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20th November

  Fun in Bangkok and Amsterdam...

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

 

12th November

 Update: Men paying for sex criminalised and the girls will pay for it...

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Canada signs bill into law that seems designed to endanger sex workers
Link Here  full story: Criminalisng Buying Sex in Canada...Reducing prostitution by endangering sex workers

Canada flag Bill C-36, the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, was signed into Canadian law last week.

The law nominally legalises the sale of sex. Interactions and communications between prostitutes and customers, however, remain illegal. And so has become the purchase of sex.

Unfortunately for sex workers, because their customers are criminalised, the men will resist such basic safety measures such as providing ID just in case of trouble. Fearful customers will also sensibly insist more anonymous locations so as to minimise the risks of being discovered.

 

6th November

 Update: Dangerous Lawmakers...

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Canada's senate passes new government law to endanger sex workers
Link Here  full story: Criminalisng Buying Sex in Canada...Reducing prostitution by endangering sex workers
canadian senate Canada's Conservative government's callous anti-prostitution bill passed third reading in the Senate on Tuesday and requires only royal assent to become law.

The government had wanted to get the bill through the legislative process by the middle of this month, so it could become law by December. That would meet the deadline imposed by the Supreme Court of Canada when it struck down existing laws as unconstitutional last year.

The court found the laws violated the charter rights of sex workers because they were criminally prohibited from taking measures to keep themselves safe. Now they will be prevented from taking measures to keep themselves safe by their customers fearing prosecution and so requiring more secretive and remote locations.

The Sex Professionals of Canada says the new set of laws won't improve things and will ensure violence against sex workers continues in Canada. In a statement on its website, the group says keeping criminalization in place will continue the stigma and social exclusion of sex workers. The group also said it plans to continue to fight for rights for sex workers, saying this isn't over!

 

31st October

  An Extraordinarily Expensive Lay...

St Petersburg law proposals sees prosecution of men buying sex but penalties to be dropped laxed if the man marries the sex worker
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Russia flag A municipal lawmaker in St Petersburg, Russia's second-largest city, has drafted a bill introducing heavy fines for the customers of prostitutes, but they'll be forgotten if client agrees to marry the sex worker.

The initiative is from Olga Galkina who represents the pro-business Civil Platform party in the city legislature. She stressed that her bill was in response to the recent suggestion to make prostitution a criminal offence drafted by Vitaly Milonov, known for his anti-gay drive, and other campaigns bordering Christian fundamentalism.

Galkina said she wants to change the Russian Administrative Code and introduce fines of between 4000 and 10000 rubles ($95- $240) or up to 5 days of jail for buying sex services. If customers know that prostitutes had been forced into this business the fines increase to 50-100 thousand rubles ($1200 - $2380) and the terms of administrative jail to 10 or 15 days. The bill would also see convicted foreign nationals deported immediately after they pay the fines or at the end of their jail time.

The most interesting part of the bill is the possibility for clients to evade punishment altogether if they marry the person that provided the sex services.

If the St. Petersburg city legislature approves the bill in two readings it would be sent to the Federal parliament with the possibility to become a national Russian law.

 

28th October

 Update: Paying to get screwed by the authorities...

How Northern Ireland politician passed yet another law that will be used to persecute innocent people, this time ordinary people who just want to get laid
Link Here  full story: Sex Work in Northern Ireland...Bill to ban paying for sex

Northern Ireland Assembly In an unusual coalition, the two main opposing parties of Northern Irish politics have joined forces to pass new legislation on human trafficking, with the result that clients of sex workers will now be criminalised in Northern Ireland. Until just before the late-night vote on Tuesday 21st October, it was unclear how Sinn Fein (the republican party, active in both Northern and the Republic of Ireland) would vote, and the bill was complex, with over 60 amendments. Clause 6 of the proposed Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Further Provisions and Support for Victims) bill contains the provision to criminalise clients of sex workers. It is already an offence to purchase sex from a trafficked person in Northern Ireland.

Lord Morrow, a Member of the Legislative Assembly for the DUP (Democratic Unionist Party) tabled this private members bill, which was opposed by the Justice Minister, David Ford on the basis that it did not adequately address consensual sex work. An in-depth piece of research, commissioned by the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland, was released in the days preceeding the vote, but despite its clear and decisive conclusions, 81 MLAs voted for Clause 6 (10 voted against). The Committee for Justice advising on the bill also visited Sweden to gain information about the Swedish Model of criminalisation of clients, and heard evidence of a trafficking victim in an informal meeting.

The research from Queen's University depicts a small but active sex work community in Northern Ireland, with an estimate of 350 sex workers active in the country per day, 20 of whom work outdoors. The report suggests that trafficking victims account for less than 3% of that number, fewer than 10 people. More than a third of clients surveyed believed that paying for sex was already illegal. Of the 171 sex workers questioned, less than 2% supported criminalisation of clients, 61% saying that it would make them less safe.

Northern Ireland has a population of around 1.8 million people, but the research noted that both clients and sex workers were highly mobile, and frequently borders were crossed both to the Republic of Ireland and other countries in Europe to engage in sex work.

Speaking to the BBC , one NI MLA explained that the law would be enforced using online surveillance, since according to him, people pay for sexual services using credit cards. The Police Service of Northern Ireland have so far refused to comment on how the legislation would be enforced, but sex workers are widely known to rarely accept online or credit card payment, partly because of the need for discretion, and partly since few third party payment providers will allow transactions of an adult nature. 

Dr Jay Levy, author of " Criminalising the Purchase of Sex: Lessons from Sweden ", an in-depth analysis of 4 years of fieldwork on the subject, commented on the use of the Swedish model in Northern Ireland: "There is no evidence that levels of trafficking (or sex work) have declined since the criminalisation of the purchase of sex was introduced in Sweden in 1999, and the law has exacerbated danger and difficulties for sex workers. Northern Ireland's stating that this law will be used to target and reduce trafficking is nonsensical, given that there is no empirical data whatsoever to suggest it will have this effect, and given that the law is of great harm to sex workers'wellbeing and safety."

In France, politicians voted to criminalise clients, but the bill was struck down in July by the French Senate Select Committee. A bill to criminalise clients of sex workers was similarly considered in Scotland in 2013, but did not pass. The Northern Irish bill will also have to pass 3 further stages before becoming active legislation.

In November, MPs in England are scheduled to vote on an amendment to the Modern Slavery Act which would similarly criminalise clients of sex workers. An All Party Parliamentary Group was convened last year to consider the evidence regarding suitable legal provision for sex work. 

 

27th October

 Offsite Article: Sex industry doing it tough...

Link Here  full story: Sex Work in New Zealand...New Zealand's experience from legalising prostitution
New Zealand flag So how large is the prostitution business in New Zealand, now it's legal?

See article from stuff.co.nz

 

24th October

 Update: Endangering sex workers' lives and livelihoods...

The prostitutes Collective argues that pushing prostitution further underground will not abolish it nor help sex workers,
Link Here  full story: Sex Work in Northern Ireland...Bill to ban paying for sex
prostitutes collective logo Consenting sex is not a crime. Criminalising clients will not stop prostitution; it will push it further underground, making it more dangerous and stigmatising for sex workers.

Most sex workers are mothers, mostly single mothers driven into the sex industry by lack of economic alternatives to prostitution: unemployment, poverty, low and unequal wages. Many are young women trying to pay extortionate rents, university fees, debts . . .

Where is End Demand's outrage at UK benefit cuts and sanctions which are hitting mothers and children hardest, at mothers skipping meals to feed their children or having to resort to food banks?

What they say about the Swedish model is misleading and hides the truth: 25% of Swedish single mothers now live in poverty compared to 10% seven years ago; sex workers who are mothers face losing their children; sex workers facing violence are now too afraid to go to the police for protection as the stigma of prostitution has increased.

The All Party Parliamentary Group on prostitution which last year recommended the criminalisation of clients, refused to look at any of that. They have also refused to disclose how many of those who submitted evidence to them actually agreed with the criminalisation of clients. John McDonnell MP has asked to see the submissions but the APPG has been unforthcoming so far. They also refused to look at how decriminalisation was working in New Zealand, and its positive impact of sex workers' health and safety.

End Demand quotes Alan Caton, Suffolk's former Chief Superintendent. But the murders of five women in Ipswich in 2006 were preceded by a police crackdown. So were the murders of three women in Bradford in 2009-2010. Sex workers were hounded and forced out of their established red light areas into bleak industrialised areas, away from the concerned eye of the community.

We are not the only ones to have noticed that crackdowns endanger women's lives. Mariana Popa, a young immigrant mother, was murdered on the streets of Ilford, London, last October, in the wake of a police crackdown against clients. Following her death, senior police officers raised concerns that operations to tackle prostitution are "counterproductive" and likely to put the lives of women at risk .

Chris Armitt, the national police lead on prostitution in England and Wales, also called for a review of enforcement tactics aimed at prosecuting prostitutes:

We are not going to enforce our way out of this problem. It simply won't work. I feel it would be good to allow a small group of women to work together, otherwise it creates a situation where they are working away from other human support. I think the disadvantages of working alone outweigh the advantages.

While more and more time and resources are being diverted into policing prostitution, rape and child abuse continue on a mass scale despite thousands of victims coming forward. Where were the police when children were being abused in Rotherham, Rochdale, Oxford, and in children homes all over the country? Where were they when women and their children were killed by violent partners and ex-partners? Where are they now when the same perpetrators continue to avoid prosecution? What is their connection to the perpetrators whose crimes they have aided and abetted?

Increasing the powers of police to deal with prostitution has already resulted in more arrests, raids, stealing and seizing the earnings of sex workers, and other abuses of power and corruption. No one who is calling for the criminalisation of clients has shown any interest in this.

The North of Ireland Assembly has just voted to criminalise clients. But Scotland has refused and so has France. It is time to look at decriminalisation and that's what we are campaigning for.

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