High demand in Canberra's fly-in fly-out sex industry proves the Australian territory's
prostitution laws should not be tampered with.
That is the message from Australia's most experienced brothel madam, Mary-Anne Kenworthy, who will open a new branch of her popular Langtrees brothel next week in Mitchell.
The 30-year industry veteran praised the ACT's laws on prostitution but called for better enforcement of health and safety regulations and further assistance for women to leave sex work.
She said demand continued to outstrip supply in the local sex industry, which resulted in as many as 20 women flying to Canberra each week to provide sexual services.
The new Mitchell brothel will feature seven luxury theme rooms, including Arabian Nights and Fantasia decor, as well as a cocktail bar and AAA service . There will be six women available on weeknights and as many as 12 at the weekend.
I work in Perth with probably about 65 ladies a week, and 80 per cent of those are fly-in, fly-out, Ms Kenworthy said. We'll have a lot of our Perth clientele who come to Canberra to work with government come and see us. I understand
business is a lot more quiet when Parliament is not sitting.
Promising a complete guide to the sex industry, Ms Kenworthy called on parliamentarians to visit local brothels before travelling to Europe or Asia.
Dozens of Danish researchers have protested against the EU parliament's decision last week to recommend that EU member states criminalise the
purchase of sex.
The 26 researchers, who specialise in the areas of prostitution, sex work, human trafficking and sexuality, have signed their names to a petition because they argue that criminalising the purchase of sex will lead to a more insecure existence for
They further contend that the EU politicians are ignoring the vast research about the issue, including reports from the UN, World Health Organisation and Human Rights Watch, which recommend decriminalising sex work.
Christian Groes Green, a researcher at Roskilde University and one of the petition's signees, told tv2.dk:
When the EU chooses to ignore the research results, then it's down to ideological beliefs that it is morally wrong to sell one's body. The parliament has chosen to ignore all the international research that argues against criminalising buying
The researchers point to Sweden where the criminalisation of sex work has weakened the prostitutes' trust in the authorities and driven them underground and made them more dependent on pimps and other criminals.
It's problematic that they have ignored the research and it goes against tendencies in other areas such as drug abuse, which has been decriminalised. Apparently, it is different with buying sex: a battle based on old-fashioned ideas and beliefs.
That's why we've signed this protest.
When Germany legalised prostitution in 2002 it triggered unstoppable growth in the country's sex industry. It's now worth 15 billion euros a year and embraces everything from 12-storey mega-brothels to outdoor sex boxes.
Like the numerous popular sites offering reviews of travel destinations, video games, and restaurants, PunterNet.com is designed to help consumers choose where to spend their money. It is just that in this case the shoppers are (mostly) male
customers, and the products are sexual services offered by women.
Protected by online aliases, men write reviews of sex industry workers they have patronised. Anti-sex work campaigners have selected some of the inevitable negative comments for an exhibition called Invisible Men . It is designed to turn
the spotlight on men who use prostitutes and challenge social acceptance of the trade.
The words of male customers are superimposed on to blank white face masks and allowed to stand for themselves, with only a price tag added, to show how much the reviewer paid for the encounter.
After showing for two days at the annual Cosla conference in Edinburgh on Thursday and Friday, the same images will be on show to the public at the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow from Saturday March 15 until Sunday March 23.
Glasgow City Council' said:.
We would encourage as many right-thinking adults in society to see it as possible. It does provide a unique insight into the reality of prostitution and how horrendous it is for the women involved.
In sound bites, the Swedish Government has been spinning their sex purchase ban, known as the Swedish model or sometimes the
Nordic model though it is not adopted by all Nordic countries, as a success. However, research does not show it has reduced sex trafficking or sex work. In addition, their own police report demonstrates it has pushed prostitution indoors
with nearly three times as many Thai massage parlours in Stockholm and the vicinity:
Now, let's think about sex workers' rights in the UK and Ireland. Again, here we have two groups, but the conflation now is consensual sex work versus trafficking/coercion. The first group believe the propaganda they read from abolitionists, you
only have to look at my coverage of Abolition Scotland and their Nefarious road show to see just how inflated that information can be. This group really believe that those of us who have not been trafficked nevertheless require rescue because we
are undoubtedly the product of a broken home, abuse, addiction, low self esteem - the list is endless.
The second group are far more heinous. They know very well that there is a vast majority of independent and content sex workers who just do our work and pay our bills. This group have met us, debated with us and tried every trick in the book to
You're not representative, you're in an ivory tower. You consort with pimps, therefore your 20 years of experience is invalid. You are psychologically damaged, PTSD, therefore we cannot trust what you say.
The European parliament has voted in favour of a resolution to criminalise the purchase of sex.
On Wednesday, 343 MEPs backed a report proposed by the London MEP and Labour spokeswoman for women in Europe, Mary Honeyball, which recommends legalising selling sex but criminalises buying it. Some 139 MEPs voted against;105 abstained.
The yes vote formally establishes the EU's stance on prostitution and puts pressure on member states to re-evaluate their policies on sex work. However it was not a binding vote that requires states to enact new laws.
Comment: Why the European Parliament Has Got the Sex Trade All Wrong
I recognise that a great number of those working as prostitutes are doing so as a result of having
being trafficked. The trafficking of human beings is akin to slavery, it is a criminal offence and every one of us has a moral duty to fight against it.
But the problem with the proposals which will be put before the European Parliament this week is that they don't acknowledge that some women - and men - choose to sell sex for a living. Whether we approve or not of such an activity, it is the case
that some people enter into prostitution freely and without coercion or violence.
I don't believe that the EU should be telling anybody what to do and that includes what they do with their bodies. What's more EU member states have long held differing legal views on prostitution and it is not the job of Brussels to interfere in
the legal matters and decisions of sovereign nations.
La Strada statement ahead of the vote in the European Parliament on the Report of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality on sexual exploitation and prostitution and its impact on gender equality
La Strada International (LSI), the European NGO Network against Trafficking in Human Beings, and its partners in the LSI NGO Platform, united against trafficking in human beings, strongly oppose the report by the FEMM committee, prepared by
Rapporteur Mary Honeyball, which calls for criminalisation of clients of sex workers (the so-called Swedish model ) as the only prostitution policy that successfully combats human trafficking and protects the rights of trafficked persons.
The partners of the LSI NGO Platform have supported many women and men who were trafficked in the sex industry in the past nearly two decades. We know from experience that criminalisation does not solve any of the problems that our clients face,
nor does it prevent or stop human trafficking.
Criminalisation stigmatises and marginalises both domestic and migrant sex workers and it deprives them of the tools to protect themselves from violence and seek redress. It drives the sex industry even more underground, which results in less
access to health, social and legal assistance for sex workers, and significantly lower chances to identify individuals who have been trafficked.
We do acknowledge that the sex industry is one of the economic sectors in which human trafficking occurs, as it does in many other industries, in particular those where workers are invisible, unprotected, excluded and disempowered. Therefore, we
believe that sex workers rights organisations, just as trade unions, are important allies in the efforts to protect workers from exploitation, violence and abuse and to prevent trafficking in human beings.
By equating sex work to trafficking in persons, the very complex phenomenon of human trafficking is narrowed down to a moral issue, an approach that fails to address the economic, political and social root causes of trafficking. Moreover, by
doing so, trafficked persons in all other industries are not recognised and remain unprotected.
The conflation of sex work and trafficking in persons leads to inadequate counter-trafficking policies and to counter-productive prostitution policies. The two issues are both complex and need their own individual approach and policy.
Furthermore, it leads to a polarisation in the international counter-trafficking debate, which takes away the focus from what is needed now the most: the protection of the rights of those who have been exploited, violated and abused.
The partners of the LSI NGO Platform - united against trafficking in human beings, therefore call on Members of the European Parliament to vote against Ms Honeyball's report on sexual exploitation and prostitution and to support the Alternative
Motion for a Resolution on Sexual exploitation and prostitution and its impact on gender equality.
Sex workers in Spain will demonstrate in central Madrid against a plan to fine street walkers and their customers.
The sex workers' rights group Hetaira said it would rally on Saturday fearing that the plans will force them to work in dangerous conditions. The demonstration will take place at the foot of Calle Montera, a street next to Madrid's central
Puerta del Sol square where prostitutes habitually stand waiting for customers.
Madrid city hall has drawn up proposals to fine those who pick up prostitutes in the street, while the national government plans to fine those offering or soliciting sex near schools or other children's areas.
The Madrid proposals would fine a person caught soliciting sex in public up to 750 euros, or up to 3,000 euros if it is done near schools or shopping centres.
Around 150 sex workers demonstrated on Saturday 15th Feb 2014 in Madrid, protesting against the
criminalisation of prostitution and against the city government's Civil Space Ordnance and the Interior Ministry's proposed Law of Civil Safety.
Under the slogan, No to persecution, bargaining space now! the prostitutes marched and called for a space to work in peace, without disturbing and without being disturbed in the city, according to Karolina Hernandez, spokesperson
for the Hetaira Collective and sex worker.
She condemned the new state and municipal regulations that damage prostitutes' working conditions. They also called for the Commission to meet with the organisation:
We'd like the local government to meet us, they talk about us a lot, all the world seems to know all about prostitution but very rarely do they talk to the people involved and one of those is us.
In reference to the local government campaign against sex workers' clients, Hernandez says:
I work freely in the streets, I have decided to do this on my own terms. I and many companions have freely decided to do this work. When campaigns punish our clients, this also affects me. It's absurd to say that it's in my favour, it's
completely the opposite, it worsens my working conditions and my ability to negotiate with the client.
Men who are prosecuted for paying prostitutes in Sweden need help to prevent them re-offending, according to a government-commissioned report.
Anti-prostitution work needs to focus even more on men's role, according to the report entitled Men and Equality .
Tthe authors of the report claim that more needs to be done to target men who continue to pay for sex. Their recommendation to do more to prevent men going to prostitutes contrasts with Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt's call for a tougher
approach, including the enforcement of prison sentences.
Authorities in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong have announced an impending three month-long anti-prostitution campaign, after a television expose in Dongguan prompted an oppressive raid.
The expose' and heavy-handed response have proved surprisingly controversial in China , where prostitution is technically illegal but practically ubiquitous. Internet users and human rights groups have criticised authorities for shaming and
intimidating female sex workers rather than offering them help.
The UN estimates that four to six million women work in the country's sex industry nationwide, many of them in brothels thinly disguised as hair salons, massage parlours and karaoke bars.
In the expose, aired by state broadcaster CCTV, undercover reporters visited a range of upscale hotels and karaoke bars in the city of Dongguan, known as a prostitution hot spot. In one segment, a reporter enters a room divided by one-way
glass; on the other side, two scantily-clad women dance provocatively to a Lady Gaga song. A venue employee identifies them by their numbers, prices, and hometowns.
The city responded to the broadcast by dispatching 6,525 police officers in a raid. They arrested 67 people and closed 12 entertainment venues. Pictures posted online showed lines of men and women kneeling on the floor in the middle of a hotel
lobby, their heads down and their hands cuffed, surrounded by scores of uniformed police.
Guangdong authorities will now launch a three-month, province-wide crackdown on prostitution. Local police officers who are found protecting the sex industry or who organise sexual services will be severely punished, said Li Chunsheng,
the province's vice-governor.
In addition to a news feature on China Central Television about the corruption of the sex industry in Dongguan, the official Sina Weibo published an eight-hour population in-flow and out-flow map of Donguan city, which has been interpreted as
the escape path of prostitutes and prostitution clients during the crackdown. Generated by Baidu Qianxi with data from Baidu map, the map indicated that most people fleeing the crackdown escaped to Hong Kong.
Originally, Baidu Qianxi was designed as a visualization tool that could map population flows during the Chinese Lunar New Year. But as Luo Changping at Letscorp pointed out [zh], the fact that Baidu Qianxi was able to appropriate the data
surrounding the prostitution crackdown suggests that authorities are using mass surveillance to track these patterns, rather than only targeting criminal suspects, and thereby violating the personal privacy of untold numbers of citizens.
The use of geolocation tracking technology in this crackdown by the party propaganda authority indicates to the public that the police authority, through Baidu and other mobile application developers, is capable of tracking mobile phones and
thus the real identity of individuals, as nearly all mobile numbers are linked with the owner's identity card. In reaction to this threat, many Hong Kong netizens said that they planned to shut down their mobile when traveling in China.
The Chinese government has sacked the police chief of Dongguan following a report by the main state broadcaster, China Central Television (CCTV), on the underground sex industry there, the Xinhua news agency has reported.
Yan Xiaokang, who was also Dongguan's vice mayor, was removed from his posts for dereliction of duty, Xinhua said, quoting Communist party officials in Guangdong province.
Yan's dereliction of duty led to the persistent illegal sex trade in Dongguan, which has reflected very badly on the city, both domestically and internationally, Xinhua reported, citing a party statement. It added that another seven
Dongguan officials were also sacked in relation to the case.
Each evening thousands of tourists stroll down the narrow canal-side streets of Amsterdam's famed Red Light District, gawking at
ladies in lingerie who work behind windows. Now a small new educational museum in the heart of the district shows the reality from the other side of the glass.
Organizer Melcher de Wind says the Red Light Secrets museum is for those who want to learn more about how the area works. I
The museum focuses on the era since 2000, when prostitution became legal in the Netherlands. Yolanda van Doeveren, who manages the city's prostitution social programs, says the district is regulated by police officers, social workers, health
workers, tax authorities and civil rights groups. A new girl who appears in a window will be noticed in a matter of hours and must be able to show that she's old enough and has approval to work. The legal age to work as a prostitute in
Amsterdam has recently been raised from 18 to 21.
Very few women who work as prostitutes ever earn more than a middle class income at best. Ilonka Stakelborough, an escort who heads a sex-workers union called the Geisha Institute, says it's not the prettiest or youngest girls who get
the most customers or earn the most. And escorts and high-end brothel prostitutes don't necessarily do better, they have fewer customers, longer sessions and lots of costs, for taxis or splitting profits with brothel owners. A window typically
rents for 150 euros ($202) for a half-day. Given the standard cost of about 50 euros ($70) for a 15-minute session, their take-home pay before taxes is only 150 euros after seeing six clients, or 250 euros ($338) after eight.
The Red Light Secrets Museum of Prostitution is located on the Oudezijds Achterburgwal 60-62 in Amsterdam. The museum is open daily from noon to midnight. Admission cost: 7.50 euros.
Proposals to scrap the licensing of saunas and massage parlours in Edinburgh will be considered by councillors today. The number
of parlours has already been reduced after recent police raids.
Edinburgh is the only Scottish city to operate a licensing scheme, part of a tolerant approach to the sex trade.
If all are withdrawn, the saunas could stay open, subject to trading standards and public health rules.
Speaking last week, Gavin Barrie, City of Edinburgh Council's convener of the regulatory committee, said it was no longer appropriate to consider saunas and massage premises for a public entertainment licence.
Edinburgh City Council have announced that six saunas which had previously been granted entertainment licences would lose that protection in 28 days. The council has terminated the licences of six establishments: Paradise, The New Gentle
Touch, the Dundas Street Sauna, Scorpio Leisure, Blair Street Sauna and New Town Sauna.
The move marks a change in the city's long-standing tolerance of the sex trade and it follows a number of police raids, which were widely regarded as a sign that the policy of turning a blind eye to such premises over the past two decades had
come to an end.
But during a meeting yesterday, the council said the arrangement was no longer effective and decided it would be scrapped. This does not mean the saunas will close but they will now be open to more frequent raids by the police.
MSP Margo MacDonald, who supports the licensing of saunas, said that the raids flew in the face of promises to keep policing local after the merger of the eight distinct forces.
Representatives of sex workers said the decision not to license saunas could put them more at risk. The charity Scot-Pep, which campaigns for the rights of sex workers, said it was disappointed by the council's decision. Its spokeswoman said:
This will mean women are working in constant fear of traumatising and counterproductive raids on their workplaces. Premises will be driven underground, away from service providers such as health workers.
The European Parliament's Women's Rights and Gender Equality Committee has voted through a report that recommends the adoption
of the Nordic Model of prostitution laws.
Put forward by Mary Honeyball, Labour MEP for London, the report recommends the EU takes on the Swedish model of prostitution laws, which punishes the clients of prostitutes, rather than the sex workers themselves.
Fourteen of the European Parliament committee members voted in favour of the Swedish model, with two against and six abstentions.
The report can also now be put forward to the full European Parliament to vote on. This will take place at one of the Strasbourg plenary sessions in February, most likely during the week starting the 24th.
Commenting on the vote, Honeyball said:
This is a fantastic outcome. It will form a key part of the sea-change taking place in the way we view prostitution across Europe. We are now a step closer to an approach which recognises the fundamental injustice that takes place when a man buys
a women's body. Related
Feminists and religious fundamentalists shouldn't mix. If they do find common cause, it's often a sign that ideological fanaticism has become more important than what happens to real people in the real world.