In the 1980s, in response to rising HIV infections, Edinburgh City Council developed a licensed brothel system giving “saunas” public entertainment licenses knowing that sex was being sold on the premises. The local police force, Lothian and Borders Police, supported this system and would perform annual inspections on the saunas and support the renewal of their licenses.
News Archive: March 2016
On the 3rd of March, International Sex Worker's Rights Day, sex workers across India gathered to ask that their human rights be respected.
Members of the All India Network of Sex Workers asked for understanding and respect of sex workers from government and civil society. Their campaign called for workers’ rights, a society free from discrimination and violence, an understanding of the difference between trafficking and sex work, inclusion in policy making processes and the decriminalisation of sex work.
On the 29th of February 2016, five thousand police, army and local security were sent with bulldozers to demolish the area known as Kalijodo in Jakarta.
Kalijodo was known as one of the city’s oldest red-light districts. There were over three thousand residents evicted prior to demolition. There were over 300 sex workers working in Kalijodo, and almost half of the residents also worked in the area.
Amendments to the public nuisance laws in Serbia, known as “Public Law and Order” laws, increased penalties for sex work related offences. Anti-sex work campaigners pushed the government to introduce amendments that would also punish the clients of sex workers. The new laws punishes everyone who disturbs ‘public order and peace’ including noisy neighbours, panhandling, burning pyrotechnic products, organising gambling, etc.
Escort advertising website Backpage.com won an appeal on the 14th of March, 2016. The ruling states that Backpage is not responsible for any trafficking that may happen because of the advertisements on their website.
CJ Palmer, a trans woman and sex worker living with HIV, was recently arrested in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW). Coverage of this case in the media has been stigmatising, with many reports including her birth name, working name and photographs.
State police services from Western Australia and New South Whales arrested CJ in NSW. She was then sent to Western Australia (WA) to face charges of “grievous bodily harm” in relation to allegations of HIV transmission.
On the 18th of March 2016, the International Network of People who Use Drugs (INPUD) published a report entitled “PrEP for People Who Inject Drugs: Community Voices on Pros, Cons, and Concerns”.
The report is based on three regional consultations and a series of one on one interviews with people who use drugs and other activists. Approximately 75 people from 33 different countries participated in the process.
A new theatre production called "The Hooker Monologues" premiered in Vancouver on Thursday the 10th of March. The play brings together ten current and former sex workers to perform stories based on their experiences in the industry. It is directed by Canadian theatre director Mindy Parfitt.
As Macedonian civil society organisation HOPS reports, sex workers in Macedonia have been awarded protection against the unlawful treatment of the police and the criminal court for the second time.
Last week the British Journal of Criminology published an article by Lynzi Armstrong entitled “From Law Enforcement to Protection? Interactions Between Sex Workers and Police in a Decriminalized Street-Based Sex Industry”.