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30th April

  As if anyone ever uses polite and respectful terms for sex workers and their customers...


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Swedish magazine describes Thai sex workers as 'cheap pussy' and all hell breaks loose
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ottar 2016 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 cheap pussy.

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?

 

22nd April

  Reasonable suspicions...


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Dutch MPs debate whether justice should apply to customers of sex workers
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Netherlands A majority of the lower house of Dutch parliament wants to make it illegal to have sex with prostitutes that were forced into the profession. Though the parties are still arguing on how exactly to word such a legislative proposal.

The initial proposal stated that a prostitute's customer can be punished if there is a reasonable suspicion of forced prostitution.

The proposal was then adjusted to state that a customer can be prosecuted if there is a serious suspicion of exploitation. After the adjustment, the GroenLinks party threw its support behind the proposal, increasing support for the proposal to a narrow majority of 76 seats.

The SGP party , however, thinks that the adjustment makes the law substantially weaker and is considering withdrawing support.

The VVD at least will not give their support. MP Foort van Oosten said.

For us it is important how far a client could know that there was human trafficking involved. The proposal talks about 'suspicion'. For us that is too vague and criminalizes the client of a legal profession.

The question that must be answered is whether 'serious suspicion' can be sufficiently determined. For us that is still not sufficiently clear.

 

9th April

 Updated: Miserable France...


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French parliament is just about to pass a nasty new law to endanger sex workers and criminalise their customers
Link Here  full story: P4P in France...Sex workers and the law
France flag 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.

Update: Law passed

7th April 2016. See  article from theguardian.com

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.

Update: Sex workers protest

 9th April 2016. See  article from centralchronicle.com

strass syndicat du travail sexuel logo 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.

 

5th April

 Update: Miserable Amsterdam...

Council asks for people to snitch on happy endings in massage salons
Link Here  full story: Sex Work in the Netherlands...Netherlands less friendly to sex workers
How Happy Ending Rockit Reports ebook 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.

 

1st April

 Update: Korea's weak constitution...

Court upholds repressive prostitution laws
Link Here  full story: Sex Work in South Africa...Campaigning for the decriminalisation of prostitution
South Korea flag 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.

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