Concerns for Sex Workers Amid Serial Killer Investigation

Sex workers are being advised to use the buddy system so that someone knows where they are.
Tuesday, Apr 12, 2011 | Updated 3:12 PM EDTBy Chris Glorioso

The investigation into a suspected serial killer who may have preyed on prostitutes, dumping their bodies near beaches on Long Island, has spawned new warnings for sex workers who advertise online.

Police have yet to identify all the victims, or even say whether the latest six sets of remains are linked to the first four found last December.

But the first four bodies were identified as young women who all posted sex ads on Craigslist. And that has advocates for sex workers making extra efforts to counsel the women on best practices to avoid violent clients. Continue reading

Uganda: Government should reverse decision to ban workshop (Amnesty International)

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
PUBLIC STATEMENT
AI Index: AFR 59/014/2010
19 November 2010

Uganda: Government should reverse decision to ban workshop intended to discuss human rights issues affecting sex workers

Amnesty International today condemns the decision by the Ugandan government’s Ethics and
Integrity Minister to ban a three-day civil society workshop that had been intended to discuss
human rights issues of concern to sex workers in Uganda and other East African countries. The
organization calls on the Ugandan government to reverse the Minister’s decision stopping this
workshop. The government must also unequivocally state its commitment to supporting human
rights work. Continue reading

Sex workers, governments and UN join hands to boost AIDS response in Asia-Pacific region

PATTAYA, Thailand, 15 October 2010 – At the first-ever Asia-Pacific consultation on HIV and sex work, sex workers, government officials and United Nations participants emphasized the need for urgent action to increase focus and positioning of sex work within HIV responses in the region.

Close to 150 delegates from eight countries (China, Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea and Thailand) met in Pattaya, Thailand, to form partnerships and review policies and laws that keep sex workers from accessing HIV services and sexual and reproductive health services.

“Sex work interventions must be central to scaling up the HIV response, and listening to sex workers is crucial,” said Jan Beagle, Deputy Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) who spoke at the consultation. “Sex workers experience firsthand the effects of laws and harmful enforcement practices that violate their human rights and hamper progress on HIV,” he said. Continue reading

World Cup Avoids Flood Of Sex Workers

by Anders Kelto
July 6, 2010

In South Africa, many feared there would be a huge influx of sex workers to
profit off the tourists gathered for the soccer fest. But for the most part
the fears seem to have been unfounded.

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. Im Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

And Im Robert Siegel.

When the World Cup kicked off several weeks ago, it was widely reported that thousands of prostitutes would flock to the country’s nine host cities. And many feared that international traffickers would try to cash-in on the huge influx of tourists by importing sex workers. Well, that hasnt happened nearly as much as anticipated.

Anders Kelto has our report from Cape Town.

(Soundbite of conversations and music)

ANDERS KELTO: In the heart of Cape Town’s central business district is Long Street, a late night destination for those seeking a taste of South African nightlife. Music thumps from the dozens of bars and clubs that line the street, as a never-ending stream of taxis crawls along the road. And like many cities, visitors here are enticed to enter some of the area’s seedier establishments and to pay for sex. Continue reading

Her crime? Sex work in New Orleans

By: Jordan Flaherty, Contributing Writer
Posted: Monday, January 18, 2010 10:43 am
(Special to The Louisiana Weekly from ColorLines Magazine)

Tabitha has been working as a prostitute in New Orleans since she was 13. Now 30 years old, she can often be found working on a corner just outside of the French Quarter. A small and slight white woman, she has battled both drug addiction and illness and struggles every day to find a meal or a place to stay for the night.

These days, Tabitha, who asked that her real name not be used in this story, has yet another burden: a stamp printed on her driver’s license labels her a sex offender. Her crime? Sex work.

New Orleans city police and the district attorney’s office are using a state law written for child molesters to charge hundreds of sex workers like Tabitha as sex offenders. The law, which dates back to 1805, makes it a crime against nature to engage in “unnatural copulation”-a term New Orleans cops and the district attorney’s office have interpreted to mean anal or oral sex. Sex workers convicted of breaking this law are charged with felonies, issued longer jail sentences and forced to register as sex offenders. They must also carry a driver’s license with the label “sex offender” printed on it. Continue reading

India: Neither Victims Nor Voiceless: Sex Workers Speaking for Themselves

By Audacia Ray, RH Reality Check.
Posted January 12, 2010.

Painting a portrait of people in the sex industry as victims without voices only perpetuates their disempowerment.

Since becoming a part of the U.S. sex worker rights movement five years ago, talking about contentious issues concerning bodies, labor, money, and rights has very much become my calling. In the past year alone, I’ve been quoted on CNN about the value of virginity, talked about South Carolina’s Governor Mark Sanford on WNYC’s The Takeaway, and admonished the Boston Herald for its slurs toward sex workers. Suffice to say, I give my opinion freely and often loudly.

I thought I knew a lot about sex work, rights, and organizing when, in September, I set off for two weeks in India with my colleague Khushbu Srivastava, Program Officer for Asia at the International Women’s Health Coalition. But as much as I am accustomed to being an “expert,” I quickly realized that I knew next to nothing about the nuances of Indian culture and the dynamics of the local struggle for sexual rights and reproductive health. While there are many things that I learned Continue reading

RIGHTS-SOUTH KOREA: Prostitution Thrives with U.S. Military Presence

By Zoltán Dujisin

SEOUL, Jul 7 (IPS) – With the presence of U.S. soldiers, flesh trade is flourishing near the Camp Stanley Camptown close to Seoul.

Since 1945, U.S. troops have been stationed in the Korean peninsula, with their current strength estimated to be 28,500. The country plunged into civil war between 1950 and 1953 and since then, U.S. troops have remained there, claiming to act as a deterrent against North Korea, the country’s communist neighbour. Prostitution in the region is a direct result of their presence, local observers say.

Russian and Chinese troops also had troops stationed on the Korean peninsula in the aftermath of the civil conflict, but “have since left the area while U.S. troops are still here, in almost 100 military bases,” Yu Young Nim, the head of a local non-governmental organisation which provides counseling, medical and legal care for sex workers, told IPS. Continue reading