SA: Sex worker wins labour appeal

May 28 2010 at 02:56PM

A Cape Town sex worker claiming unfair dismissal has won a ruling from the Labour Appeal Court that she is entitled to protection under South African labour law.

Court president Dennis Davis said in a judgment handed down on Friday that the ruling did not sanction sex work.

However, he said, the fact that prostitution was illegal did not mean a sex worker was not entitled to constitutional protection.

He ruled that the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) “has jurisdiction to determine the dispute between the parties in the present case”. 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

Prostitution Now Outlawed In R.I., But Is That Good?

by Ian Donnis
November 15, 2009 from WRNI

Until earlier this month, Rhode Island was the only place in the country where prostitution was legal across an entire state — because of an unintended loophole in the law. But the move to close that loophole is fueling concerns that victims of the sex trade are being put at even more risk.

Back in 1980, the Rhode Island General Assembly passed a law meant to speed the prosecution of streetwalkers. But in the process, legislators unwittingly decriminalized prostitution that took place indoors. This loophole didn’t attract much notice for years.

Then, in 2003, a court case made it clear that prostitutes were free from prosecution if their sex trade occurred behind closed doors. The result has been a growing number of so-called Asian spas that critics say are thinly veiled brothels. Continue reading

R.I. police charities solicit donations from “spas”

06:12 PM EDT on Friday, September 18, 2009
By Lynn Arditi
Journal Staff Writer

PROVIDENCE — Raising money for charity can be tough, but Rhode Island police organizations have found one business that’s always willing to contribute.

Asian massage parlors or “spas” in Providence which police and local watch-dog groups maintain are often fronts for brothels, have for years donated to police association charities –– and conspicuously displayed their support by plastering stickers with police logos on their doors and windows.

They spread like wallpaper over the front door of a spa near a bus stop on North Main Street, in plain view of the waiting riders. At another spa on Admiral Street, police stickers decorate the plexiglass receptionist window, along with logos noting that the spa accepts all major credit cards.

Some resemble police badges with the name of a police union –– Providence, Cranston, Warwick, and Barrington, among them –– while others sport the five-pointed star trademark with the letters “FOP.” Continue reading

TX: Busting brothels proves difficult

Despite residents’ complaints, Houston officers struggle to build cases and close illegal venues
Copyright 2009 Houston Chonicle
July 6, 2009, 11:11AM

Bart Jones remains frustrated that sexually oriented businesses, including illegal brothels, are open for business in his neighborhood after authorities closed a nearby strip club earlier this year.

“There’s too much crime associated with those businesses that we don’t want to spill over into where our children play or into our neighborhood.” said Jones, president of the Briargrove neighborhood association. “It’s been our long-held hope that we could eventually run them all out.”

Jones rallied neighbors to support authorities closing the Penthouse Club at Westheimer and Winrock in January, but says another topless bar, an adult bookstore and “massage parlors” remain nearby. Continue reading

WY: 60-year-old Casper Prostitute Pleads Guilty

Jul 1, 2009 6:41 am US/Mountain

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) ― A 60-year-old woman has pleaded guilty to working as a prostitute at a brothel in Casper, the final suspect in the Tokyo Massage prostitution case.

J W pleaded guilty Tuesday in Natrona County District Court to prostitution and promoting prostitution. Under a plea deal she faces a jail sentence of no more than two years.

W was the last of four people arrested after a January raid at the massage parlor. Three other women have been convicted of prostitution-related offenses, along with several johns.

In Tuesday’s hearing, W stated she had worked as a prostitute and helped the madam run the business.

W remains free on $20,000 bond pending sentencing.

Original at Wyoming AP News

SF: The massage parlor mistake

Fearing arrest and/or deportation will mean fewer women will report rape or other violence and exploitation when they occur

Tuesday June 30, 2009

OPINION Taking advantage of the recent turmoil over the huge city budget cuts, Mayor Gavin Newsom and Sup. Carmen Chu, have pushed though malicious legislation imposing criminal charges and restrictions on massage parlors. Many are outraged that this costly legislation was prioritized — we want to know why it was, and how much it will cost to implement. Lawyers are questioning its legality.

Under the guise of concern for women’s safety, Chu and Newsom falsely claimed that the law would stop sex trafficking. We’ve heard these lies before. Politicians who want to increase the criminalization of sex workers confuse prostitution, which is consensual sex for money, with trafficking, which is forced and coerced labor, sexual or otherwise. Continue reading

Donna M. Hughes: R.I.’s carnival of prostitution

01:00 AM EDT on Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Providence Journal

AFTER MY EXPERIENCE at the Senate Judiciary Committee last Thursday, I believe Rhode Island is headed for a human rights disaster and nationwide political embarrassment. It is becoming apparent that the Senate is not going to pass a much-needed prostitution bill. Rhode Island will continue to have an expanding number of spa-brothels, prostitution of minors in clubs, and no law that will enable the police to stop it.

The hearing (on Senate bill 0596, to close the loophole allowing indoor prostitution) was a sordid circus, with pimps and prostitutes coming forward to oppose the legislation. Continue reading

Going down in the downturn

More women are turning to sex work in a bad economy. Does it beat working at McDonald’s?

By Tracy Clark-Flory
Editor’s note: “Pinched” is a series about life during a recession.

Jun. 22, 2009 |

“Boob play,” “pics of kitty,” “topless housecleaning” and “hypno role play.” The list, scribbled in a lined yellow notebook, is followed by a double-underlined figure: $725.

It’s 9 a.m. on a Friday and 30-year-old Marie is sitting on her couch clad in Donald Duck pajamas, munching on buttered toast and staring at her cellphone like she can will it to ring. If someone calls in response to the ad she posted this morning on Craigslist, she can add $75 to her projected income for the month. Continue reading

RI: Sex workers testify at Senate hearing on prostitution bill

10:23 AM EDT on Monday, June 22, 2009

By Lynn Arditi
Journal Staff Writer

PROVIDENCE — An Asian woman who said she works in a “spa” took the witness stand in a Senate hearing room Thursday night and asked why lawmakers want to outlaw indoor prostitution.

The woman, who identified herself only as “Jul,” wore jeans and an Abercrombie & Fitch sweatshirt. Her long, highlighted hair was pulled back in a ponytail. She said she is 31 and is supporting two children and a sister. The money she earns serving men –– construction workers, judges, lawyers –– who are “depressed or who just can’t meet girls” is more than the $7 an hour she could earn, she says, with no education working a “normal job.” Continue reading

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