Canada's federal government was reviewing its legal options Monday after Ontario's top court swept aside some of the country's anti-prostitution laws, saying they place unconstitutional restrictions on prostitutes' ability to protect themselves.
But it doesn't seem that Prime Minister Stephen Harper is very pleased about safer sex work. He spewed to Postmedia News:
There's some elements we like more than others. We'll examine the decision and decide what the next steps are. But I think the position of this government is well-known. We view prostitution as bad for society, and we
view its effects as particularly harmful for our communities and for women, and particularly for vulnerable women. And so we will continue to oppose prostitution in Canada.
The landmark decision means sex workers in Ontario will be
able to hire drivers, bodyguards and support staff and work indoors in organized brothels or bawdy houses, while exploitation by pimps remains illegal.
However, openly soliciting customers on the street remains prohibited, with the
judges deeming that a reasonable limit on the right to freedom of expression.
The Ontario Court of Appeal suspended the immediate implementation of striking the bawdy house law for a year to allow the government an opportunity to amend the
The decision is binding in Ontario only, but will undoubtedly prompt similar challenges in other provinces.
Federal opposition parties suggested the government was making an inappropriate response to the ruling, urging it to
bring the debate to Parliament to develop a solution to protect vulnerable women at risk. NDP deputy leader Libby Davies.
I think the response of the Conservative government always implies a moral involvement and moral
judgment. The issue here is the status of the law and the fact that sex work does take place. The issue for us to respond to is how do we protect and ensure that sex workers' rights are upheld just as any other member of society. That's what has been at
the core of these court decisions.
Three majority justices of the five-judge panel wrote in their decision:
The government's attempt to salvage its prostitution prohibitions, implies that those who
choose to engage in the sex trade are for that reason not worthy of the same constitutional protection as those who engage in other dangerous, but legal enterprises.
Prostitution is a controversial topic, one that provokes heated
and heartfelt debate about morality, equality, personal autonomy and public safety. It is not the court's role to engage in that debate. Our role is to decide whether or not the challenged laws accord with the Constitution, which is the supreme law of
America is suffering a pandemic of harm from pornography. A wealth of research is now available demonstrating that pornography causes profound brain changes in both children and adults,
resulting in widespread negative consequences. Addiction to pornography is now common for adults and even for some children. The average age of first exposure to hard-core, Internet pornography is now 11. Pornography is toxic to marriages and
relationships. It contributes to misogyny and violence against women. It is a contributing factor to prostitution and sex trafficking.
Every family must now be concerned about the harm from pornography. As a parent, I
am concerned about the widespread distribution of illegal obscene pornography and its profound effects on our culture.
For many decades, the American public has actively petitioned the United States Congress for laws
prohibiting distribution of hard-core adult pornography.
Congress has responded. Current federal obscenity laws prohibit distribution of hardcore (obscene) pornography on the Internet, on cable/satellite TV, on
hotel/motel TV, in retail shops and through the mail or by common carrier. Rick Santorum believes that federal obscenity laws should be vigorously enforced. If elected President, I will appoint an Attorney General who will do so.
The Obama Administration has turned a blind eye to those who wish to preserve our culture from the scourge of pornography and has refused to enforce obscenity laws. While the Obama Department of Justice seems to favor pornographers
over children and families, that will change under a Santorum Administration.
I proudly support the efforts of the War on Illegal Pornography Coalition that has tirelessly fought to get federal obscenity laws enforced.
That coalition is composed of 120 national, state, and local groups, including Morality in Media, Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, American Family Association, Cornerstone Family Council of New Hampshire, Pennsylvania Family Institute,
Concerned Women for America, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and a host of other groups. Together we will prevail.
Update: Nutters harangue Mitt Romney to follow Rick
Santorum's anti-porn promises
21st March 2012. From waronillegalpornography.com
Greetings and best wishes. We are writing to seek a meeting with you in the near future to discuss the necessity of enforcing federal obscenity laws should you be elected president. Those laws prohibit
distribution of obscene (hardcore) pornography on the Internet, on cable/satellite TV, on hotel/motel TV, in retail shops, through the mail, and by common carrier.
The U.S. Department of Justice has stopped all enforcement of
these laws at a time when our nation is suffering an untreated pandemic of harm from pornography.
Illegal adult obscenity contributes to addiction, divorce and break up of families, harm to children who have easy access to the
material, violence against women and misogyny, as well as to sexual trafficking. Children are targeted by the pornography industry, and they often engage in sexually exploitive behaviors as a result of their exposure to pornography. Many suffer
Consumption of adult pornography leads many to consume harder and more deviant material over time and even leads many to consume child pornography, contributing to the widespread and increasing problem of
child pornography distribution in America.
We believe that the next president needs to understand that a wealth of research now exists that provides overwhelmingly evidence of the great harms caused by pornography. We deserve to
have the nation's obscenity laws enforced. There is widespread public support for enforcement of these laws, which were passed overwhelmingly by the United States Congress.
We look forward to meeting with you and thank you for
Alan E Sears: President, CEO, & General Counsel, Alliance Defense Fund Tony Perkins: President, Family Research Council Phil Burres: President, Citizens for Community Values Bishop Harry
Jackson: Washington, DC Mathew d Staver: Founder and Chairman, Liberty Counsel Tim Wildmon: President, American Family Association Donna Rice Hughes: President, Enough is Enough Laura Lederer: President Global Centurion Ted Baehr:
Chairman, Christian Film & Television Commission Josh McDowell: Josh McDowell Ministry Austin Ruse: President, Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute Patrick A Trueman: President & CEO, Morality in Media Dr Richard Land:
President, Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
Comment: Rick, If You're Against Porn, Don't Watch It
In 2008, Florida's 8th Congressional District elected what would turn out to be one of Congress's most liberal members, Alan Grayson.
But having been voted out of his congressional seat in 2010 hasn't stopped the feisty former New Yorker from
commenting on a wide variety of social issues ... including porn.
He has excellently responded to Rick Santorum's nutter pandering call to prosecute makers and sellers of hardcore porn. He wrote:
In a TV
interview on Sunday, Rick Santorum said that if he is elected President, he will file criminal charges against the distribution of pornography. Santorum specifically referred to exposure on the Internet, so presumably he would censor the Internet.
The Internet Police. What a concept.
I have a dramatically simpler idea.
Rick, if you're against pornography, then don't watch it.
You see how that works? Let me give you some more examples.
If you're against contraception, don't use it.
If you're against abortion, don't have one.
If you're against Moslems,
don't become one.
If you're against gay marriage, don't have one.
If you're against unions, don't join one.
If you're against universal health care, just keep your distance from
doctors and hospitals.
If you're against homosexuality, then feel free to limit your sexual interest to the 3 billion human beings of the opposite gender.
What I'm basically trying to say to Rick Santorum,
and everyone like Rick Santorum, is this: mind your own business.
Former Senator Rick Santorum surprised few today with his decision to pull up stakes and suspend his campaign for the Republican nomination for president.
This also means that, unless he is tapped for the ticket, Santorum's so-called war on
porn is officially a dead issue. Romney may share the same belief about prosecuting porn, but he is so uncomfortable with any subject that is even remotely messy that it is inconceivable he will ever mention the p word without having been forced
to do so, and even then he'll probably just walk away from the issue altogether.
A bill to regulate the Dutch sex industry has been put on ice in the Upper House. Justice and Security Minister Ivo Opstelten has been told to provide more information on storing data and to investigate whether the plan infringes on human rights.
The bill stipulates that customers have to ascertain whether prostitutes are working legally, because it is a criminal offence to visit an illegal prostitute. This means customers have to be able to find out whether the establishment has a licence, so that they can rest assured that prostitutes are working legally.
Prostitutes who do not work for a brothel have to be registered, so that customers can check their status by phone or on the internet.
The minister does not want to scrap registration altogether, but is willing to have prostitutes
registered under a number rather than under their own name and address.
A Metropolitan police squad has come under fire in a highly critical report commissioned by the London mayor, Boris Johnson, for its investigations into sex trafficking in the run up to the Olympics.
The report accuses officers of a heavy
handed approach to brothel raids and of failing to find victims of trafficking.
The report, Silence On Violence , from London assembly member Andrew Boff, is being considered by Johnson. It criticises the police performance and
estimates that they have a success rate of less than 1% in finding trafficking victims during brothel raids.
Police had predicted an increase in sex trafficking in the run up to the Olympics, but they have admitted that they have failed to find
any evidence of a rise in the five Olympics host boroughs. That is despite a cash injection of £ 500,000 from the Government Office for London to specifically target the crime.
The report provides an excellent
summary and a more realistic understanding of where trafficking victims may actually be located, in more closed communities:
Policing of sex trafficking
The Olympics led to heightened
media interest that trafficking and prostitution in London would rise. As a result, the Metropolitan Police Service has received additional funds to tackle sex trafficking. However, I found no strong evidence that trafficking for sexual exploitation does
in fact increase during sporting events nor that such trafficking or prostitution had increased in London. In fact my research found that a decrease in prostitution had been reported by police in London.
The data I have however
reveals that raids have increased significantly overall in the Olympic host boroughs. This has not led to a large numbers of sex traffickers being caught nor victims found. This suggests that either sex trafficking is not taking place on as large a scale
as suggested or, more worryingly, that the way we are policing sex trafficking could be more effective.
Focusing on non-organised sex trafficking
While investigating the policing of sex trafficking I
came across a new area of concern. The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) unit which tackles sex trafficking focuses on organised crime – hence their focus on brothels . However while brothel raids discovered largely eastern European and
Asian victims, one sex trafficking referral centre told me that their largest group of victims were from West Africa. Other data I found also supported this. Some sex trafficking is not organised and does not take place in brothels.
One trafficking charity said that many sex trafficking victims they work with had been sexually exploited by someone familiar to them within a closed community. I am concerned that not enough police resource is looking into this area
and that policing of sex trafficking too narrowly focuses on brothels. Evidence-based work needs to be done to work out where, when and how sex trafficking occurs and then police it accordingly.
Not prioritising crime against
Sex workers feel that when they report crimes, police focus on their crimes related to sex work – such as having a brothel - over the crimes they originally reported against them. Therefore sex workers
told me they feel that they cannot safely report crime to the police. The service providers I spoke to, who work with sex workers, all said that they had noticed a decline in the number of sex workers reporting crimes to police.
The best policing model I found to tackle this lack of reporting was in Merseyside. This included labelling attacks against sex workers as hate crimes as a way of acknowledging that they were a minority who were disproportionately targeted by criminals. It also included the police putting out a well-publicised message that crimes against sex workers would not go unpunished. This strategy was formed under the leadership of Bernard Hogan-Howe, the new MPS Commissioner.
Lebanon's online escort services promise that beautiful women, and some men, can be delivered to your door and be at your service for a hefty fee. But these escort agencies also appear to exact a high price from the women involved, and differ in some key
ways from the prostitution that takes place in country's nightclubs and super nightclubs.
Prostitution is nominally legal in licensed brothels in Lebanon, but no new licenses have been issued in decades. It takes place through the well-known
artist license loophole, which is given to women working out of night clubs.
Maya Ammar of KAFA (Enough Violence and Exploitation), an anti-sex work group, says the artist visa is a so-called legal scheme, whereas the women who work in
these [escort] companies are part of the 'illegal' sector.
Women with artist visas are tested monthly for HIV, AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. These medical checkups are regulated by the Interior Ministry and General Security.
Women who contract STDs can't return to work until they are cleared by doctors, and those non-Lebanese who get HIV lose their visas.
Arranging an evening with an escort is fairly simple. When a reporter from The Daily Star called the mobile
numbers listed on several websites and asked to meet with specific women, he was provided with their mobile numbers. Meetings were arranged on the same night, and prices were negotiated. Over the phone, the women described the sexual acts they were
willing to engage in.
And all of this is operates under the nose of the government. The Internal Security Force's Office of Electronic Crimes is tasked with shutting down the websites that advertise such services. A security source told The Daily
Star that while the businesses are illegal, they are difficult to close given the ease with which sites can pop up again.
Many of the websites make a nod toward legality with disclaimers saying that they simply connect people with independent
escorts. But any such services advertised online that are reimbursed with money violate the law, a source said.
Residents of the Swiss city of Zurich will vote Sunday on whether to build dedicated garages where prostitutes can ply their trade, in a proposal aimed at moving streetwalkers away from residential zones.
Proponents for the Zurich referendum want
a parking zone built for prostitutes by 2013 at the entrance to the city.
The site would be open from 7pm to 5am, and would have an alley where prostitutes and clients can cruise along and garages where they can carry out their transaction.
The site will be shielded from sight by signs, be fitted with showers and toilets and will feature a gynaecologist for any medical problems and volunteers from the Flora Dora women's group for any advice.
The proposed site aims to eliminate area's
like Zurich's Sihlquai area, where about 60 streetwalkers work every night.
There is a lot of competition along Sihlquai, where many women go with their clients to the backyards of buildings, creating a difficult situation for residents who
have to put up with the noise and disorder, said Ursula Kocher, who heads Flora Dora.
Kocher said that the proposal had the support of the prostitutes themselves, as it could offer better security.
As the parking site would be under the
authority of the municipality, officials can get rid of overly aggressive clients, said Kocher.
The forthcoming London Olympics have sent the media into a feeding frenzy of scare mongering. Warning us that tens of thousands of sex slaves are under starter's orders in outlying foreign counties, ready to sprint headlong, handcuffed in readiness,
to England for the start of the games.
As a global anti-trafficking organisation, GAATW is concerned that international sporting events are being linked with increases in trafficking for prostitution, without supporting evidence.
How likely is this?
Trafficked sex workers are as hard to get your hands on in London as face value stadium tickets.
The police have spent years and 5 million quid with their
specialist task force Operation Pentameter hunting for sex slaves and found hardly any. How do they expect a non-English speaking tourist with a dog-eared A to Z or an IPhone app to find them?
So who's telling fibs and why?
This unsporting bout of statistical fakery has been created by the media and the abolitionists, including the Poppy Project and the Salvation Army. These groups would like to see an end to the commercial sex industry. By saying
sex workers are all victims of abuse or trafficking they get an outraged public onto their side of the argument to criminalise prostitutes and punters. If a story, or myth is repeated often enough and loud enough it seeps into the public psyche. People
accept it as fact and act accordingly.
Enjoying the services of a prostitute in Israel may cost you more than money - it may get you time in jail, under a proposed law that would criminalize buying sexual services.
A few people demonstrated outside of Israel's parliament on Sunday to
lobby lawmakers to adopt legislation making the purchase of sexual services from prostitutes punishable up to five months in jail. They would also have to attend a two-day educational program, known as the School for Johns. Similar protests took
place in New York, Washington DC and London. The demonstrations were organized by group called Atzum,
Every country that has put this in place, the Scandinavian countries, England, San Francisco has seen a rapid decrease in the amount of
prostitution both because the criminalization itself sends a message to prospective clients and the publication of their names, the shame proves daunting, especially in a society this small, said Rabbi Levi Lauer, executive director of Atzum.
A woman's body shouldn't be for sale. Women aren't a commodity, demonstrator Rose Prevezer told The Media Line. I believe that this bill ... is the best way possible to reduce violence against women, to reduce the rate of sex trafficking in the
country. In countries where they have instituted it, it has been proved to be a very effective deterrent.
On February 12, Israel's Ministerial Legislative Committee will be weighing a law containing these provisions proposed by MK Orit
Zuaretz, who belongs to the opposition Kadima Party. From there it will begin its journey in the parliament until it becomes law.
If this legislation is passed we will see a radical decrease in the amount of prostitution and consequently an
even more radical decrease in the amount of trafficking of women into Israel, Lauer told The Media Line.
An earlier attempt to pass similar legislation in 2009 was rejected for a variety of reasons.
A bill that will make paying for sex services a criminal offense passed its preliminary reading in the Knesset plenum on Wednesday and will be forwarded to one of the
parliamentary committees for further review and adjustments before becoming law.
The legislation was proposed by MK Orit Zuaretz (Kadima), chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Trafficking in Women, and is supported by many Knesset members from across
the political spectrum. Related:
It will impose a sentence of six-months in jail or community service on any person who utilizes the services of a prostitute or pays for any other related sexual services.
On Sunday, the Ministerial
Committee for Legislation gave the bill its initial stamp of approval, and the proposed draft is already being well-received by anti-prostitution groups.
Earlier on Wednesday, Zuaretz held a hearing in her committee to discuss the success of the
bill thus far and to explore next steps if and when the law is finally passed
A majority of Israelis oppose proposed legislation
which would make paying for sexual services a criminal offense punishable with a prison sentence or community service, according to a Dahaf Institute poll commissioned by the Knesset Channel.
While only 34% of respondents said they supported the
bill, which passed its preliminary reading in the Knesset plenum last week, 59% answered that they oppose the proposed legislation.
The Philippines Senate has now passed on final reading a proposed law with extreme penalties for cybersex, child pornography on the web, spamming, and other cybercrimes.
Under Senate Bill 2796, people engaging in cybersex-defined as the willful
engagement, maintenance, control, or operation, directly or indirectly, of any lascivious exhibition of sexual organs or sexual activity, with the aid of a computer system -will be imprisoned for 6 to 12 years or made to pay a fine of P200,000 to P1
East Java Deputy Governor Saifullah Yusuf has vowed to close down all red-light districts in the province but warned it could only be done in steps.
Speaking at an Islamic boarding school in Pasuruan, Saifullah said his administration would work
with the Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI) to close down all brothels across the province.
He said the administration would deal with the economic fallout of shutting down an entire industry and find new jobs for sex workers, while the MUI would
handle moral aspects of the campaign.
Surabaya, the provincial capital, is home to the Dolly red-light district, said to be the biggest in Southeast Asia. City authorities have already restricted its opening hours and prohibited the hiring
of new sex workers in a bid to slowly phase it out.
Pham Thanh Kien, Vice Chairman of District 1 People's Committee, confirmed the district's administration has steered subordinate governments to crackdown on the illegal services at the striptease restaurants this month.
The official made the
decision right after several articles on Vietnamese ladies offering beer bathing and other nude services to foreigners were printed in Tuoi Tre newspaper.
He said besides strengthening inspections, and education, local authorities had other special
methods to stop the violations. Restaurants that repeat the offences several times will have their investment licenses revoked.
With huge profits, the businesses resume operations successfully soon after they are suspended or closed
down, Kien complained. Despite this complicated situation, we are determined to deal with the violated restaurants this month, he added.
According to the municipal department of Culture, Sport and Tourism, last year, teams have inspected
230 enterprises that offer entertainment services in the city and found 220 cases in violation. Common violations include operating without a license, offering obscene entertainment services and prostitution activities.
Sex toys are still a difficult topic in many South Asian countries. In India they're often sold as massage products because officially they're banned. Even though the demand on black markets across the region is high, a law change is nowhere near in
sight. But across the border in Nepal, the authorities have shown a much more progressive attitude towards the positive effects of sex toys.
When new customers come here the first thing they ask us 'Is this legal?' When we show our license they are
relieved to find out that it's legal what they are doing, says Manish Paudel, the owner of the first shop for sex toys in Nepal.
Paudel's shop Sweet Secret is located on one of Kathmandu's busiest streets, but the entry is discretely
tucked away in a corner ally. That was one of the criteria the government office set for Paudel before he could open his shop. Though legal in Nepal, his products cannot be openly displayed.
To Paudel this limitation is not an issue. With a
steadily growing client base, his shop has become so successful that he's opening three more branches across Nepal in the coming months.
Sweet Secret provides a wide range of imported products, from dildo's and colourful vibrators to blow-up
dolls. But most customers that come here are not looking for the more kinky toys. It's the basic condoms that sell the best.
To address the many questions they get from the often shy Nepalese as effectively as possible, there is an online
question desk on the shop's website. The owners say they receive about 200 questions a day via this service.
Anti-sex trade campaigners have claimed backing from 80 TDs (MPs) and senators (out of 226), for their demands to criminalise buying sex in Ireland.
An umbrella group, calling itself Turn off the Red Light , want to see Nordic-style
repression introduced in Ireland which would grant sex workers immunity while those who buy sex are persecuted.
Sarah Benson, of Ruhama - one of 48 organisations in the campaign - said the threat of fines and criminal convictions similar to that
in Sweden, Norway and Iceland was needed to stamp out the exploitation of vulnerable sex workers. She said:
The profile of sex buyers is that they tend to be men of means, they tend to be married, they are people who
care about their reputations.
Consistent studies of sex buyers in the UK and the US indicate the greatest deterrent to buying sex would be either a criminal offence or being named.
That's what we will be
driving at. We wouldn't be looking to lock up (sex customers) and throw away the key.
The motivation is to create a deterrent effect in recognition that the trade is exploitative, that those who are bought for sex suffer serious
harm as a consequence, and that really we would like Ireland to adopt a similar message to other countries who say buying sex is not okay.
Benson was among a delegation from Turn off the Red Light who met with four TDs, representing
the Independents technical group. Benson said they had a very positive response from the Independents.
The only proof necessary to realize that the intention of Missouri's new strip club law is to drive all clubs out of the state is the fact that it was drafted with the help of the Missouri/Kansas faction of the American Family Association.
perfect illustration of the insidious and anti-American influence of this and other like-minded groups is the success they have had getting supposedly lethal laws like the strip club ordinances either passed or in motion in states like Missouri, Ohio and
Kansas, as well as in counties and cities throughout the nation. These ordinances are generally similar, imposing restrictions on hours of operation, dress codes, and the amount of physical contact allowed between dancers and customers, if any,
especially if alcohol is served.
But the Kansas City Star has reported that one club in the state, Bazooka's, is testing the limitations of the law in a very creative way, and thus far is not only getting away with it, but is creating very happy
customers as a result.
Bazooka's, an adult entertainment venue in downtown Kansas City, now offers videos of its nude and seminude dancers on large, flat-screen televisions adjacent to the stage, the paper reported. While a dancer performs live
with her intimate areas covered, as the law requires, a video of the same dancer---with those areas exposed---appears on the screens.
According to the club's owner, Dick Snow, the idea behind the videos is to meet the language of the law while
still allowing the club to stay open after midnight, while also giving his clientele what they came for.
A spokesman for the Kansas City Police Department said the department had received no complaints about Bazooka's videos and said it did not
appear that the establishment was violating any local or state laws, reported the Star.
The South Korean government has written to a number of Sydney mayors asking them to snitch on Koreans found to be involved in prostitution.
The move comes on the back of figures suggesting at least 1000 of its nationals are working in the local
A letter sent by Jin Soo Kim, the Sydney Consul General for South Korea, has requested them to advise us immediately of any information on Korean nationals involved in illegal sex practices, either as a victim or an
offender . The letter says the consulate has a police attache ready to support enforcement activities where needed .
One mayor who received the letter, Hornsby's Nick Berman, said: It's not every day a foreign government writes to me
about anything. So when I get a letter on something so disturbing, I take it very seriously.
South Korea is understood to be pursuing reprisals against its nationals who willingly participate in the industry here, including a year in jail and
compulsory return to Korea. More serious offences, including sex trafficking, can lead to 10 years in jail.
South Korea sent its special ambassador for overseas Koreans, Moon Hayong, to Canberra in December to meet senior foreign affairs officials
and federal police. There have been reports of tensions between the two countries over the sex issue.
The Super Bowl is one of America's largest sporting events, and it is a time when nutters enjoy making ludicrous claims about thousands of girls, many under-aged that will somehow be trafficked to the event.
The award for this year's most
inane nutter campaigner must surely go to Theresa Flores, founder of Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution (S.O.A.P.). She told The Christian Post that major sporting events like the Super Bowl generally have more men in attendance who are visiting from
a different city, and often do things they wouldn't normally do at home. This creates a demand that traffickers and pimps are there willing and waiting to supply, she said.
Because of this, about 150 volunteers for S.O.A.P. are heading to
Indiana before the event to pass out soap at Indianapolis motels.
Each bar of soap will have a label on it with phrases like Are you being threatened? or Are you witnessing young girls being prostituted? The soap provides the number
for a human trafficking hotline so that those at the hotel, or young girls who are being trafficked, will see it and can call for help.
S.O.A.P. volunteers will distribute the bars Feb. 1-2, in conjunction with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
students who will hand out fliers to raise awareness for the trafficking issue with football fans.
Offsite Comment: Superbowl Sex Trafficking Increase? Super Nonsense
An increasing number of groups are intent on persuading Americans that we have a terrible and growing problem with sex trafficking. Their data is virtually non-existent, elided with words like experts agree, a shameful epidemic, and enormous human suffering.
The media reports their conferences and feral estimates, politicians grimly respond with vows of stricter laws, and the occasional wildly unusual victim is trotted out as proof of some enormous underground industry.
favorite ploy of anti-trafficking groups is to grimly remind us that major sporting events are a central focus of this evil. Every year, the NFL has to deny that they're the center of an odious international sex slavery ring. NFL spokesperson Brian
McCarthy says the super bowl sex slave story is a simply an urban legend.
But that doesn't stop those who are feeding---and feeding off of---America's latest Sex Panic.
Another unlicensed Soho sex shop on Walkers Court has been warned to cease trading as part of Westminster Council's long-running campaign against unlicensed shops selling hardcore DVDs.
Westminster Council allows a limited number of vendors of
adult DVDs, magazines and sex toys to trade in the West End, but such businesses are obliged to pay extortionate licence fees that cost about £ 30,000 per year.
Enterprise chief Councillor Brian Connell said
licensing council staff were working hard to put the remaining unlicensed sex shops in the streets and alleyways around Brewer Street out of business. Connell told the West End Extra:
In my view, cleaning up the
worst excesses of this trade is good for London and good for Westminster.
It's what we said we would do prior to the Olympics, so it is delivering on a commitment, and it also has the effect of making sure that legitimate
businesses don't run the risk of losing market share.
In 1999 Soho had 61 unlicensed sex shops. It now has nine, and of these, the courts are set to hear three closure hearings in the coming year. The council's declared intention is
for no unlicensed sex DVD shops to remain operational by the start of the Olympics.
Islington's last unlicensed sex shop has shut after a council raid found unclassified DVDs on the premises. Trading SubStandards and licensing staff visited DJD Retail, trading as Bookshop, at York Way in May last year, and seized DVDs and
The sole officer of the company, David Darbo, pleaded guilty to eight offences under the Video Recordings Act 1984 at Highbury Magistrates' Court last month.
Darbo was fined £ 3,150 and ordered to
pay £ 1,449 costs. DJD Retail admitted eight offences and was fined £ 100 for one offence.
A famous Parisian swingers club said to be a favourite haunt of ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn faces closure for allegedly allowing prostitutes to operate on its premises.
Les Chandelles has been shut down temporarily and police have placed
three people under investigation on suspicion of highly organised pimping .
Les Chandelles - which translates as The Candles - is located adjacent to the Louvre on Paris' elegant L'Avenue de l'Opera. It is regarded as the most exclusive of
the French capital's 50 swingers' clubs and members are reputed to include Strauss-Kahn, celebrities and several politicians.
Admittance is only granted to the wealthy, famous or extremely good-looking. The club hosts risque dancers and the chance
to swap partners or indulge in group sex in lounge and private rooms.
But detectives believe the club is frequented by high-class prostitutes and have shut it down until further notice.
Les Chandelles, a well-known club for swingers in Paris has been closed down by the capital's police for one month, according to the French radio station France Info.
Police began an investigation following reports that former
footballer Alim Ben Mabrouk was involved in a prostitution ring at the Chandelles.
Subsequent surveillance revealed that genuine swingers tended to frequent the club at weekends while during the week some men appeared to be visiting the club with
prostitutes to avoid paying hotel bills.
An account of a middle class Dublin woman's venture into sex work could act as a spur to impressionable young women to enter a trade that is dangerous and detrimental to mental health, nutters have claimed.
The book, Between the
Sheets , is an account of the alleged double life of a middle-class Dublin woman who lost her job and embarked on a life in prostitution to maintain her comfortable home and family lifestyle in the face of financial collapse . The author has
adopted the pseudonym Scarlett O'Kelly .
Penguin Ireland, the publishers, claim it will be one of the most controversial books of the year and say they are satisfied that the woman's account is genuine, adding:
The book claims to be 'an illuminating and explicit account of a year spent working as an escort in middle Ireland, a gripping account of living a double life, and the high price it exacts'.
The author, Scarlett
O'Kelly , said the sex industry was nothing like she expected it to be: I expected it to be seedy and awful and it wasn't. She said that during her time as an escort and prostitute, she had had sex with more than 150 men.
Dunlop of the Rape Crisis Centre said:
It is what is happening in terms of young people being sexualised before they are ready. It's unreal what is happening out there in terms of young people being inured to it.
Nusha Yonkova, Anti-Trafficking Project Co-ordinator with the Immigrant Council of Ireland, expressed serious reservations about any work that sought to portray prostitution as in any way a suitable or easy lifestyle:
The book would be read by young people who may be at an unstable point in their lives and this could act as an encouragement. It is very disappointing that Penguin has done this. I think it is purely to gain profits. It is a poor
The reality is that there are almost no middle-class, middle-aged women (in prostitution). The reality is that they are predominantly migrants from Eastern and Central Europe, poor central American countries and Africa.
There are some Irish women, but the majority of them would also have addiction problems. That is the difference. They would not be people who have choices.
Former Garda Detective Superintendent PJ Browne, who led an investigation into
Dublin's vice trade, said that, while he had not read the book, he was concerned about any impression that might be given that prostitution was a safe or lifestyle choice. He said:
We found that a large
number of young women working in prostitution were from very poor backgrounds and from countries where they could get no work. It is sordid and it is dangerous. I have no idea what experiences this woman had, but the vast majority of women working in
this trade in Ireland are young foreign women who are desperate for money.
AVN commentators suggested that maybe there is some shrewd business thinking going on.
Bill Marriott told an interviewer from the Associated Press:
I've always been concerned about [pornographic] movies in rooms. In the next three or four years, we won't have any more of those. That's something we've had a real problem with because the Church is very, very opposed to
pornography, as it should be, and we are for families. But the owners of our hotels were making a lot of money. In fact, the only movies that make any money are pornography.
The Church, of course, is the Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-Day Saints, or Mormons. And according to one hotel insider, porn accounts for 80 to 90 percent of all in-room movie purchases?
Now Marriott can keep the religious nutters happy by turning off their in-house porn systems. But the
replacement entertainment will provide internet access and a high definition TV for a suitable fee...
The very useful book entitled A Guide to the Working Ladies of London is said to be at the centre of a police prostitution probe.
The book lists the contact details, specialist services, working hours and charging policies of almost 600
sex workers in the capital. The £ 10 directory has sold more than 500 copies on Amazon, according to author George McCoy, a long time reviewer of sexual services.
However, Kit Malthouse, deputy Mayor of London
with responsibility for policing, said he would ask the Met to investigate the legality of the book. He spewed:
It strikes me that reviewing human beings in the same way as a restaurants is repellent.
The thing people forget is that the world of organised prostitution is also a world of organised crime, drug dealing and abuse. Anything like this that tries to sanitise it is revolting.
[A strange comment in a city where people spend so much time watching TV talent shows where people are rated for their ability to dance, cook, sing and...whatever].
McCoy, who has also written another useful book called Guide to the Agencies, Corrective Services and Parlours of London , said he took all the measures he could to ensure those listed work of their own free will, and had no moral
qualms about his work. He said:
I think we have far too many people in this world telling us how to behave.
Obviously we want to give a good example to the youth of the country, but you should
be free to do what we want as long as it's not going to harm anyone else.
A Met Police spokesman said they would consider investigating when they received information from Malthouse:
Metropolitan Police Service's human exploitation and organised crime command responds to, and builds up, intelligence pictures in areas of the sex industry where the most harm may be done. Our primary aim is to make London a hostile environment for
traffickers and those who exploit people to operate in.
A German city that introduced a tax on street prostitutes via kerb-side meters has said that the programme had been a success and would continue.
The Bonn government said a sex tax covering levies on sauna clubs, erotic centres and
automated pay stations similar to parking meters that were rolled out in August had brought in around 250,000 euros last year. About 14,000 euros came from the sex meters.
Bonn was the first city in Germany to introduce the meters for sex workers
as a means of extending a general tax on prostitution previously only levied on indoor sex businesses.
The meters were installed in an industrial area near the centre of town with each sex worker paying six euros per night worked, regardless of
how many customers they have. Those repeatedly caught without a ticket they can be fined.
The Olympics and Trafficking: Myths and Evidence London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London, WC1E 7HT Wednesday 25 January 2012 5:45pm
Julie Ham, GAATW
Marlise Richter, International Centre for Reproductive Health, Ghent University
Joanna Busza, LSHTM
In the lead up to the 2012 Olympic Games, concerns have been raised about the possibility of an increase in trafficking for sexual exploitation linked to the event. Similar rumours were circulated prior to other international sporting
events, including the World Cup in Germany and South Africa, the Olympics in Athens and Vancouver, and the US Super Bowl. Yet once the fans go home, the media loses interest, and little is heard about the consistent lack of evidence for any rise in sex
Recent research demonstrates that anti-trafficking measures put into place in a range of countries have proved irrelevant, or harmful in cases where sex workers become increasingly criminalised and unable to access
health and social programmes.
As the 2012 Olympics come to London, this seminar will review the international evidence on trafficking, sex work and sports events, consider public health implications, and ask to what extent police
and local authorities here in the UK are basing their policies on evidence.
Admission: Free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis.
John Mann, the Labour MP for Bassetlaw has introduced a private members bill to criminalise people for paying for sex from adults aged 18 to 20. It is titled Sexual Offences (Amendment).
It was introduced to the House of Commons on 18th
John Mann: I beg to move:
That leave be given to bring in a Bill to amend the Sexual Offences Act 2003 to create an offence of paying for sexual services of a person under the age of 21
years; and for connected purposes.
In talking about this subject, I shall turn directly to the issue of drugs, on which I have frequently spoken before in the House. It is a key issue in respect of the problem the Bill addresses,
and I think the Bill will have a positive impact.
Legislation has many purposes, one of which is to change people's behaviour. Many previous Governments have passed far too much criminal justice legislation that attempts to send
messages and give signals to society. This Bill does not attempt to do that; rather, it attempts to change behaviour, which is a far more effective strategy.
There are three main ways in which teenagers, both boys and girls, get
drawn into prostitution; one of them is trafficking. The Bill does not deal with that topic in detail, but it has been well aired in this House in recent times. As a result, there has been a flurry of legislation, but it needs to be used far more
effectively---both the Government and the police must deliver.
This Bill's measures would not have a major impact on trafficking, and they should not be considered as an answer to that problem. Instead, they should be seen merely
as a minor assist. Trafficking is, however, one way in which teenagers get cajoled into prostitution.
Abuse and drugs are far more significant factors, however, especially with younger teenagers, and the Bill will make a greater
impact in dealing with them. Those two factors---sometimes in combination---tend to lead to the dysfunctional behaviour of 16, 17 and 18-year-olds entering the world of prostitution. Sometimes that happens through coercion and sometimes it happens
through desperation, although an element of both is often involved.
I am not here to make a moral speech about prostitution.. .[BUT] ... There is an important debate to be held on the
rights and wrongs of prostitution and the laws that should have an impact on it, by my Bill does not deal with that. My Bill does one thing: it raises the threshold for the illegality of paying for sex. Of course there is a threshold, which is currently
16. Where someone is under 16, the huge consequences of the criminal law and imprisonment are involved because of the age of consent. But the moment the victim becomes older than 16 there are no punitive powers to deal with the person who is paying. I
wish to see this Bill adopted by the Government at some stage solely and simply to raise that threshold, because by raising the threshold one raises the threshold. That may sound like a truism, but this approach will change the behaviour of those
choosing to pay. The behavioural implication is there for those worried about breaching the criminal law and risking 14 years in prison because someone could be a minor of 15 and a half years old. On that borderline, threshold behaviour changes, so I
would like Parliament to change that threshold to 21. In essence, that will take all the teenage years out of the real threshold and will change the behaviour of people who are paying. I am not making moral judgments about what people do as adults.
My Bill seeks solely and simply to raise that threshold. I think that raising the threshold will have a huge impact because the age group involved---older teenagers---must be given the space in which to turn around their lives. Our
current legislative framework makes them the victims as, in reality, the powers available to the police, even though they are often wisely and deliberately not used, are to arrest and criminalise young people, which worsens their life chances and their
chances of turning around the situation.
Explicitly changing the threshold, as well as changing the behaviour of those who are paying, will create space to allow the various agencies to work and turn around the situation for those
16, 17, 18 and 19-year-olds. That situation can then be transformed, particularly for those who have a drug dependency or who have suffered abuse. Such input, as they develop into adults, will make a defining difference in many cases. We have all seen
the kinds of people who are the victims in our constituencies; we all know that they can be anyone and that they can be concentrated in areas where there are particular problems. The correlation to major trauma, however, and to abuse and the provision of
the support and ability to impact on those young kids---that is what those boys and girls are---are wholly missing from the process.
I propose this Bill as a small contribution that, for some of them, would have a significant
impact. It would raise the threshold for those who choose to pay and remove a reasonable number of those teenagers from the industry, creating space so the agencies who wish to work with them can do so positively and allow them to turn around their
Speaker: Question put and agreed to.
Ordered, That John Mann, Fiona Mactaggart, Natascha Engel, Mrs Louise Ellman, Gavin Shuker and Siobhain McDonagh present the Bill.
Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 30 March and to be printed (Bill 272).
A series of gang attacks on brothels in east London has triggered calls for changes to the prostitution laws after victims who reported knifepoint robberies said they ended up being threatened with prosecution.
A police investigation has been
launched as senior Labour and Conservative members of the London assembly and the English Collective of Prostitutes allege that violent crime is being given a lower priority than less serious sex offences.
What is said by sex workers to be a spate
of robberies -- involving cash and jewellery -- coincides with an increase in police raids on east London addresses being used as brothels before the 2012 London Olympics.
The first address targeted was in Barking, east London, on 6 December. A
video showing five men apparently breaking into another house in the area being used by sex workers is also being studied by police. The women who made the first complaint allege they recognise some of the gang members from the YouTube clip.
third attack, at a different address, a woman who worked as a maid at a brothel is alleged to have been raped by the gang. None of the victims there reported the offence for fear of being charged by police with living off the proceeds of prostitution;
the police say they are so far unaware of this incident.
The ECP said changes to the law, in response to fears over the forcible trafficking of foreign sex workers into Britain, have made it more difficult for women to work together in houses for
A letter of complaint sent by Niki Adams, a leading ECP activist who works with Legal Action for Women, to the borough police commander in Barking last month, said the way the investigation into the first incident had been pursued had
discouraged sex workers from reporting attacks .
In 2009, two men barged into a Woking flat with what appeared to be sawn-off shotguns. They poured petrol over the floors and furniture and threatened to torch the property. The flat itself was used by Cloud Nine, a small escort agency run by
Hanna Morris, her partner, and a female friend. Ms Morris immediately called the police. The street was cordoned off and sniffer dogs deployed. Convinced that the attackers were now on their way to one of the two other premises used by the agency, Ms
Morris provided the addresses to Surrey Police. These were later used as evidence against her. The investigation against the attackers was dropped and Ms Morris and her partner were charged with managing a brothel. They both received 12 month suspended
jail sentences, were made to work a combined total of 420 hours of unpaid labour and lost their home and life savings.
Rapists and other violent men often target sex workers assuming they cannot call the police.
90% of rapists go free,
the organisation Women Against Rape said afterwards. Prosecuting Hannah Morris who tried to bring two violent men to justice is perverse. Rapists and other violent men often target sex workers assuming they cannot call the police. If sex workers
are denied the protection of the law, this vulnerability is magnified. The CPS and police should prosecute rapists, not victims.
Ms Morris' solicitor, Nigel Richardson of Hodge, Jones and Allen agreed: ...it is hard to see how a prosecution
in this case can do anything but make would-be attackers more confident in their actions and increase the dangers for working women. The words in Richardson's letter to the CPS have become all the more prevalent in cases recorded since: The
prosecution of this offence is likely to directly discourage the reporting of crimes against potentially vulnerable women and thus increase risks to their safety.
Arresting people for brothel-keeping has never been easier nor more lucrative. In recent years, police have had a vested interest in raiding brothels because of the potential assets they can seize under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. Since Clause 21 of
the PCA 2009 was introduced, police only need suspect, rather than prove, that a brothel employs trafficked or coerced workers in order to issue a brothel closure order, before seizing whatever money or goods they find, keeping 50 per cent for the
force itself. Data for the number of closure orders is not centrally collected and remains conveniently unavailable.
This is the reason that many are asking whether the police's pursuit of profit is compromising sex worker safety.
In London in particular, a crackdown on prostitution prior to the Olympics is creating what the International Union of Sex Workers' Catherine Stephens describes as a climate of fear .
She told me of how women running a
brothel in a private rented property were accosted by 10-man gang: They broke into the premises one night when two of [the women] were working. One of the girls thought some of them were armed. When they went to report the incident at the police
station, the desk sergeant said, 'You do realise you're at risk of eviction if you carry on telling me what you are telling me?' He was more interested in nicking a couple of discreet sex workers for brothel-keeping than arresting a violent, armed gang.
For every story like this, there are a dozen more. Up and down the country, incidences of violence and intimidation against sex workers now go unreported to the police. Better to risk a punch in the face than a prison
The state-funded Korea Consumer Agency announced the results of a survey on Friday which found that two-thirds of South Korean senior citizens are sexually active, and half of those pay for sex.
The Korea Times reported that the survey of 500
South Koreans over age 60 determined that 66% are having sex, and that 53% of that group --- or 35% of the survey group overall --- said they pay for sex.
Paying sex workers is illegal in South Korea.
An even larger group, 39%, argued that
paying for sex is necessary because the elderly have no choice. That's fewer than the 31% who said prostitution is unacceptable.
The Korea Herald reported on Sunday that more than half of the sexually active senior citizens said they buy
anti-impotence pills, and 20% of them said they used sex toys.
Strip club owner Dragan Bratic, due to open up a club near the hugely popular Swedish ski resort Are in the north, is suing the local politician who said his new club would attract criminal elements for libel and defamation.
Why should I
be forced to take this kind of shit lying down, Bratic told local paper O stersundsposten .
As The Local reported in December, miserable politicians in the area have been up in arms about the plans since they became public, but as long
as Bratic doesn't do anything illegal on the premises there is very little they can do to stop him.
It is not illegal, but it is inappropriate, claimed Eva Hellstrand of the Centre Party :
villagers were divided on the issue. Many pointed out that it was perhaps not the best location for a strip joint, situated in an old country inn, between the church and the cemetery in the sleepy little village of Morsil, home to many families with
Hellstrand claimed without substantiation that a venture such as Bratic's could draw unwanted elements and criminal activity to the area and said she hoped the police would keep a keen eye on it. Hellstrand also told O stersundsposten
that they can't stop the strip club from opening but that they can try to sway public opinion against it. Without customers the club would have to close.
Soon after, Bratic reported Eva Hellstrand to the police for libel. He thinks it was
wrong of her to talk about his business this way. He feels that he has been insulted: She doesn't even know who I am
The comment about criminal activity was what made Bratic see red.
I have a family and
it isn't so nice that they are forced to read this kind of stuff about me in the press.
Strip clubs across Britain are facing closure as an increasing number of councils use new laws to ban them. Local authorities are at varying stages of implementing licensing changes to close clubs and businesses.
There are about 300 clubs in
Britain and many opened after a relaxation of the licensing law in 2003. A subsequent 2009 law rebranded lap dancing, pole dancing, and strip clubs as sex entertainment venues gave councils new morality controls.
Ten councils, given the
power to impose repressive restrictions, have already opted for nil policies which will refuse applications for any new venues.
Among them is Tower Hamlets Council in East London. It is supposedly awaiting the result of a public
consultation whilst keenly anticipating the closure of 11 clubs in the borough.
In Leicester three clubs were denied licences last week while in the City of London repressive licensing rules saw its only club decline to apply.
Council in North London, one of a number of local authorities to ban the clubs despite never having had any. It passed a motion last month, under the slogan no sex please, we're Enfield , which stated that it would not allow new clubs.
Elsewhere in London, Hackney, Haringey, and the City of London have all capped their quotas for new clubs at zero, though Hackney has made one area, Haggerston, an exception for existing clubs.
Islington, which has four clubs, has also voted in a nil policy on new venues. Richmond upon Thames has adopted a nil policy on new venues and its last remaining venue will hear its fate next month.
Cambridge City Council brought in new
licensing laws in June and its only club declined to apply.
Newcastle City Council capped the number of clubs at five, and all are having licences considered. There are a further 15 occasional venues , many of which have not applied.
A lap-dancing club has appealed against the arbitrary refusal of a licence to allow it to continue trading. Angels, in Braunstone Gate,
West End, Leicester, faces having to close or cease its shows by the end of March, unless it can overturn the decision by Leicester City Council.
Leicester councillors said they were concerned the application was being made on behalf of a third
party for someone they would not grant a licence to. Councillors also claimed the club was not in an 'appropriate' location given that a sports centre is being built by De Montfort University, in nearby Dun's Lane.
The council's head of licensing,
Mike Broster, said Angels had appealed on both grounds and the case was due to be heard by magistrates at a date yet to be set.