers bothered to examine the study at the heart of her claim. If they had, they would have found what we did after asking independent experts to examine the
research: It's junk science.
The widely reported statistics on underage prostitution that helped shutter Craigslist's adult classifieds section last year certainly sounded ominous, but a Village Voice report on the study that produced the statistics found it to be a rather
blatant example of trashy, agenda-driven research.
The study's hard numbers -- which showed a 20 percent increase in underage prostitution in New York, a 40 percent rise in Michigan and a stunning 65 percent jump in Minnesota -- were dutifully reported by news media around the country. But last
week, the Village Voice -- and its network of alternative weeklies -- featured a front-page article by Nick Pinto calling out the junk science that went into the study. It's now clear they used fake data to deceive the media and lie to
Congress, wrote Pinto. And it was all done to score free publicity and a wealth of public funding.
According to Pinto, the researchers' methodology went something like this: they took a bunch of photos of youthful looking women whose ages were known. They showed them to a group of people and asked them whether the women in the photos
looked to be age 18 or older. From the photos, people correctly identified the under-aged girls 38 percent of the time, so the study concluded that for every 100 'young' looking girls selling sex, 38 are under 18 years of age.
Then they counted all the photos advertising sex with young looking girls on sites like Craigslist, and voila! -- a trend was born.
Fiona Patten of the Australian Sex Party tells us what happens when you declare pornography on an Australian landing card.
My customs declaration card asked if I was carrying any goods that may be prohibited or subject to restrictions, such as medicines, steroids, firearms, weapons of any kind, illegal pornography or illicit drugs ?
The DVDs I had were vanilla US porn. But because Australia's classification laws around the X rating are so strict just about every film that is classified X18+ in Australia requires a few edits to make it legal.
Without those edits it would become part of the Refused Classification classification and illegal porn under Customs regulations.
I showed the first customs official my Incoming Passenger Card with 'yes ticked for question one and tried to show him my films but was quickly sent to another official. He checked my card and again I tried to show
him my discs but was told to put them away for now. All of my bags were then X-rayed - why I'm not sure. Again I was asked about my answer to question one and again I tried to show the official my films but was asked to put them away and
directed to a counter behind a screen.
Finally an officer wanted to see my porn. Well actually I don't think he did but it was his job. I placed the DVD boxes on the counter and the officer had a quick look at the back cover informing me that this was not what
they were looking for. They were only interested in illegal pornography.
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal-OSHA) has fined Hustler Video $14,175 for failing to use condoms in its productions.
According to the citation issued to Hustler Video and obtained by AVN, Cal-OSHA cites three violations, in which the video production company failed to provide condoms or other protective equipment for performers. Additionally the company
was cited for failure to provide an injury and illness prevention program, and for failing to provide protection against other potentially infectious materials. Hustler was fined $4,725 for each violation.
Also cited was Mark Zane's Forsaken Pictures, which was fined $12,150 for three violations. According to the complaint, it appears that Forsaken's fines were in connection to producing an adult movie for Hustler Video.
The inspection of the Hustler Video was prompted by a complaint from anti porn nutters of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF). And of course nutters are never satisified. AHF president Michael Weinstein said:
Something is better than nothing, but I don't know how long it takes Larry Flynt to make $14,000, Weinstein commented. I suspect it's not very long, so we would want to see something sterner. We would like to see an order
prohibiting use that shuts down Hustler productions, and of course, we want to see the city revoke the permits and we want to see the LA County Department of Health also step in and declare it a public health nuisance, but every little bit
helps. It's now established that it's against the law in California to produce [adult movies] without condoms and we're looking forward to actions by the Cal/OSHA Standards Board this year on regulations specific to the industry. We will
continue to lobby the city and the county to be more aggressive as well.
The French government looks set to criminalise buying sex in a change to the law on prostitution. Under current plans, soliciting will remain a crime.
After parliament commissioned a report on prostitution, Social Affairs Minister Roselyne Bachelot told a parliamentary select committee that she favoured such an approach, which is already used in Sweden.
There is no such thing as prostitution which is freely chosen and consenting, Bachelot claimed. The sale of sexual acts means that women's bodies are made available, for men, independently of the wishes of those women.
In mid-April, the committee is to publish its conclusions, which could include a recommendation to change the law, but there would be no vote, or implementation of any such law, before 2012.
MPs are considering introducing fines for clients, and even prison sentences.
Claire Quidet of the Mouvement du Nid, which wants prostitution outlawed said society must impose limits, you do not buy a sex act.
But Isabelle Schweiger of sex-workers' union Strass is worried that the proposed change would merely push prostitution underground.
Some groups want the 2003 law which prohibits soliciting for sex, to be abolished. Bachelot does not intend to repeal the law, but a government source explained that it will almost certainly be dropped next year, to conform with European Union
directives on the issue of double jeopardy.