Cambodia: Sex Workers Face Unlawful Arrests and Detention

Officials Should Investigate and Close Government Centers Where Abuses Occur
July 20, 2010

(Phnom Penh) – The Cambodian government should act quickly to end violence against sex workers and permanently close the government centers where these workers have been unlawfully detained and abused, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. Human Rights Watch also urged the Cambodian government to suspend provisions in the 2008 Law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation that facilitate police harassment and abuses.

Human Rights Watch’s 76-page report, “Off the Streets: Arbitrary Detention and Other Abuses against Sex Workers in Cambodia,” is based on more than 90 interviews and group discussions with female and transgender sex workers in Phnom Penh, Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, and Siem Reap. It describes how sex workers face a wide range of abuses, Continue reading

UK: Police boost funds from assets taken in raids on prostitutes

The English Collective of Prostitutes says a ‘moral crusade’ is under way based on the mistaken belief that sex workers are all controlled by criminal gangs

Jamie Doward
The Observer, Sunday 25 April 2010

An increasing number of prostitutes who work from home, often for safety reasons, are being prosecuted, according to the organisation that represents English sex workers.

The English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP) says the women face up to seven years in prison if found guilty under brothel-keeping charges. It blames the trend on politicians leading a misplaced “moral crusade” against prostitution that it says is driving the industry further underground.

The collective says the case of Claire Finch, who will appear at Luton crown court tomorrow to deny charges of brothel-keeping, is a typical example of how changes in attitudes to prostitution have resulted in more Continue reading

Pattaya Police clear Pattaya Beach of suspected Prostitutes

25th February 2010

Following orders from the new Pattaya Police Chief, Police Colonel Nantawoot, a team of Pattaya Police Officers assisted by civil volunteers, known in Thai as “O-Po-Po-Lor”, conducted a late night operation on Wednesday to clear Pattaya Beach of Prostitutes and others suspected of loitering with intent to engage in anti-social or criminal activity. A total of 60 people were rounded-up, including 20 transsexuals and 40 women. All were charged with offences relating to loitering with intent and prostitution and paid a small fine before being released back onto the Beach where they presumably continued with whatever they were doing prior to their arrest.

See original at Pattaya One news

German brothels raided in trafficking probe

Search of 600 establishments turns up 100 women from West Africa
Last Updated: Wednesday, February 3, 2010 | 11:30 AM ET
CBC News

German authorities say they have searched around 600 brothels across the country in an effort to track down women who may have been smuggled from West Africa as part of an international human trafficking ring.

The Federal Criminal Police Office said Wednesday that Tuesday evening’s raids turned up more than 100 women from West Africa and that there were indications that some were victims of human trafficking.

German investigators say the nationwide crackdown follows investigations that suggest a network of West Africans active in Germany and other European countries is involved in prostitution, human trafficking, passport forgery and other illegal activity. Continue reading

Thailand: 57 alleged prostitutes rounded up in Phuket Town

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

PHUKET TOWN: A team of provincial civil defense officials and volunteer police on Sunday night raided three well-known entertainment venues, in the heart of Phuket Town, suspected of serving as fronts for prostitution.

A spokesperson from the Phuket Provincial Office Public Relations Bureau said the raids were ordered by Phuket Governor Wichai Phraisa-ngop following complaints from local residents that the three venues – two massage parlors and a nightclub – were actually fronts for prostitution.

A total of 57 alleged female prostitutes, including at least one Burmese girl under the age of 18, were rounded up by the special task force led by Phuket Deputy Governor (Palad) Chaiwat Tephee, Phuket Provincial Defense Office head Wirote Suwanwong, and volunteer police. Continue reading

Thailand: Police Crackdown On Foreign Operated Sex Bars

PATTAYA: — Informed sources from several police divisions have told the Pattaya Times that a very serious crackdown will begin next month to catch foreign business people who are financial backers of gay bars, beer bars and a go-gos where there is sex for sale in Pattaya.

These bars charge a “bar fine” to the customer and let the employee leave for the night or a “short time” usually about two to three hours. It is suspected that many of these rendezvous are sexually related, police said. Police investigations will determine who pays the bills and gets the profits. If the person is a foreigner then their visa will be revoked and they will be expelled from the Kingdom. If it is a Thai they will be arrested if sex is for sale. There is much concern about organized crime in the nightlife venues, said one official. Continue reading

TX: Busting brothels proves difficult

Despite residents’ complaints, Houston officers struggle to build cases and close illegal venues
By BRIAN ROGERS
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

Cambodia: The traffic police

Jun 11th 2009 | PHNOM PENH From The Economist print edition

’Tis a pity, but she won’t go away

IN EERIE, deserted silence on the outskirts of Phnom Penh sits the Prey Speu detention centre. Barely legible on its grimy walls a few weeks ago were cries for help and whispers of despair from the tormented souls once crammed into its grimy cells. “This is to mark that I lived in terror under oppression,” read one message.

It recalls a Khmer Rouge torture centre from the genocidal 1970s. But in fact the building was used just last year as a “rehabilitation” centre, where detained sex-workers, along with beggars and the homeless, learnt sewing and cooking. They were rounded up in a crackdown on trafficking for the sex industry. At first an attempt to clean up Phnom Penh, it soon escalated into a violent campaign by the police against prostitutes and those living on the street. According to Licadho, a local human-rights group, guards at the centre beat three people to death, and at least five detainees killed themselves. Sreymoa, a trafficked sex-worker, detained in May 2008 with her four-year-old daughter, recalls daily beatings, rapes and one death. Continue reading

Sex Trafficking: The Abolitionist Fallacy

Economic hardship, discrimination, and violence have driven millions of women to work in the sex sector around the world, and their numbers will increase as a result of the current global economic crisis. Unless the underlying factors pushing women to opt for selling sex to support themselves and their families are remedied, many women will continue to have few other options.

Yet the Bush administration, supported by the evangelical right-wing and some radical feminists, spent eight years promoting laws to criminalize prostitution and clients as the means to abolish prostitution and stop human trafficking into the sex sector. The ideology-driven approach is notable for the absence of any concrete evidence that it works. Proponents of such an approach have also failed to demonstrate that it avoids harming women or provides other livelihoods for those it aspires to help. It reduces all adults in the sex sector (even highly paid “call girls” and those working legally) to victim status and considers all prostitution to be a form of trafficking. Continue reading

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