I have always argued that the root of whore hatred and the anti trafficking hysteria lies within the orthodox monotheistic fear of human sexuality. That same fear and orthodox moralist unease with human sexuality and especially women’s sexuality is equally the motivation behind the anti sex rhetoric of some so called feminists. Those feminists present an ideal of the “good” woman not so dissimilar to the ideal of the “moral” woman that has influenced western culture and its laws with often negative consequences for society for centuries. This excellent piece by the “Honest Courtesan” entitled “Original Sin” suggests ideas very similar to my own on this subject.
March 18, 2013 by Maggie McNeill
The most unpardonable sin in society is independence of thought. – Emma Goldman
As I have often pointed out, many of the beliefs presented as “political positions” these days are actually religions, and that includes those which sell themselves as “scientific” or “atheist”. Any organized group which insists on “rigid adherence to a morality and interpretation of reality…derived entirely from knowledge revealed in sacred scriptures by [its] founders…[and] must be accepted unquestioningly by adherents” is a religion, no matter what it calls itself or whether it has a definable deity; it is based in faith, not science or logic, and any attempt to understand and deal with it as anything other than a religion is doomed to failure. This is why the “sex trafficking” myth is so pernicious; its adherents believe in it just as Christians believe in the divinity of Jesus, and no weight of evidence is sufficient to convince them otherwise.
Link to the rest of article with all links “HERE”
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Looks like official statistics from the Germans Government dispelled the myth that liberalisation of sexwork increases coercion and trafficking in our work place. Seems the complete opposite is true as we all know should be the case.
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Posted in Anti Sex Work, Government Reviews and Change, Human Rights, sex worker politics, Trafficking, Uncategorized, VAW, tagged Amsterdam, Julie Bindel, nordic model, Red Light District, sex workers, Swedish Model on 4 February, 2013 |
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Julie Bindel, hater of sex workers, transsexuals, gay men, men, vegetarians and women who are not middle class journalists ( and ideally lesbian ) has been hating again, this time in the Spectator.
She claims that Amsterdam is regretting its liberal attitude toward prostitution and is actively closing brothels and sweeping back on positive legislation in regard to sex work. “READ HERE”
First thing I would say is that this is not true, or at least not quite in the way our Julie presents it. Amsterdam is not the model that any sex worker I know holds up as an example of excellence. All sex workers in the UK noted that it was better than the model we have here but it is not one we are generally eager to adopt. Amsterdam has legalised licensed brothels and windows. Naturally its liberal and tolerant approach attracted both tourists and sex workers from around the world, legal and illegal. The illegal workers have over time become a problem in the eyes of the authorities. The illegal brothels and workers have created an alternative and unregulated market in competition with the legal market. The result has been an increased tension between legal markets and unregulated markets. Undoubtedly criminals have to an extent exploited this situation. Has this resulted in the creation as Julie claims of a human trafficking and sexual exploitation hub? Very unlikely.
The truth is that the usual confusion between what is an illegal worker and what is a so called trafficked and exploited worker has focused the attention of the authorities who, as we know, far too easily confuse the two with very damaging and dangerous consequences for all sex workers regardless of their status.
Add to this political hot topic the fact that the red light district is in the historic and commercially valuable and sought after historic centre and you have a confusion of interests and some aggressive lobbying by all concerned parties.
The Amsterdam authorities are as prone as any authority ever is to commercial pressure which when placed alongside lobbying from pro sex work and anti sex work groups has resulted in some confused messages which Julie Bindel has exploited in this article. Some brothels and some windows have been closed. She is also right in noting that the sex worker union is small, as most sex worker unions in the west are. Sex work carries with it huge stigma and is often transitory so not surprisingly few bother to register with any organisation, never mind a trade union. She is also correct in saying that some politicians are pushing for the registration of all sex workers and for the criminalising of clients who use the services of sex workers who are not registered. Others are pushing for an increase in the age of entry into sex work. These however are debates that are attempting to deal with issues that are symptomatic not just of sex work but of all labour. Migratory issues and rights issues about labour, legal and illegal, is an issue that is affecting the world.
What Amsterdam is not doing is attempting to follow the failed Nordic, Swedish model. What Amsterdam is doing is debating how to support the human rights of sex workers while curtailing illegal immigration and the exploitation that so often accompanies it. Amsterdam is having an adult debate which Julie Bindel is incapable of doing because of her ideological position that ALL sex work is violence against women and that all Men are pimps, traffickers and rapists.
We need a similar adult debate in this country. We need a debate that places sex workers firmly in the driving seat of any discussion and one where Julie Bindel and her cohorts of hate are understood as being that rather than spokeswomen for sex workers which they certainly are not.
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Posted in In the Media, Trafficking on 10 January, 2012 |
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We know some charities and NGOs are open to interpret statistics and research to aid them in negotiations for Government funds, and to pull at the purse strings of the general public. Here they go one step further and fake rescues for fund raising publicity.
A case of an Australian charity called The Gray Man has started Australian investigations into their methods of money raising. The Gray Man charity published a rescue they made of 21 children from a life in Thai brothels and slavery. Using photos of the group to raise money from the public. An investigation has found the children never left the village, all living at home, attending school, and all their meals, uniforms being paid for by the Thai Government.
The Australian Federal Police were summoned by the Thai police and urged to look into the alleged fake rescue.
Read more of the article here
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A new Face Book friend Chris Monfort writes some excellent articles on her blog. Below is a very short piece and link to her recent article tackling the myth of sex trafficking.
As a sex worker for twelve years I can honestly say that I have never met a sex slave or trafficked sex worker. I certainly have met foreign sex workers and some sex workers who probably should not be doing sex work, but forced sex slaves?
If one were foolish enough to believe the huge figures quoted by anti sex work lobby groups and then used within the media as absolutes you could be mistaken for believing that huge sex slave auctions were held weekly under the noses of the authorities and that brothels are full of thirteen year old Albanian virgins chained to beds servicing thousands of perverts lining a street near you in flasher macs. The truth is that although there are undoubtedly some degree of trafficking within sex work it is a lot less than in other industries and I mean a lot less. The truth is that most sex workers are ordinary men and women choosing to sell sex because it is preferable to lots of other work. It is work that is relatively well paid and is more accommodating to women with children especially than most forms of labour. These dull facts however would not maintain a very lucrative rescue industry that motivated by greed likes to hype the figures in order to fill their coffers with tax payers money handed to them by gullible politicians eager to appear moral and good to a misinformed public. Welcome to the world of moral panic and emotional blackmail and sensationalism that the media relishes and politicians applaud and the rescue industry nourishes.
Well here is the blog with some very good links for activists and journalist to refer to:
THE MYTH OF SEX TRAFFICKING AND SEX SLAVERY
Millions of USA government dollars are being spent to fight a crime that is extremely rare. The US government assumes that all prostitutes on Earth are sex trafficked slaves.
Forced into it against their will. This is NOT true of MOST Prostitution.
Below are some very important links and information about this, that you should read. It is important to let the truth be told. The lying people get all the press. It is time for the people who tell the truth to get the press.
The numbers of sex trafficking sex slaves:
There is a lot of controversy over the numbers of adult woman who are forced sex slaves. The real factual answer is that no one knows. There is hard evidence that the sex slavery/sex trafficking issue continues to report false information and is greatly exaggerated by politicians, the media, and aid groups, feminist and religious organizations that receive funds from the government, The estimate of adult women who become new sex slaves ranges anywhere from 40 million a year to 5,000 per year all of which appear to be much too high. They have no evidence to back up these numbers, and no one questions them about it. Their sources have no sources, and are made up numbers. In fact if some of these numbers are to believed which have either not changed or have been increased each year for the past twenty years, all woman on earth would currently be sex slaves. Yet, very few real forced against their will sex slaves have been found.
READ REST OF ARTICLE
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Thanks to a friend who brought this to me attention.
Think back to 2008 an the following news story hit the press, fueling the sex trafficking stories, and setting the scene for the Labour Government to bring in anti sex work laws.
The special report by award winning journalist Chris Rogers also ran on ITV’s News at 10 and on CNN in 2008, as well as in the Daily Mail Night and Day magazine – detailing how they had managed to buy a 14-year-old from sex slave traders at a petrol station in Iasi, a town in north eastern Romania.
She actually was 25 years, old and a known Romanian sex worker Monica Ghinga. I am not sure why this has hit the news, this piece of information was available back in 2008 on the Guardian Website of all places.
Recently this story has been mentioned on Melon Farmers, the Austrian Times and numerous other websites through the world.
I post this some what in puzzlement, why has this old piece of news suddenly appeared again? Seems that it has been commented on in the Romania papers recently. Monica has recently been charged with prostitution in Romania after a three year investigation, and is introduced in their papers as Prostitute CNN.
I post it as a couple of warnings.
- Trafficking does happen, and children are trafficked. As an industry we must do all we can do to stamp it out. Report it where we see it.
- Be careful of believing all you read and hear in the media, especially from investigative journalism. These guys from ITV were asking for under aged trafficked women, and were sold a lie. Some would say sex work is selling a fantasy or lie. These journalists would do well in reading Elizabeth Pisani’s book, The Wisdom of Whores. Elizabeth worked for UNAIDS, in many third world countries. She worked amongst the sex workers in these countries, interviewing them and conducting surveys about their sex work, drug taking and HIV status. It goes into great detail on the difficulty she and the team she worked with went into validating their data. The book is easy to read but revealing.
Quote from the police interview.
PO: Did they say what kind of girl they were looking for?
GM: Yes, under age. I pretended to be 14 at the beginning, then I said I was 16.
PO: How old are you actually?
GM: I am 25.
One of the many quotes in Pisani’s book about questioning and what can go wrong.
Now think of it from the other side of the clipboard. Al comes up to you with his melting smile and asks if he can have a few minutes of your time. You melt. You’ve seen him around, in his Rainbow T-shirt, and you know he carries a bag from which condoms and lubricant magically appear. Like pretty much every guy in Prego, you know perfectly well that you should be using condoms when you have anal sex. And you do, most of the time. Well, sometimes. Anyway, you always mean to. And you know Al wants you to. So when he comes to asking you whether you used a condom the last time you had sex, you say yes. Because after all, if you had had one handy, you probably would have used it.
The tell-the-interviewer-what-you-think-they-want-to-hear lie is so common that it has a name in the epi-jargon: ‘desirability bias’.
There is one quote I must give from that book which is so revealing how rumours can start, and which could so easily turn into fact.
A couple of months later, I was back in Dili. The day after I arrived, I spoke to Tim. ‘Oh, are you still interested in trafficking?’ he asked, almost casually. ‘I’ve had a report of three Chinese girls trafficked in. They say the trafficker was a UN staffer.’ Good story! I was a bit surprised they were Chinese – in this part of the world ‘trafficking’ is a word more often associated with Vietnamese or Javanese women. But there may be a growing taste for Chinese women. Those three Chinese hookers I was chatting to at the airport yesterday, for example …
Hang on a minute. When did this happen, Tim? ‘Just yesterday.’ And the UN staffer, who was that? ‘Some white woman. We haven’t been able to identify her yet. She was taking care of all of their paperwork.’
So there it was. The girls had been on the same flight as me. From their clothes, their hair, their make-up, I’d guessed they were on the game. Never one to skip an opportunity to keep up with the industry, I sidled up to them in the chaotic immigration queue and dusted off my Chinese small-talk. I found out that a local businessman was offering girls three-month stints selling sex to the Chinese community in Dili. ‘We were really lucky to get in,’ said one girl. They got the nod from a friend who had done the run six months earlier. ‘She bought a car when she got home.’ Admiration all round. I helped them fill in their forms and promised to visit them soon at the restaurant where they would be based.
Now I was a sex trafficker.
The fact is, most women sell sex for the same reason that people flip burgers in McDonald’s, clean other people’s toilets, hack coal out of a mine or do any number of other poorly paid, unpleasant and sometimes dangerous jobs. To make money.
Sometimes quite good money. A sex worker usually earns quite a bit more than a woman making sports shoes or jogging outfits in a factory. Granted, it is not nice work. You sit around in dark, sweaty, airless rooms with the doof-doof background noise thudding in your ears, being leered over by some guy who has more power than you. That’s in the factory. In the brothel, it’s more or less the same, except that you take your clothes off and allow the leering to go further. The other difference, of course, is the pay packet. In the factory you earn 19 cents an hour. In the brothel your take-home pay averages about US$3.15 an hour. Two horrid jobs; one pays sixteen times more than the other
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It is not only in Scotland that sex workers rights are being attacked by moralists. In Ireland their are plans to follow the example of Sweden and criminalise clients. Sex workers of course are not being consulted about this legislation. Pushing sex work under ground increases stigma, endangers sex workers and does nothing, absolutely nothing to stop sex work or trafficking. The Swedish legislation is a failure. Despite all the spin that the Swedish government puts on its own legislation it cannot provide any reputable, independently verified evidence that their legislation has had any real effect upon sex work in Sweden other than to push sex work underground and out of sight. That is not progress but the exact opposite of progress. SWAI in Ireland is trying to create at least a discussion around these proposals. if anyone can help please contact SWAI and offer what assistance you can.
MESSAGE FROM SWAI.
Sex Workers Alliance Ireland (SWAI) are trying to get as much support at the moment as possible. There are plans to change legislation in relation to prostitution to criminalise the buyers of sex. To people who are not aware of sex worker issues internationally this may seem like a good idea. However, its proven to be a mad move in other countries with sex workers being put more at risk with their safety, human rights and civil rights being greatly affected.
SWAI would be grateful to any support that they can get. Labour and fine gael have both come out as supporting a change in legislation without any debate. There is no discussion and sex workers are not being involved or consulted despite being the people who are going to be most affected by this change in legislation. The government are confusing issues like trafficking and abuse with sex work in general and mashing them together. It has been taken on as a moralistic issue with ruhama leading it (a christian organisation)….its craziness not to at least open the discussions!
HELP!! I want to see if we can open peoples eyes. Perhaps the unit left alliance, socialist party or similar would hear our opinions and help us. we are not looking for legalisation..simply to stop further criminalisation which would further stigmatise and alienate these women and men.
If anyone could help us in our campaign or know anyone who could help by perhaps joining us in the mini marathon, helping us gain support by email or web based media, messaging people to make them aware of SWAI or in any way at all please contact SWAI through their web site.
The mini marathon is being held in May to raise awareness of the proposed changes in legislation.
SWAI web site and link to a face book page where you can be kept up to date with developments. “HERE”.
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Two very nasty people were jailed recently for people trafficking. They duped 6 Romanian women to Manchester with promises of work. They were raped and forced into prostitution and made to work in Manchester’s brothels. Marius Nejloveanu, 23 was given the longest ever prison sentence (for the UK) of 21 years for people trafficking, and his 51 year old father Marius Nejloveanu 6 years.
I write this because of a previous article on here which argues that sex workers should be part of the solution to trafficking. Here is a perfect example where sex-workers and brothel owners were part of the solution. The management of a brothel reported concerns for one of the women, and then police mounted an investigation. Without that report from the sex industry, how much longer would these women have been abused.
Making brothels illegal does not help trafficked women. It makes it harder to report crimes. Reporting crimes in a brothel normally result in charges against the brothel owner. An example due to go to court in February is where a brothel, Hanna Morris, owner reported an attack on her flat. She and her partner are now being charged with brothel keeping and money laundering. There is an abuse of process court hearing at Guildford Crown court on Friday 4th. The two crimianls, known to the police, who poured petrol through the flat, and threatened to burn it down were never charged. It is believed they were never even interviewed.
Legalising brothels and allowing management and staff to report concerns with out fear of prosecution for brothel keeping crimes is the only way forward. Brothels in Manchester work in a semi tolerated fashion, allowing reports of abuse to be made.
Manchester is also served by an organisation called Redline, friendly to sex work, which allows trafficking and coercion concerns to be reported anonymously. This organisation will investigate these allegations before passing on the details to the police. Many of the massage parlours in Manchester are have signed up to this scheme and promote the anonymous reporting scheme.
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Posted in Clients, Trafficking on 2 December, 2010 |
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A trafficker, Anastassios Papas, in the Oxford area has been convicted of sex trafficking offences. He is due to sentenced on January 21st. (If they can find him). What the BBC story fails to mention, is he was caught because of a concerned man who called the police.
A quote from the Oxford Times from the 53 year old client.
Last night the 53-year-old customer, whose tip-off sparked the police enquiry said: “I found their details online and, after seeing pictures of women on the website, called them up.
“I couldn’t’ believe it when I saw the girl they sent around. She must have been 13 years old at most.
“There’s no way at all you could have mistaken her for an adult. It made me feel sick.
“I thought about what I should do and I realised I had no other option but to call the police.”
The customer, who lives in Oxford and cannot be named for legal reasons, added: “What they did is disgusting.
“I know I use prostitutes and that’s something that most men and women will find uncomfortable.
“But the trafficking of women, and especially children, is morally deplorable.”
This man came forward and reported his concerns to the police and gave evidence at the court hearing. Imagine what would have happened in countries like Sweden and America where the purchase of sex is a crime. I don’t believe many clients in those countries where they are targetted as criminals would have reported this under age trafficking crime to the police even anonymously. This client thankfully had the opportunity to report the crime, and give evidence without fear of prosecution.
Further criminalisation of the sex industry would not have helped the victim of this crime. In case you are wondering, the traffickers was arrested in January, before the new legislation criminalising the ‘promise to pay for sexual services from someone coerced’. This client would now potentially be breaking the law, and have less incentive to report the trafficking to the police.
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The UK’s anti-trafficking policy is undermining the rights of sex workers, leaving them vulnerable to arrest and conviction or, in the case of migrant workers, detainment and deportation. The UK is also failing to meet its human rights obligations to trafficked persons, particularly men, transgender people and people trafficked into non-sexual labour, says a report by sex worker rights network, x:talk.
The report, Human Rights, Sex Work and the Challenge of Trafficking is now available in PDF format. It describes how the UK’s anti-trafficking policy has created new crimes around the selling of consensual sexual services between adults and how its implementation has resulted in an increase in arrests and convictions for sex workers and others in the sex industry. The combination of anti-trafficking raids, brothel closures and increased surveillance of the indoor sex industry has caused serious disruptions to sex workers’ working environments and made the industry less safe, especially for migrant sex workers. The report describes the UK anti-trafficking measures as causing “an unprecedented incursion into the lives and work of people employed in the indoor sex industry”.
It finds that many undocumented migrants are unable or unwilling to exercise their rights as workers, or access basic services, such as healthcare. Provisions in the Policing and Crime Act 2009, introduced to combat trafficking, have resulted in a situation where migrant sex workers do not seek redress when they are wronged or abused and are more vulnerable to exploitation and rights abuses.
Ava Caradonna, sex worker and spokeswoman for x:talk, said: “We have always suspected that attempts to address human trafficking have been co-opted by people with another agenda—the eradication of the sex industry. What the x:talk report has highlighted is that, rather than assisting and supporting trafficked people, anti-trafficking policies have been most effective at putting the safety, health and even the lives of sex workers at risk. They have also helped to make sex workers a soft target for the Border Agency.”
x:talk has recently filed an FOI request for details of the Poppy Project , to coincide with the report’s release. The request aims to find out how the Poppy Project have spent more than £9m granted by the government and what support it is provided to trafficked women –information that is not currently publicly available.
for more information:
Ava Caradonna: 07914 703 372
 The Poppy Project is the sole government-funded, dedicated service for women trafficked into sexual exploitation It received £5.8m from the Home Office between April 2006 and February 2009, with a further grant of £3.7m for three years from March 2009. The Poppy Project operates from an avowed abolitionist framework. Support through the project is contingent upon women giving up sex work and its program is aimed at ‘rehabilitating’ women out of the industry. The project has been publicly criticised for conflating the number of people trafficked into sex work in the UK.
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