Georgina Perry has been the service manager for Open Doors, a clinical, case management and outreach service for sex workers in London. She speaks of the overhyped issue of trafficking in the run up to
Plans to criminalise the purchase of sexual services in Scotland have been welcomed by the miserable christian political group CARE (Christian Action Research and Education)
The political campaigners claimed that commercial prostitution was
fuelling the demand for people to be trafficked and exploited.
Gordon Macdonald, CARE for Scotland Parliamentary Officer, said:
We welcome Rhoda Grant's approach to reducing the demand for prostitution and
subsequently people trafficking for sexual exploitation. Prostitution is inherently harmful and dehumanising. We encourage supporters to respond to the consultation.
Genevieve Galvin, CARE's Human Trafficking and Exploitation Officer,
Sweden has shown that criminalising the purchase of sex works as an effective strategy to protect the vulnerable from sexual exploitation, minimise violence against women and foster a more positive sense of
equality and dignity throughout society.
Edinburgh's blind eye policy towards sex-for-sale saunas is facing a challenge in the courts.
A nutter has pledged to appeal against every sauna licence granted by the city council. Mike Anthony claims councillors have been breaking the law
for years by approving saunas which are effectively operating as brothels.
Earlier this week, he sought an interim interdict to stop the council granting any more licences. The bid for an immediate block on council approval for the city's saunas
failed, but the civil action will continue through the courts.
Anthony said he would fight individual applications for renewal of the public entertainment licences as they came up. There are around 15 licensed saunas in the Capital. Anthony has
lodged objections to 13 renewal applications which are due to be considered by councillors in the next few months. If the licences are granted, he can appeal against the decision to the sheriff court.
The 59-year-old website producer said he had
been prompted to take his legal action after comments made by Tory councillor Joanna Mowat at a hustings during the council elections earlier this year. When a member of the audience asked about Edinburgh's policy on saunas, Cllr Mowat confessed she felt
uncomfortable about the way sauna licensing was handled.
Anthony has argued that since it was against the law to run or assist in running a brothel, councillors were committing a criminal offence.
Police are aiming to set up a permanent vice squad after the Olympics to hassle sex workers in London's East End. That was the pledge by the Met's new Tower Hamlets borough commander Dave Stringer at a public meeting in Whitechapel.
It follows a
six-month action against street prostitutes and kerb-crawlers in the area around Vallance Road and the Flower & Dean estate off Brick Lane which has resulted in 65 sex workers arrested this year.
Stringer told the packed meeting at the Osmani
I want to set up a vice squad---but we have the Olympics commitment first,
But the commitments by the Met finishes September 16, so I'm looking to get something in place at the
start of October.
Roy Greenslade pulls up anti-prostitution MEP on citing unsubstantiated claims hyping the scale of sex trafficking. The old chestnut of high proportion of migrant sex workers somehow implying a high
proportion being trafficked.
The Home Office is set to launch a pioneering scheme to alert sex workers about people with a history of violence, including rape.
The scheme, which is being launched in Manchester, will encourage sex workers to co-ordinate with police on a
national scale. It also has the wider intent of taking murderers, rapists and other violent criminals off the streets.
Sex workers will be alerted by text, email or phone app about people who have carried out attacks. Online escort agencies,
street sex workers and those working in brothels will all be able to access the warnings.
The National Ugly Mugs pilot scheme is based on an Australian system. Similar schemes have been operating informally in areas of the UK but this is the first
time that information will be collated nationally.
Sex workers are generally unable to report crimes directly to the police as they themselves would face police action for prostitution. So instead they can go through local sex work projects, which
can pass intelligence to the police anonymously. The scheme will be managed by the UK Network of Sex Work Projects, an umbrella organisation of campaigners and academics.
One Manchester-based street sex worker, Naomi, welcomed the initiative:
I have been working on the streets for 17 years she said. I have experienced lots of attacks, rapes and attempted kidnap. It's good to know that someone cares about what happens to us, and that sex workers will be better
Merseyside police have pioneered projects working with sex workers to share intelligence about violent attacks and have an above average rate of convictions for rapes carried out against sex workers and others.
Metropolitan police, on the other hand, has a special team, and a half million budget, to harass sex workers ahead of the Olympic Games. (In the name of preventing the mythical mass 'trafficking' that is supposed to occur at major sporting events).
The NSWP was established in 1990, as an informal, sex worker-led network, to advance male, female and transgender sex workers' human rights and health, and influence
policies worldwide. They have built a community and are leaders among sex workers. They facilitated the development of many regional sex work projects. The NSWP participation in the global response to HIV/AIDS was largely responsible for the term sex
worker replacing prostitute in many languages, lessening stigma and encouraging pride in the work. They are based in Edinburgh. www.nswp.org
Up: Aliaa Magda Elmahdy (Egypt)
Student, atheist and blogger, Aliaa Magda Elmahdy, posted nude pictures of herself on her blog to show her screams against a society of violence, racism, sexism, sexual harassment and
hypocrisy . Sharing and embracing her body, her femininity, particularly at a time when Islamists in Egypt are trying to secure power, was the ultimate act of rebellion. Today, the nude pictures have been taken down but their powerful ripple, a fist
upwards to freedom, remains. www.facebook.com/aliaa.magda.elmahdy.blog
Runner Up: Megan Andelloux (USA)
Megan is the founder and director of The Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health in Pawtucket,
RI. It is a sexuality resource centre designed to provide adults with a safe, physical space to learn about sexual pleasure, health, advocacy issues and discussions on a wide range of topics: De-Mystifying Pudendal Neuralgia , for example. The
centre has publications and resources from today's and yesteryear's great sexual thinkers, a huge inventory of sex toys, and the largest handmade vulva doorframe in America. Megan lectures internationally on sexual pleasure, politics, and erotic justice.
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