SA: Blow for rights

Zweli Mokgata
Thursday, 17 Mar 2011

Sex workers are protected by one law but can be prosecuted under another.

After a recent court ruling, sex workers now enjoy protection under the Labour Relations Act. However, they can still be prosecuted under the Sexual Offences Act for plying their trade.

The case that brought about this situation is related to a 2006 incident involving a sex worker referred to as “Kylie” who alleged that she was unfairly dismissed by the owner of the brothel where she worked.

In October last year Judge Dennis Davis of the labour appeal court , citing the constitutional right to fair labour practice, found that the council for conciliation, mediation & arbitration (CCMA) could indeed hear Kylie’s grievance, which led to an undisclosed settlement. Continue reading

India: Sex workers rue discrimination against their children

New Delhi, March 5, DHNS:

Sex workers in the country who are forced to live with ostracism have demanded a key legislative change to allow their children pursue higher studies using their mothers’ income.

According to the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act (ITPA), 1960, if anybody above 18 years uses the earnings of a sex-worker, he or she can be prosecuted. If the children of sex workers use their mothers’ income, long hand of law can catch them.

“How many children start earning at 18? Why this bias against us when we strive to study and make a living against all social hurdles,” rues Parvati, daughter of a Kolkata-based commercial sex worker. Continue reading

NO: Federal lawsuit challenges sex offender registration for prostitutes

Published: Wednesday, February 16, 2011, 12:03 PM
Updated: Wednesday, February 16, 2011, 1:20 PM
By Laura Maggi, The Times-Picayune

People who must register as sex offenders because they were convicted of engaging in oral or anal sex for money filed a lawsuit against state officials last night, arguing the requirement is unconstitutional and discriminatory.

Only in Louisiana can people convicted of selling their bodies be required to register as a sex offender, according to the lawsuit filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights. The plaintiffs include several women from New Orleans and the surrounding areas, as well as transgender women and a man.

The registration requirement only affects people prosecuted under the state’s crime against nature by soliciation law, which is used when a person is accused of engaging in oral or anal sex in exchange for money. People accused of prostitution, which includes any sex act, are not required to register. Continue reading

Canada: Prostitution laws struck down by Ont. court

September 28, 2010, By CBC News

An Ontario court has thrown out key provisions of Canada’s anti-prostitution laws in response to a constitutional challenge by a Toronto dominatrix and two prostitutes in 2009.

Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice ruled Tuesday the Criminal Code provisions relating to prostitution contribute to the danger faced by sex-trade workers.

In her ruling, Justice Susan Himel said it now falls to Parliament to “fashion corrective action.”

“It is my view that in the meantime these unconstitutional provisions should be of no force and effect, particularly given the seriousness of the charter violations,” Himel wrote. Continue reading

Craigslist clash over adult ads raises key issues

James Temple, Chronicle Staff Writer

Sunday, August 29, 2010
CEO Jim Buckmaster, above, faces criticism from politicia… CEO Jim Buckmaster faces criticism from politicians such …

Attorneys general in 18 states demanded that Craigslist remove its adult services section last week, the latest clash in a long-running conflict over online sexual ads that is likely to lead to a court battle, congressional debate or both, legal experts say.

“Eventually we’re going to see something,” said Jason Schultz, assistant professor at the UC Berkeley School of Law. “There has been political pressure building to try to pass new laws or to sue Craigslist criminally.” Continue reading

Sacked South African sex worker claims unfair dismissal

A sex worker in Durban’s Point Road

A South African sex worker has gone to court, saying she was unfairly sacked by a Cape Town massage parlour.

Known as Kylie, she was dismissed for choosing her clients and spending time with her boyfriend who did not pay for her services, local media report.

The judge said he was not sure how a person engaged in an illegal activity could challenge her dismissal in court.

But Kylie’s lawyer said her case was about unfair dismissal, not whether selling sex should be legalised.

Several previous courts have refused to hear the case, on the basis that sex work is illegal, reports the South African Press Association.

Three judges at the Labour Appeals Court are now considering whether they can intervene.

“When dismissed you are made to stop with something criminal… but then you say: ‘Please protect me from someone who is stopping me from doing something criminal’ – it doesn’t makes sense to me,” said Judge President Raymond Zondo, Sapa reports.

Kylie has spent seven years trying to seek redress after being sacked in 2003.

She is reported to have since left the profession.

See original at BBC

Phoenix Woman Obviously Linked Falsely to “Desert Divas” Prostitution Ring Sues Maricopa County Attorney’s Office

By James King, Tuesday, Jan. 12 2010 @ 2:58PM

Victoria Aguayo was arrested, indicted, and nearly prosecuted for her “role” in the infamous “Desert Divas” prostitution ring, according to a lawsuit she’s filed in Maricopa County Superior Court.

Problem is: Aguayo was not a “desert diva,” and the evidence suggesting she was is laughable.

On one of the “Desert Divas'” many Web sites, the agency advertised an “escort” named “Tia.” The site described Tia as “thin, white, and blonde,” with a tattoo on her stomach that is clearly visible in the topless photo of the woman that Aguayo’s lawyer kindly sent New Times. Continue reading

Chicago: Cook County Sheriff Loses Craigslist “Erotic Services” Ads Case

October 21st, 2009
Legal Analysis by Matt Zimmerman

Yesterday, a federal court tossed a lawsuit against craigslist over erotic advertisements. In March, Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart alleged that craigslist was liable for the illegal ads posted by its users in its “erotic services” (now “adult services”) category. As craigslist argued in their motion for judgment on the pleadings, and as EFF and others pointed out at the time, Dart’s complaint had virtually no chance of success because Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act plainly immunized Internet intermediaries like craigslist from civil liability for material posted by third parties. Continue reading

Workers’ safety at risk: lawyer

Natalie Alcoba, National Post Published: Wednesday, October 07, 2009

In a landmark case, sex trade workers in Ontario have launched a constitutional challenge of Canada’s prostitution laws, arguing that they deprive them …

Women who have worked the risky sex trade have launched a constitutional challenge against Canada’s prostitution laws, arguing that decriminalizing some elements will make it safer for them to work, despite opposition from the federal and Ontario government alongside Christian and women’s rights groups.

The applicants — a dominatrix, a former sex trade worker and a working prostitute — say provisions under the Criminal Code endanger their safety by preventing them from taking precautions, such as working indoors or hiring security guards to protect themselves. Continue reading

CA: David Asper: Why turn prostitutes into criminals?

Posted: October 08, 2009, 1:00 PM by Chris Selley
David Asper

With our prostitution laws being challenged in the courts, moral questions about the world’s oldest profession are being debated in Canada.

And not for the first time.

In the mid 1980s, the Special Committee on Pornography and Prostitution — known as the Fraser Committee — extensively studied Canada’s prostitution laws. In 1985, it recommended, among other things, that street-prostitution crimes be made tougher, but that prostitutes be allowed to ply their trade in safer, private “bawdy houses” (i. e., brothels) with certain limitations. Continue reading