New street signs showing a busty woman waiting beside a lamp post are being painted on the pavements of Basel, Switzerland, to show sex workers the zone where they can legally ply their trade.
The signs are aimed at keeping sex workers inside the tolerance zone
in the city's Kleinbasel district. About 50 work outdoors in the area designated as legal for street soliciting.
Basel's security and justice department said in a statement:
There is a high turnover of
street workers in that part of the city. But many are from Eastern Europe, which can make it difficult to convey the rules they must obey. So we hope these signs will make it very clear where they can and can not tout for business.
Swiss artist Milo Moiré has been arrested in London after allowing strangers to stroke her breasts and genitals for her latest performance piece.
The project, titled Mirror Box , saw the artist walk around various European cities with a
large mirrored structure covering her body. Using a megaphone to attract attention, she would then invite strangers to stick their hands in the box, and fondle either her breasts or vagina for a 30-second period.
The performance is a follow-up to
her naked protest against Cologne's New Year's Eve sex attacks. She explained that she wanted to give a symbol for the consensual nature of sexual acts. She said:
I am standing here today for women's rights and
sexual self-determination. Women have a sexuality, just like men have one. However, women decide for themselves when and how they want to be touched, and when they don't.
However, when she arrived in London's Trafalgar Square she was
arrested shortly after the performance began -- with police eventually forcing her to spend 24 hours in a prison cell, and fining her for a "4-digit fine".
A Chinese calligrapher has been banned from the China Artists Association for a performance piece featuring women painting with brushes held in their vaginas.
Sun Ping's membership of the professional government-led body has been revoked, with the
group announcing their decision in response to his sexual calligraphy .
The artist shocked art fans with his show, as well as his use of pubic hair for brush pens. Somebody snitched to the Chinese authorities and he was expelled him for
failing to adhere to the national association's artistic standards, claiming that his art is wantonly defiled calligraphy and trampled over civilisation . A statement from the CAA said:
In recent years, Sun Ping
used the name of performance art to promote 'sexual calligraphy' in China and overseas. The general public have looked down upon it. After investigation, his behaviour has indeed caused adverse social impact and great damage to the reputation of
Chinese Artists Association.
Ping argues that his intention was to demonstrate the connection between art, the body and creativity in opposition to China's sexual taboos . He has reportedly been displaying vaginal calligraphy
since 2006 without repercussions, having first joined the CAA in 1985 after graduating from the Guangdong Academy of Fine Arts. He said:
My art may seem ugly and vulgar on the outside because we're clouded by
principles and conventions, but there is also elegance, beauty and inner value. If art is revered then why can't sex be as well? A vagina is too often labelled as vulgar but it is where we all come from.
Americans are finding more behaviors or social issues morally acceptable than they have in the past, but men and women still differ on several issues, notably those related to sex and relationships. Pornography is the most divisive, with 43% of
men finding it morally acceptable versus only 25% of women.
These findings come from Gallup's May 6-10 Values and Beliefs survey, which is the latest update of a poll that has documented the changing social mores of the country since the early 2000s.
This year's survey found a general nationwide shift toward acceptance of once-controversial issues. The moral acceptability of porn over the last 4 years has increased from 40% to 43% of men surveyed, and from 20% to 25% of women surveyed.
Pornography is the source of the largest discord between men and women. Consistently since 2011, men have been about twice as likely as women to say pornography is morally acceptable. Nonetheless a clear consensus exists among both genders
on this issue, with regular majorities of men and women saying pornography is morally wrong.
No one has been charged under a nasty new law that makes it illegal to pay for sex in Northern Ireland, a year after it was introduced.
Frances Fitzgerald, the justice minister, is about to introduce similar laws in the Republic of Ireland amid
warnings that they are unenforceable and will put sex workers' lives at risk.
Anti-sex work groups claim that the laws would end demand for prostitution but critics argued that they would make sex workers' lives more dangerous by driving the trade
underground and making them less likely to go to the police or hospital if something went wrong.
Amnesty International has published its policy and research on protecting sex workers from human rights violations and abuses.
Amnesty's new policy recommends the decriminalisation of consensual
sex work, including those laws that prohibit associated activities -- such as bans on buying, soliciting and arranging and organising sex work.
Specifically, it urges governments to ensure protection of sex workers
from harm, exploitation and coercion; to enable sex workers to participate in the development of laws that affect their lives and safety; an end to discrimination, access to education and employment options for all.
Amnesty's policy is the culmination of extensive worldwide consultations, analysis of substantive evidence, international human rights standards and first-hand research carried out over more than two years.
It is based on evidence that laws criminalising sex work often make workers less safe and provide impunity for abusers with workers often too scared of being penalised to report the crime to the police.
The policy also strongly reinforces Amnesty's position that forced labour, child sexual exploitation and human trafficking are abhorrent human rights abuses requiring concerted action and which, under international law, must be
criminalised in every country.
Amnesty International's Senior Director for Law and Policy Tawanda Mutasah said:
Sex workers are at heightened risk of a whole host of
human rights abuses including rape, violence, extortion and discrimination. Far too often they receive no, or very little, protection from the law or means for redress.
Our policy outlines how governments must do more
to protect sex workers from violations and abuse. Our research highlights their testimony and the daily issues they face.
We want laws to be refocused on making sex workers' lives safer and improving the relationship
they have with the police while addressing the very real issue of exploitation. We want governments to make sure no one is coerced to sell sex, or is unable to leave sex work if they choose to.
from exploitation and abuse
Laws on sex work should focus on protecting people from exploitation and abuse, rather than trying to ban all sex work and penalise sex workers.
also published today research on the impact of sex work in Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong, Norway and Argentina which shows that sex workers often received no, or very little protection from abuse, or access to legal redress, even in countries where the act
of selling sex itself is legal. This is in part due to criminalisation, which further endangers and marginalises them and impedes their ability to seek protection from violence and legal and social services.
found that rather than focusing on protecting sex workers from violence and crime, law enforcement officials in many countries focus on prohibiting sex work through surveillance, harassment and raids.
Sex workers have told us how criminalisation enables the police to harass them and not prioritise their complaints and safety.
In too many places around the world
sex workers are without protection of the law, and suffering awful human rights abuses. This situation can never be justified. Governments must act to protect the human rights of all people, sex workers included. Decriminalisation is just one of several
necessary steps governments can take to ensure protection from harm, exploitation and coercion.
Amnesty joins a large group of organisations from across a range of disciplines and areas of expertise who
are supporting or calling for decriminalisation of consensual sex work. These include the Global Alliance Against Trafficking in Women; Global Commission on HIV and the Law; Human Rights Watch; UNAIDS; the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health;
and World Health Organisation.
Amnesty calls on governments to ensure:
All people can access their economic, social and cultural rights, education and employment options
An end to harmful gender stereotypes and all forms of discrimination and structural
inequalities that can lead to marginalised groups selling sex in disproportionate numbers
A refocusing of sex work laws away from catch-all offences that criminalise most or all aspects of sex work towards laws that
provide protection from coercion including trafficking, acts of exploitation and abuse, and prevent the involvement of children in commercial sex.
The removal of criminal and other punitive regulation of consensual
sex work between adults which reinforces marginalisation, stigma and discrimination and can deny sex workers access to justice under the law.
The participation of sex workers in the development of laws and policies
that directly affect their lives and safety.
Effective frameworks that allow people to leave sex work if and when they choose.
That sex workers have equal access to justice,
health care and other public services, and equal protection under the law.
The Louisiana House has agreed to a repressive new law to block strip clubs from hiring dancers under the age of 21, The proposal, is now heading back to the Senate for final passage. The measure is supposedly something to do with limiting
trafficking but it is not clear what.
Lawmakers had a bit of fun with an amendment that 'outraged' a few women.
Rep. Kenny Havard proposed an amendment that would limit strippers to between 21 and 28 years old and no more than 160 pounds.
Havard said the amendment was a commentary on overregulation, not aimed at women.
Rep. Julie Stokes described the amendment as utterly disrespectful and disgusting.
The House voted 96-0 for the bill without the jokey amendment.
The State council in the district of Saint-Josse, Brussels, ordered the suspension of the police regulation of window sex work introduced on the 30th of November, 2015.
The regulation prohibited sex work activities from 23h to 7h and stated sex
workers could not work on Sundays. Sex work was allowed only in four streets of the town. The regulation also required sex workers to obtain a certificate of conformity, which costs 2500 EUROS.
The spokesperson of the Belgian sex workers union
UTSOPI Maxime Maes, stated:
In order to work in a window in Brussels, sex workers needed to buy the licence, it cost 2500 euros and it is valid for 5 years. Then the sex worker needed to pay 3000 euros every year to
the municipality of Saint-Josse. Totally it makes 5500 euros. To pay this money an average sex worker needs 220 clients. It is a lot of money.
Five sex workers from the area filed a lawsuit for the suspension of the regulation before
the Council of State.
The court found the certificates of conformity, the municipal administrative sanctions, and the enforced closing hours to be illegal. The town of Saint-Josse clearly committed an abuse of power by setting strict timetables
during which sex work could take place. Vincent Letellier, the lawyer of the sex workers who lodged an action with the Council explained:
Individual districts are not competent enough to operate a licence system -
for which you have to be a licence holder to be able to be a prostitute - or to issue regulation within the field of prostitution, accompanied by administrative penalties and closing hours, That is within the jurisdiction of the federal government to
Phnom Penh's iconic Walkabout freelancer bar has closed after a price hike for lease renewal.
The hotel and bar known for its abundance of sex workers had operated 24 hours a day, including national holidays, since it opened in 1998. The
closure marks another lost Phnom Penh expat institution, and a nail in the coffin of the city's Wild West image, according to longtime foreign residents and business owners.
Adam Parker, the editor of Bayon Pearnik , a
foreigner-friendly magazine, once with offices above Walkabout, opined:
Phnom Penh is not the same -- it never will be. The office looked down into the bar, with a wall of glass windows. It was like a spectator sport,
looking down on the menagerie downstairs. The world's strangest zoo.
For years, that zoo involved fairly usual suspects: foreign men and the Cambodian sex workers they came to meet. Patrons were free to rent the rooms upstairs.
But in a city where prostitution wore a thin veil, the Walkabout still stood out in its upfront operation.
The bar contrasted with the growing number of hostess bars nearby: the sex workers were freelancers -- there was never a bar fine,
according to Parker.
After a law that cracked down on prostitution -- and associated activities (advertising, transport, accommodation) -- went into effect in 2008, commercial sex work was rebranded as entertainment and relocated: to
karaoke and hostess bars, a move critics argue put women at greater risk. Remaining brothels were shuttered, and bars like the Walkabout -- or, at one time, Sharky -- fell into a grey area.
The Walkabout never shed its reputation: it was at once
derided and lauded as Cambodia's sleaziest bar in a Vice article in 2012. But in the end, the business suffered a familiar fate: when the lease was up, the landlord doubled the rent, according to former manager Yanna. They decided the venture was
no longer worth it.
Empower Thailand and the Thai Embassy in Sweden have both issued statements in response to the Swedish sexual politics magazine OTTAR. On the 3rd of March 2016, OTTAR published an interview with Kasja Ekis Ekman, which referred to Thai sex workers as
Swedish Sex Worker Organisation, Rose Alliance contacted Empower Foundation and the Thai Embassy, alerting them of the statements that had been made.
In response, the Thai Ambassador to Sweden, Kiattikhun Chartprasert
addressed a letter to the editor of OTTAR and asked for it to be published on the OTTAR website. The Thai Ambassador wanted OTTAR's readers to:
Exercise their own judgement about the writer's expression in this debate.
In this letter, it was explained to OTTAR that the choice of word that the writer use[d] to describe women - billig fitta - had 'hurt and offended many people.' Chartprasert continued, Freedom of expression is not that one can just say anything in mind.
It has to come with responsibility and respect [...] We would therefore like to express our disappointment and concern, in the strongest possible terms for the use of this inappropriate word by the writer.
Ekis Ekman elicited many
questions from Empower Foundation. In Empower's statement they asked,
Is this how you talk about mothers and family providers in Sweden? Perhaps you don't know that most of our customers do not use revolting language
like this to talk about us? Is this how women commonly refer to each other in Sweden? Perhaps you have never considered that a Swedish academic feminist has a responsibility to speak with respect about other women? Or is 'cheap pussy' accepted by Swedish
feminists and journalists as a way to refer to Thai women?
Opera has become the first major browser to add a free VPN client to its web browser. The VPN offers AES-256 encryption and allows users to browse the Internet privately. In addition, the free VPN also helps to circumvent website blockades.
company has added a free and unlimited VPN to the developer version of its browser. This means that users can browse the web securely at the flick of a switch .
The VPN connection is provided by the Canadian VPN service SurfEasy, which like many
other VPNs keeps no logs. SurfEasy was acquired by Opera last year and VP of Marketing Steve Kelly tells TorrentFreak that privacy and censorship were the main reasons to add the free VPN to Opera. Kelly said:
deserves to surf privately online if they want to. Today, it is too difficult to maintain privacy when using the web, and way too many people experience roadblocks online, like blocked content..
By releasing an integrated, free
and unlimited VPN in the browser, we make it simple for people to enhance their privacy and access the content they want.
Opera's in-browser VPN uses AES-256 encryption and SurfEasy says that the initial response has been very strong.
The network is prepared to handle hundreds of thousands of simultaneous connections without any problems.
Scottish Labour is set to announce a manifesto pledge to prosecute men who buy sex.
Bizarrely the party claims that selling sex can be somehow legal whilst buying it is illegal. Surely the sex workers would be clearly inciting their customers to
commit an offence.
Its manifesto, to be unveiled on Wednesday, will state:
Scottish Labour aims to tackle commercial sexual exploitation by challenging demand and by supporting those involved. It has a
three-pronged framework: criminalising the buying of sex, decriminalising people involved in prostitution, and providing long-term support and exiting services for those exploited through prostitution.
ScotPep, the sex workers' rights
charity, said during the last Holyrood session that it did not agree with the policy, fearing that it could put women in more danger and challenging the assertion that all sex workers are victims .
Christians are 'shocked' that American frequent porn users neither feel guilty or are uncomfortable about their porn use.
A study, entitled, The Porn Phenomenon was commissioned by evangelist Josh McDowell. It found that 89% of daily
pornography users are comfortable with their use of porn. This is compared to 77% of weekly users and 70% of once-or-twice-a-month users who said the same.
Only 3% of daily users said they wished they no longer used pornography, while just 7% of
monthly users and 12% of once-or-twice-a-month users concurred.
Practicing Christians, on the other hand, were found to be nearly half as likely to be comfortable with their pornography consumption than non-Christians. Only 39% said they were
comfortable with their level of porn consumption, while 73% of non-Christians said the same. Sixty-one% of practicing Christians said they wished they used less porn -- or none at all -- compared to just 27% of all others.
The comprehensive study,
which was conducted by The Barna Group, was conducted through four online surveys that were designed to represent the general American population. Nearly 3,000 people participated in the study.
The French parliament is set to rubber stamp a nasty new law to endanger sex workers and criminalise their customers
The stand-out measure from the bill and the one that has caused the most controversy is the law that will see clients fined if they
are caught paying for sex. Under the plan, customers will be fined up to 1,500 euro and up to 3,750 euro for repeat offenders. Presumably France does not have the concept of incitement to commit a crime.
A period of grace will also be introduced
so clients will not immediately be fined, but they will be expected to take heed of the new law.
The measure has not only been criticised by sex workers, who fear they will become victim to yet more violence, stigmatization and poverty but
also by police, charities and rights groups, who doubt it will have the desired impact in reducing prostitution.
The second measure in the bill will repeal of the law that made passive soliciting illegal, ie dressing to attract customers. This
measure has been largely welcomed by all sides.
These new bodies that will come under the authority of the council in each of France's Apartements will be tasked with coordinating action to help sex workers and to tackle trafficking.
France is to make it illegal to pay for sex after MPs approved new legislation on prostitution following more than two years of rows and opposition by senators.
Under the new law, anyone caught purchasing an act from a
sex worker will be fined and required to attend classes on the harms of prostitution.
There would be a 1,500 euro (£1,200) fine for a first offence, rising to 3,750 euros for a second, which would also be put on the person's criminal record. The
victim would be forced to attend classes highlighting the supposed harms of prostitution.
The law was passed by 64 votes to 12 with many MPs absent.
The French union of sex workers are protesting against the repressive bill that imposes fines on clients paying for sex.
Sex workers in France expressed their dismay protesting outside the National Assembly on 6 April. According to the
union of sex workers STRASS, the law will make the nearly 30,000 sex workers in France more vulnerable.
Amsterdam's borough council of Zuid is to ask people who use the area's massage salons about their experiences, in an effort to find out if they are offering 'happy endings'
Council wardens are also to keep watch on salons which are suspected
of offering happy endings . It is the first time city officials will have taken an undercover approach to dealing with massage salons, according to the Parool newspaper.
Over the past year, nine addresses in Zuid were checked by
council inspectors and nine were closed down for periods of three months. One case, which centres on an internet review by a satisfied customer, is still pending in court. In total, checks were carried out on 22 massage salons, mainly operated by Thai
and Chinese nationals.
The closures are the result of a major effort to clamp down on massage parlours which also offer prostitutes and so compete with licenced brothels.
South Korea's constitutional court has upheld repressive laws establishing extreme punishment for sex workers and their customers.
The 2004 legislation drove thousands of sex workers in traditional red-light zones out of business in South Korea, but
prostitution has still thrived in the shadows. Sex workers have occasionally held rallies calling for the laws' abolishment.
The constitutional Court decided to uphold a provision that makes it a criminal offence to voluntarily sell or buy sex,
punishable by up to a year in prison or a fine of 3 million won ($2,600).
The ruling was made in response to a compliant by a female sex worker, who argued people have the right to choose their occupation.
A court statement said that the
government could deny such individual rights to prevent exploitation and protect moral values. The court claimed that decriminalizing prostitution would inspire an explosive growth in sex trade, threaten the stability of South Korea's society and economy
and inspire disorderly sexual behaviour.
Critics of the anti-prostitution laws say they limit women's freedom over their bodies. They also say that tougher punishment has made sex work more dangerous for women by creating a thriving underground
industry in which they sell sex at bars, apartment rooms and through social media and dating apps, which often leaves them more vulnerable to abusive customers and pimps.