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14th December

  Moralist MPs screw a wide industry with presumably deliberate vague law...

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Considering the affects of Canada's new ban on advertising vaguely defined 'sexual services'
Link Here
Escort Ads Canada has recently passed a law to endanger sex workers by making it illegal for men to pay for sex. But that is just part of the nastiness. The government has also banned advertising for the vaguely defined 'sexual services'.

According to 'Justice' Minister Peter Mackay, law C-26 will prohibit all forms of advertising (of sexual services), including online. Anything that enables or furthers what we think is an inherently dangerous practice of prostitution will be subject to prosecution.

The new law ranks among the harshest in the world. Advertising sexual services is legal, or at least tolerated, in Europe and elsewhere in North America. In the UK, for example, the tart cards that once plastered the ubiquitous red phone boxes have moved online. The internet and social networks are now prime hubs for sex-related ads.

In order not to appear to be cracking the whip on individuals, Bill C-36 (the Protection Of Communities And Exploited Persons Act) permits sex workers to advertise. But this is a gigantic Catch-22, because whatever platform they choose to use - website, newspaper, online classifieds or social network - will be, in the justice minister's words, entirely subject to prosecution. Servers, website hosts and companies supporting the advertising sites are in essence treated as pimps and can be charged. In effect, that's a total crackdown.

Adult services advertising is a huge business. Burlesque stars, lap dancers, performance artists, porn actors, strippers, masseuses and even organizations set up to support sex workers risk being swept up in the net of the new legislation by advertising their services.

Take burlesque, which is enjoying a major revival due to the saucy new approach developed by artists like Dita Von Teese and Madame Rosebud. If a burlesque dancer advertised her upcoming event - disrobing in an after-hours swingers' club - that could be construed as offering a sexual service.

How are the differences between Tantric and erotic massage determined? Could you advertise a workshop in either without being arrested? Is a bar with signs for lap dancing promoting a sexual service? Do Twitter messages offering webcam sex qualify?

MP Joy Smith draws no distinctions. She has said there's no need to define sexual services: Everybody pretty well knows what it's about.... I mean, everybody can go into the minutiae of 'is this sex, is this not sex.' Generally speaking, the world knows what sex really is.... What we're looking at is whatever the women are doing.

Department of Justice spokesperson Carole Saindon provides a much clearer, if unsatisfactory, explanation: the definition of sexual services will be determined in court:

A court will consider whether the 'service' is sexual in nature and whether the purpose of providing the service is to sexually gratify the person who receives it.

And of course defending their actions in court will be time-consuming and incredibly expensive and therefore punitive for sex workers, dancers and masseuses.


8th December

 Update: Dangerous Law...

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Ontario premier criticises new national law endangering sex workers and criminalising customers
Link Here  full story: Criminalisng Buying Sex in Canada...Reducing prostitution by endangering sex workers
ontario logo Ontario's premier has entered the debate over Canada's repressive new prostitution law a day after it took effect, adding her voice to a growing number of groups concerned for sex workers' safety.

Kathleen Wynne issued a statement Sunday saying she has a grave concern that the new rules dealing with prostitution won't be any better than the old system when it comes to protecting prostitutes from harm.

I am not an expert, and I am not a lawyer, but as premier of this province, I am concerned that this legislation (now the law of the land) will not make sex workers safer.

Wynne said she has asked the province's attorney general to advise her on the legislation's constitutional validity in light of the Supreme Court of Canada ruling quashing the old law, and for options in case its Charter compatibility is questioned, but stopped short of saying the province wouldn't follow the new rules:

We must enforce duly enacted legislation, but I believe that we must also take steps to satisfy ourselves that, in doing so, we are upholding the constitution and the Charter.

Meanwhile Vancouver Police don't seem impressed by the new law

See  article from

vancouver police logo New federal anti-prostitution laws criminalizing the purchase of sex will be in effect as of Saturday, but the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) have no plans for a crackdown.

Sex work involving consenting adults is not an enforcement priority for the VPD, the police department's sex-work enforcement guidelines say.

Our priority will remain the safety of sex workers, VPD spokesman Sergeant Randy Fincham said.

Sex-worker advocacy groups argue the new law will put outdoor sex workers in danger.  Laura Dilley, executive director of PACE (Providing Alternatives, Counselling and Education) Society explained:

They won't be able to go to public places to screen clients adequately because the clients are worried their information will get to police.

The VPD is known as a progressive police force for adopting harm-reduction strategies for marijuana and sex work.


7th December

 Update: Safeguarding the human rights of sex workers...

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New Zealand parliament buts an end to Auckland's attempt to ban street prostitution
Link Here  full story: Sex Work in New Zealand...New Zealand's experience from legalising prostitution

new zealand parliament logo A law that would have allowed Auckland authorities to ban prostitution in specified places has been scrapped by a New Zealand parliamentary select committee. Instead, councils have been urged to look at other ways to control street prostitutes, such as using bylaws controlling hawkers . In recommending the local bill not pass, the committee said:

We consider, however, that the matters covered by the bill are not appropriate for a local bill because the problem the bill seeks to address is not unique to the area covered by the bill.

It would also affect the rights of the public in that it would impose constraints on the activities that can occur in specified areas within the Auckland district. Those activities are not specifically prohibited in any other parts of the country.

Many complaints about street-based prostitution relate to noise, littering, slow-moving motor vehicles (kerb-crawling) and disorderly behaviour. These kinds of behaviour can be dealt with by bylaws already in existence.

The committee said the bill would have challenged the legal meaning of the Prostitution Reform Act, which decriminalised prostitution and among other things safeguarded the human rights of sex workers.


5th December

 Update: A very very scary model for Irish sex workers...

More details on the Irish proposed law to criminalise people buying sex
Link Here  full story: Prostitution Law in Ireland...Government solicits public suggestions for changes to the law

Ireland The Republic of Ireland's government has introduced a bill that will make it a criminal offence to pay for sex.

The bill comes a year after the Oireachtas 'Justice' Committee's Report on the Review of the Legislation on Prostitution in Ireland made the recommendation that the purchase of sexual services should be made illegal.

'Justice' Minister Frances Fitzgerald introduced the new legislation on November 27th , claiming that her proposed bill reflects an all-island consensus to targeting the predominantly exploitative nature of prostitution. The draft legislation makes purchasing sexual services a general offence, and the purchasing of sexual services from trafficked persons a more serious offence. The Irish Department of 'Justice' said:

In both cases, the persons selling the sexual service will not be subject to an offence Unlike the existing offences relating to prostitution such as soliciting, loitering or brothel keeping, this offence will specifically target the demand for prostitution.

However, as Ireland-based activist and writer Wendy Lyon pointed out on Twitter, the offence of paying for sexual services will be inserted into the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 1993 as Section 5A and there is no repeal of any of the parts of the 1993 Act that currently criminalises sex workers. This bill will NOT decriminalise sex workers she wrote.

An Irish sex worker, Jenny, said:

I think [the Swedish Model] is a very very scary model and that people don't truly understand how far-reaching it can be.

You're basically playing cat and mouse against the police all the time if you introduce the Swedish model and you're just trying to work against the police and you're not getting any help. It's bad enough as it is already. It's going to be worse if they introduce the Swedish Model.


26th November

 Update: Jailing men so a few women can feel good about their equality...

Irish Government set to publish bill to criminalise people who pay for sex
Link Here  full story: Prostitution Law in Ireland...Government solicits public suggestions for changes to the law
Ireland The Irish Government is officially making it illegal to pay for sexual services. It has been confirmed that a new bill, to be published on Thursday, will criminalise prostitution for the first time.

The legislation will make it illegal to pay for sexual services.


26th November

  Boxing Clever...

Basel considers drive in boxes for sex workers
Link Here
zurich boxes Basel could be ready to follow in the footsteps of Zurich by establishing sex boxes , a drive-in zone for customers of sex workers.

A politician from the northern Swiss city is proposing the move as a way of eliminating problems in the city's Kleinbasel red light district, the Basler Zeitung newspaper reported.

Andre Auderset, a Liberal MP for the canton of Basel-City, said over the course of the past year the number of prostitutes in the district has grown to the point where they are spilling over into adjacent neighbourhoods. With residents complaining, Auderset sees Zurich's example as a model to be followed.


20th November

  Fun in Bangkok and Amsterdam...

Researchers find that 1 in ten men have paid for sex at some time in their life
Link Here

sexually transmitted infections More than one in 10 men have paid for sex, according to a major study of British sexual habits.

The majority of the 11% who had done so had visited sex tourism hotspots such as Bangkok and Amsterdam.

The report, in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections, said that young professionals rather than lonely older men were paying. The most likely age group to have recently paid for sex were those in their late 20s and early 30s. Other characteristics of those likely to pay for sex included being single, having a managerial or professional job and drug use. Nearly two-thirds of them reported paying for sex abroad, with Europe and Asia being major destinations.

A team at University College London analysed data from the Third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles. Just 0.1% of the women aged 16-74 surveyed had paid for sex, but 11% of the men said they had at some point in their lives. Of the 6,108 men surveyed, 3.6% had paid for sex in the past five years and 1.1% in the past year.

But that comes with a price. The men who had paid for sex in the past five years were twice as likely to be diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) such as HIV, syphilis or gonorrhoea. Holiday sex

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