A proposal to criminalise the purchase of sex has found support according to the results of a public consultation.
Almost 1,000 people responded to Labour MSP Rhoda Grant's plan which she hopes will become law in Scotland. Of the total, 80% favour her ban. Grant claimed:
There has been an excellent response, and I now hope we can use the evidence provided to change society's attitude towards buying and selling sex, thereby protecting vulnerable people.
The primary argument that the demand to buy sex will decrease was acknowledged in the responses of those in favour and against the proposed Bill. This would have a knock-on effect on sex trafficking as Scotland would not be seen as a profitable
market by traffickers. This will ultimately mean an overall decrease in the level of prostitution in the country.
Of 953 responses, 758 favoured her approach which is based on legislation in Sweden.
Of the individual responses, 47 are from people who work or worked in the sex industry . One anonymous respondent wrote:
I chose to escort for money. I enjoy it. I do not feel exploited or dehumanised. I feel liberated, excited, expressive, creative and earning good money. I am one of very few people who actually enjoys their job.
Thankfully Sweden's nasty, and soon 15-year-old, law that bans buying sex has not resulted in any convicted sex buyers spending time behind bars.
In 2011, 'Justice' Minister Beatrice Ask previously raised the red flag about supposedly lenient sentencing doled out in Swedish courts. In July 2012, the law was rewritten, allowing courts to send offenders to jail for a maximum of one year,
rather than the six months previously allowed.
Yet the rewrite has had little effect, noted Johan Linander, Centre Party MP and vice-chairman of Riksdag Committee on 'Justice' (Justitieutskottet). He whinged to the Local:
The courts make limited use of the range of sentencing available to them
A review of sentencing in the past few years by the Dagens Nyheter newspaper revealed that no one has been sentenced to prison for buying sex from an adult - neither before nor after the reform.
We see that the courts use the lower quarter of punishments with little variation, which is true for most crimes, not just sex purchases, said Linander, who has long argued that the punishments needed to be stricter.
Social Democrat MEP Anna Hedh, said she was hesitant toward filling Swedish prisons up with one-time offenders:
BUT ... if you are a repeat offender, you should of course end up in jail.
Maltese lap dancer Rebecca Camilleri has been acquitted of immoral acts in public after police claimed she was dancing topless on a man's lap inside a club in Paceville.
In his judgement, Magistrate Ian Farrugia said the fact that Camilleri was topless inside a club did not constitute an immoral act when the location, the time and the age group of the people inside the club are taken into consideration. He said:
It is not the competence of the court to decree if frequenting such places is good or not, that decision has to be faced by each individual according to his conscience.
There is no way someone can be surprised or scandalised by what they see inside as one would have entered such a place in full knowledge of what is inside.
Police raided the gentleman's club Steam Bar in June 2012. A policeman alleged that he had seen Camilleri's breast exposed.
Defence lawyer Joe Giglio argued that crimes against morals had to be viewed within the context of time and place:
In a time when the country is overhauling its censorship laws, the police cannot impose their own set of 'morals' upon society.
In commenting further on his judgement, Magistrate Ian Farrugia held even if the dancer had her breast exposed, that was not sufficiently immoral nor scandalous , acquitting the dancer of all charges against her.
Business networking site LinkedIn has banned sex workers from creating profiles or using the platform to promote their services.
The updated User Agreement says members are not to undertake the following:
Upload, post, email, InMail, transmit or otherwise make available or initiate any content that ... Even if it is legal where you are located, create profiles or provide content that promotes escort services or prostitution.
LinkedIn previously prohibited the advertising of unlawful services on its site but prostitution is legal in some of the jurisdictions where the website's users are based.
China's punitive laws and policing practices against sex workers are leading to serious abuses, Human Rights Watch said in a report published today. These abuses include police violence, arbitrary detention of up to two years in re-education through labor
and custody and education centers, and coercive HIV testing. There are an estimated four to six million sex workers in China, the overwhelming majority of them women.
The report, Swept Away: Abuses Against Sex Workers in China , documents abuses by the police against female sex workers in Beijing, including torture, beatings, physical assaults, arbitrary detentions, and fines, as well as a
failure to investigate crimes against sex workers by clients, bosses, and state agents. The report also documents abuses by public health agencies, such as coercive HIV testing, privacy infringements, and mistreatment by health officials.
Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch said:
In China, the police often act as if by engaging in sex work, women had forfeited their rights. The government must abandon its repressive laws against sex workers, discipline abusive police, and end the suppression of sex workers rights
The Chinese government has allowed the unchecked growth of the sex industry in recent decades, with millions of women turning to sex work as a way of earning a living. Yet the government maintains officially a blanket ban on sex work, viewing it
as an ugly social phenomenon that goes against socialist spiritual civilization, and treating it as a misdemeanor punishable by fines or short-term detention.
During periodic anti-prostitution drives, often lasting several weeks and linked to larger strike hard campaigns against crime, police repeatedly raid entertainment venues, hair salons, massage parlors, and other spaces where sex
work occurs, detaining large numbers of women suspected of being sex workers. Sex workers are most at risk of abuses such as police brutality and arbitrary detention during these drives. Domestic activists working on rights for Chinese sex
workers have also denounced these police raids.
Chinese police can also send suspected sex workers, without due process or a trial, for up to two years' detention in a re-education through labor camp or so-called custody and education centers. While the government announced in
January 2013 that it would reform re-education through labor, there has been no similar announcement for the estimated 183 custody and education centers, holding more than 15,000 inmates, most of whom are women. Both
institutions constitute forms of arbitrary detention under international law, Human Rights Watch said, since they allow people to be deprived of their liberty without due process of law.
Human Rights Watch calls on the Chinese government to enact legislation to remove criminal and administrative sanctions against voluntary, consensual sex work and related offenses such as solicitation. Human Rights Watch also called for an end to
the periodic anti-prostitution mobilization campaigns that have generated severe abuses against women engaging in sex work.
Abuses by law-enforcement agencies deter sex workers from seeking help from the police when they are victims of crime, or from public health services when they are in need of assistance, said Richardson. This makes them more vulnerable
to abuses and exploitation. If China is serious about protecting and promoting women's rights, it cannot ignore the millions of women who engage in sex work.
The Invisible Men Project aims to selectively reveal what some men who visit sex workers say about the women involved.
PunterNet is a website forum where men can comment on and review sex workers. It includes warnings about reporting any potentially underage or trafficked women, and it offers sex workers a right of reply to bad reviews.
Now, The Invisible Men Project is gathering a selection of posts from Punternet to ask a simple question: never mind the debates about the ethics of sex workers themselves, what do you think of the men who pay them? As the site puts it: Without seeking to prove, disprove or debate choice on the part of the women described, we invite you to consider: what do you think of his choice?
However the comments being published are clearly cherry picked to support the anti-sex work cause.
The makers of an online commercial advertising Come4 , a not-for-profit website promising a new vision of sex , have expressed disappointment after it was withdrawn from YouTube because the video-hosting site judged that its
content violated its terms of service .
The provocative film opens with an unseen narrator relating an early episode of unrequited love before going on to talk about his experiences with prostitutes. As the imagery becomes increasingly explicit, the mystery voice describes visiting
brothels with his father and reveals that together they take time to choose the right one and explains that he loved his first time so much, he decided to come back with his friends .
This frank series of admissions is being provided by disability rights campaigner Asta Philpot, who is describing a trip he made to a Spanish brothel with a group of disabled virgins, the subject of a 2007 documentary broadcast by the BBC.
Philpot describes YouTube's decision as pretty disgusting and feels that if they'd seen beyond the naked breasts and recognised the message behind the film, they'd have realised that it's actually ethical. A friend of mine died
without ever having a [sexual] experience and I don't ever want to let that happen again.
A pub in Singapore's famous sexy nightlife centre, Orchard Towers has got in trouble with the police.
Managers Ng Kian Boon and Ridzawi Ali were fined $22,000 each. They had pleaded guilty to four charges of abetting the pub owner to receive the earnings from prostitution and to one charge of assisting him to manage a brothel. The owner and three
other employees will face the court later.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Joshua Lai said two police officers in plain clothes went to the now-defunct Famous Hot Models pub on the third floor of Orchard Towers at 1am on May 25 last year after a tip-off.
Pretending to be customers, they were joined by three Filipino hostesses, who told them that oral sex was available in the pub's three karaoke rooms at a cost of $182. If a customer wanted to have sex, he would have to pay the pub $268 for two
hours of the woman's company. Other police officers then moved in and arrested 26 Filipino women, aged 19 to 31.
The hostess' job scope included encouraging customers to buy her lady drinks. Prices ranged from $30 to $120 for each drink - for every $10, she would earn $3. The women were also urged to provide sexual services to earn more money -
keeping half of what they were paid.
Legislation to criminalise the purchase of sex will be introduced to the Dail tomorrow. The Criminal Law Sexual Offences Bill, to be introduced by Independent TD Thomas Pringle, sets out to impose harsh criminal sanctions on those who pay for
Persecution of men via the so called Swedish model is being advocated in Ireland by the Turn off the Red Light Campaign. The campaign, is endorsed by 68 organisations including various gender extremist groups eg Ruhama, the Irish Congress of
Trade Unions, the Labour Party and Barnardos.
[The Bill] will reduce the demand for sexual services, thereby reducing the incidence of prostitution in society. It will create a situation that will remove the attractiveness of prostitution and trafficking from organised criminal elements by
creating the risk for purchasers of sexual services to be prosecuted with the element of 'name and shame' acting as a deterrent.
Penalties The Bill provides for an ascending scale of penalties, from a fixed-notice fine of EUR500 for first-time offenders, to a EUR4,000 fine and/or four-week jail sentence for repeat offenders.