AU: Attorney General challenges anti-prostitution lobby

Thursday, 17 June 2010
Prostitution will always be around and it is impossible to police a blanket ban, Attorney General tells community forum

By Anthony Barich

WA Attorney General Christian Porter has turned the debate on legalising brothels on its head, challenging anti-prostitution advocates to come up with a better solution than his planned legislation to restrict brothels to “entertainment zones”.

While conceding prostitution is “morally objectionable”, a blanket law criminalising it is unenforceable and legislation that permits it in specific zones is the only feasible solution, Mr Porter told a community forum in Belmont on 8 June.

“I do believe that you have to have some kind of level of prostitution which is permitted, strictly regulated for the health and safety of the people in it, because of the fact that it has always existed and because of the fact that we have not been successful over successive decades in stopping it, notwithstanding a law which says it shouldn’t exist anywhere,” Mr Porter told a forum of over 100 at Belmont’s RSL Club. Continue reading

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SOCCER/FOOTBALL LEGEND: 40,000 prostitutes enter the country hosting the FIFA World Cup.

Soccer/Football Legends Revealed #4

This is the fourth in a series of examinations of soccer/football-related legends and whether they are true or false.

Let’s begin!

SOCCER/FOOTBALL LEGEND: 40,000 prostitutes enter the country hosting the FIFA World Cup.

STATUS: False

Let me know if this sounds familiar to you. A country is worried about “the invasion of ’sex-workers,’ who are expected to flood the country next year to cater for male soccer fans” while “The event’s organisers are expecting at least 40,000 prostitutes to descend” on the country to meet demand.

If you said that that sounds like discussions surrounding this year’s FIFA World Cup in South Africa, you would basically be correct. Those quotes generally do describe the mood in South Africa regarding the influx of prostitutes via trafficking rings (to get such large numbers of incoming prostitutes, trafficking rings involving forced prostitution would have to be involved). However, those quotes are actually from five years ago, in an article by Tony Paterson for The Independent in reference to how Germany was going to handle the “invasion” of prostitutes to the 2006 FIFA World Cup that was held in Germany.

But if you look at an article last month Continue reading

SA Report:Trafficking focus takes light off other issues

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA Jun 21 2010 16:22

Claims exaggerating the danger of human trafficking during the Soccer World Cup have resulted in the sidelining of other important social issues, the University of the Witwatersrand’s forced migration studies programme has found.

Programme director Professor Loren Landau said that despite “alarming” radio and television advertisements, there had been little evidence suggesting high volumes of human trafficking in South and southern Africa.

“Nor does local or comparative evidence indicate that a major sporting event is likely to increase these volumes,” he said in a statement. Continue reading

Lebanon’s sex industry: hidden in plain sight

By Ben Gilbert – GlobalPost
Published: June 17, 2010 10:21 ET in Middle East

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Twenty minutes north of Beirut, in the Christian heartland of Lebanon is Jounieh, the country’s little Las Vegas, where dozens of “super nightclubs,” Lebanon’s equivalent of strip clubs, line the main street.

Inside one club, called Excalibur, a young woman from the Dominican Republic wore white denim-shorts cut just below the crotch, stiletto heels and a tight T-shirt that stopped just above her navel. She also wore braces on her teeth.

She was in Lebanon legally, classified by immigration authorities as an “artist,” owing to the fact that she dances on stage at some point during the night. About 4000 Ukrainian, Russian and Moroccan women like her come to Lebanon every year to work in Lebanon’s adult entertainment industry, of which the estimated 130 super nightclubs in the country are a staple. Continue reading

SWEDEN: Women are not children – remember? Flawed ideas about improving the sex-purchase law

From The Other Swedish Model
Gender, sex and culture, by Laura Agustín

Much of my work revolves around prostitution law, sex worker rights and the cultural study of commercial sex: see Border Thinking, where I blog several times a week. I wrote the following piece after some people in Sweden welcomed a parliamentarian’s suggestion that Sweden change to a regulatory regime that comes from the 19th century.

Does sexköpslagen, the law against buying sex, work or not? Everyone wants to know. Camilla Lindberg is right that talking about the possibility that the law does not work is taboo in Sweden. The government’s official evaluation of the law has been delayed, probably because it has not been easy to find evidence to demonstrate the reasons behind an absence. That is, you may look around and not see sex workers and their customers where you did before. But you cannot know whether they have stopped buying and selling sex or, if they have not stopped, where they have gone.

Evaluators will question police and social workers, and maybe get to speak to a few sex workers, but none of these can give an overview of sex markets that operate via private telephones and the Internet, in the privacy of homes and hotel rooms. And evaluators certainly cannot say how many people are doing what. Street prostitutes are estimated in some countries to constitute less than ten per cent of all sex workers, so, even if there are few left to see, 90% are unaccounted for. When businesses that sell sex are outlawed, they hide, so government accountants are unlikely to find them – and, after all, many are just individuals working alone.

But if we want to discuss the whole sex industry more openly, we should not focus on the concept of brothels, as Lindberg suggests – particularly not on the idea of health checks for workers. This 19th-century French idea could not be more patriarchal and thus the very opposite of jämställdhet, sexköpslagens guiding principle. Basic common sense tells us that, if disease-transmission is a concern, all parties exchanging fluids have to practice safer sex – not ‘be checked’. And although laws in the Netherlands, Germany, New Zealand, Nevada and parts of Australia allow and regulate brothels as one form of commercial sex, many people who sell sex in those countries prefer to work on their own, in small groups in flats or – yes – on the street. In France, organised sex workers vociferously oppose a proposed return to the old system of maisons closes with health controls that stigmatise prostitutes as (female) carriers of sexually-transmitted diseases…

Read the rest at The Other Swedish Model

SA: Debunking World Cup’s biggest myth

By Les Carpenter, Yahoo! Sports jun 10, 15:34 EDT

JOHANNESBURG – Of all the wild, fantastic stories that blossomed in the months before the World Cup, there was the rumor that South Africa would soon be flooded with 40,000 prostitutes. They would come streaming across the border from places like Zimbabwe and Mozambique, all of them ready to satisfy the demands of a half-million soccer fans in an endless futbol orgy.

HIV warnings were sounded. Churches shouted their scorn. And a wary country braced for the impending onslaught of sex-hungry soccer pilgrims. Continue reading

Men and football: a recipe for sexual violence?

From Laura Agustin’s Border Thinking

Men and football: the assumption that these make a super-volatile combination that will lead to violence against women is everywhere, yet there is no real research backing it up. It feels intuitive, something like Oh my god, they get so worked up and nationalistic at those matches, they scream and take off their shirts, and look at how some hooligans bash each other, and they get so drunk they don’t know what they’re doing. Okay, but the connexion with sex is? Some think that these activities involve a rise in testosterone, which could mean fans become rapacious about wanting to have sex, and in their blind fervour go racing off to fuck anything in sight. Or, correlations have been made between drinking alcohol in heavy quantities and becoming aggressive – for some people, not all – but the aggression usually comes in the form of fighting amongst other drinking men. Or is the idea that some general amoral, violent side rises up via the enthusiasm for sport in a way that makes fans want to grab women? Sometimes the assumption is just that when bunches of guys get together they are liable to run amok. The World Cup is feared to bring out the worst in its fans.

It’s muddled thinking, however. Stag parties, in which groups of men ritualistically drink and whoop it up together, often have a sexual element, but that usually consists of …

Read the rest at Border Thinking