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Dangerous law...

Report reveals that 10 French sex workers were murdered after being put into danger by a new law criminalising their customers


Link Here18th April 2021
In 2016, France passed a law, the Prostitution Act that made it a crime to pay for sex. Now a new study by researchers at the Center for International Studies in Paris recently released a report deeming the law a failure.

In fact, in just six months leading up to February of 2020, 10 French sex workers were murdered, as part of an overall uptick in violence against sex workers, according to the group Decrim Now, which advocates full decriminalization.

The Center for International Studies report notes that shifting the criminal responsibility for sex work offenses from the providers to the purchasers has actually given clients more power over sex workers. The drop in client numbers has increased clients' power to negotiate acceptance of unsafe sexual practices. In fact, sex workers pointed to client criminalization as the main factor in their loss of power due to a decrease in income, which was reported by 78% of respondents, the report states.

The law itself had not even succeeded in its stated purpose, of deterring clients from purchasing sexual services, according to French Senator Annick Billon, president of the senate's delegation for women's rights. Billon told the German news agency DW that in the four years that the Prostitution Act has been in effect, only 5,000 fines have been imposed on prospective customers, though France is estimated to have a sex worker population numbering 40,000.

The law is currently being challenged at the European High Court of Human Rights.

 

 

One million and counting...

Thai former nightlife mogul estimates the extent of the country's sex trade


Link Here16th April 2021
Full story: Sex Work in Thailand...Fun for all, Thais and foreigners alike
Chuwit Kamonwisit came to prominence as a nightclub and soapy massage parlour owner. He then became a politician and has now produced an academic paper estimating the extent of the Thai sex industry.

Chuwit pulled no punches about his assessment of sex for sale in Thailand. He said that there were a million women in the sex trade and it was financially bigger than illegal drugs.

Sex for sale in Thailand was everywhere he said. He listed:

Pubs, bars, beer bars, karaoke, Go-Go bars, lounges, soapy massage, traditional massage, fake spas, hotels, resorts, cafes, restaurants, barbers/salons acting as fronts for the business, girls on the end of the phone. These days there were sideline girls (those engaging in sex to pay for their studies or lifestyle in other areas) and pretties (promotional models).

He apologized if any of these were legitimately working outside the sex industry rather than just offering sex. He listed others that keep the nighttime entertainment business going and live from it such as waitresses and waiters, kitchen staff, salon workers, drivers, guides, cashiers, mamasans, taxi drivers, restaurants, shops, alcohol providers and the like.

He said that poor education was no obstacle to entering the sex trade and that for a woman aged 18-25 this was their golden years with some in top end Bangkok clubs able to earn 100,000 baht a month (2400). After 26 things started to go downhill for many women, he said. When prostitutes were over 30 they went to sell themselves in Pattaya and Phuket or other places where there was a big sex industry.

Some went abroad to work in casinos or Thai massage in Asia, Europe or the US.

In Thailand he said the sex industry continues to grow that it was a multi 100 billion baht industry that eclipsed even the trade in illegal drugs.

 

 

Sexual Expression is Being Banned Online...

Free Speech Coalition Europe petitions the EU about considering the rights of sex workers in upcoming internet censorship laws


Link Here29th March 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in EU...EU introduces swathes of internet censorship law
The Free Speech Coalition Europe is a group representing the adult trade. It has organised a petition to The Members of the European Parliament of the IMCO, JURI and LIBE Committees on the subject of how new EU internet censorship laws will impact sex workers. The petition reads:

10 Steps to a Safer Digital Space that Protects the Rights of Sexuality Professionals, Artists and Educators

"Online platforms have become integral parts of our daily lives, economies, societies and democracies."

Not our words but those of the European Commission. And after more than a year in the grips of a global pandemic, this statement rings truer than ever before. So why are some of society's already most marginalised people being excluded from these necessary spaces?

Sexual Expression is Being Banned Online

Sex in almost all its guises is being repressed in the public online sphere and on social media like never before. Accounts focused on sexuality -- from sexuality professionals, adult performers and sex workers to artists, activists and LGBTIQ folks, publications and organisations -- are being deleted without warning or explanation and with little regulation by private companies that are currently able to enforce discriminatory changes to their terms and conditions without explanation or accountability to those affected by these changes. Additionally, in many cases it is impossible for the users to have their accounts reinstated -- accounts that are often vitally linked to the users' ability to generate income, network, organise and share information.

Unpacking the Digital Services Act (DSA)

At the same time as sexual expression is being erased from digital spaces, new legislation is being passed in the European Union to safeguard internet users' online rights. The European Commission's Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act encompass upgraded rules governing digital services with their focus, in part, building a safer and more open digital space. These rules will apply to online intermediary services used by millions every day, including major platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Amongst other things, they advocate for greater transparency from platforms, better-protected consumers and empowered users.

With the DSA promising to "shape Europe's digital future" and "to create a safer digital space in which the fundamental rights of all users of digital services are protected", it's time to demand that it's a future that includes those working, creating, organising and educating in the realm of sexuality. As we consider what a safer digital space can and should look like, it's also time to challenge the pervasive and frankly puritanical notion that sexuality -- a normal and healthy part of our lives -- is somehow harmful, shameful or hateful.

How the DSA Can Get It Right

The DSA is advocating for "effective safeguards for users, including the possibility to challenge platforms' content moderation decisions". In addition to this, the Free Speech Coalition Europe demands the following:

  • Platforms need to put in place anti-discrimination policies and train their content moderators so as to avoid discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, race, or profession -- the same community guidelines need to apply as much to an A-list celebrity or mainstream media outlet as they do to a stripper or queer collective;

  • Platforms must provide the reason to the user when a post is deleted or account is restricted or deleted. Shadowbanning is an underhanded means for suppressing users' voices. Users should have the right to be informed when they are shadowbanned and to challenge the decision;

  • Platforms must allow for the user to request a revision of a content moderation's decision, platforms must ensure moderation actions take place in the users' location, rather than arbitrary jurisdictions which may have different laws or custom; e.g., a user in Germany cannot be banned by reports & moderation in the middle east, and must be reviewed by the European moderation team;

  • Decision-making on notices of reported content as specified in Article 14 of the DSA should not be handled by automated software, as these have proven to delete content indiscriminately. A human should place final judgement.

  • The notice of content as described in Article 14.2 of the DSA should not immediately hold a platform liable for the content as stated in Article 14.3, since such liability will entice platforms to delete indiscriminately after report for avoiding such liability, which enables organized hate groups to mass report and take down users;

  • Platforms must provide for a department (or, at the very least, a dedicated contact person) within the company for complaints regarding discrimination or censorship;

  • Platforms must provide a means to indicate whether you are over the age of 18 as well as providing a means for adults to hide their profiles and content from children (e.g. marking profiles as 18+); Platforms must give the option to mark certain content as "sensitive";

  • Platforms must not reduce the features available to those who mark themselves as adult or adult-oriented (i.e. those who have marked their profiles as 18+ or content as "sensitive"). These profiles should then appear as 18+ or "sensitive" when accessed without a login or without set age, but should not be excluded from search results or appear as "non-existing";

  • Platforms must set clear, consistent and transparent guidelines about what content is acceptable, however, these guidelines cannot outright ban users focused on adult themes; e.g., you could ban highly explicit pornography (e.g., sexual intercourse videos that show penetration), but you'd still be able to post an edited video that doesn't show penetration;

  • Platforms cannot outright ban content intended for adult audiences, unless a platform is specifically for children, or >50% of their active users are children.

 

 

Offsite Article: Even covid advice for frequent hand washing doesn't help...


Link Here 25th November 2020
Full story: Coronavirus...Internet censorship and surveillance
The coronavirus pandemic has washed away Pattaya's soapy massage parlours

See article from thethaiger.com




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