Sex Work and Human Rights

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Pinned Post: Copyright Notice

“Receiving credit for an image we created is a given, not compensation, and credit is not a substitute for payment.” – Tony Wu, Photographer

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.Credit is also not a substitute for asking for permission to use an image. Unfortunately, there have been several cases of photos from this or my other blogs being used elsewhere without my express permission and at times without respecting the Creative Commons License. Unless credited otherwise, all photos on this blog are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Any use, in particular any commercial use, requires my prior permission. The use of Yeoni Kim’s photos on this blog is prohibited. If you wish to use them, please contact me to facilitate communication with her.

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“Moralising Law”: Reform Proposals for the German Prostitution Act

Originally posted on Research Project Germany:

Sex workers protest in front of German parliament in June 2013. Source: BesD

Sex workers protest in front of German parliament in June 2013. Source: BesD

Interview with Fabienne Freymadl, Political Spokeswomen for the Professional Organisation for Erotic and Sexual Services (Berufsverband erotische und sexuelle Dienstleistungen, BesD)

In an effort to curb “forced prostitution”*, the ruling coalition of Conservatives and Social Democrats has agreed on basic principles to reform the German Prostitution Act of 2002. In an interviewby Barbara Dribbusch for German daily die tageszeitung, Fabienne Freymadl, political spokeswoman for sex worker organisationBesD, warns against a moralising law and explains why the reforms will harm sex workers* and fail to accomplish their alleged goal.

Please note that the copyright for this interview lies with taz.de and is not licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Ban on Flat Rate Sex and Gang Bang Parties

In the future, sex workers will have to register with the authorities, the owners of brothels…

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Journalists’ Ongoing Human Trafficking Problem

Originally posted on Feminist Ire:

Guest post by Matthias Lehmann

More often than not, advocacy for sex workers’ rights and the acceptance of sex work as work puts one at odds with members of that part of the anti-human trafficking movement that rejects these ideas, considers prostitution as inherently harmful, and brands anyone disagreeing with them as a member of some imaginary pimp lobby. Another group one finds oneself at odds with are journalists who report about – and, like the former, conflate – human trafficking and prostitution, as their articles frequently include false, inaccurate or misrepresented information.

Chimpanzee Typing - Image by New York Zoological Society (1907)

As sex workers and their allies will confirm, one could easily spend all day writing rebuttals to counter the influence on public opinion of the many sensationalist reports, but one has to pick and choose. The following is a response to Kyla Ryan’s article “Cambodia’s Ongoing Human Trafficking Problem” in The Diplomat. Before I start, however, I…

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Fantasies That Matter

Matthias Lehmann:

Impressions, tweets, and articles by sex workers about the ‘Fantasies That Matter’ conference in Hamburg about images of sex work in media and art.

Originally posted on Research Project Germany:

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About this slideshow

These photos are impressions from theFantasies That Matter: Images of Sex Work in Media and Artconference, which took place August 8-10, 2014 at Kampnagel in Hamburg. Due to concerns for sex workers’ privacy and anonymity on the one hand and the low light settings in the auditorium on the other, the above are mostly images of the “headliners” of the event. By no means does this represent an attempt to deliberately exclude any of the sex workers who spoke during the conference.

Please take particular notice of the image containing sex workers’ feedback to the organisers and instructions for people aiming to support sex workers. Please continue reading the articles by current and former sex workers quoted below and check Twitter for tweets using the hashtag #fantasiesthatmatter which include quotes from the speakers and thoughts from sex workers and others in the audience.

Articles by…

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Plus de droits pour les victimes de la traite des êtres humains

Originally posted on Research Project Germany:

UN Member States appraise Global Action Plan to combat human trafficking. Photo: United Nations

Les États membres de l’ONU évaluent le plan d’action mondial de lutte contre la traite des êtres humains. Photo: Nations Unies. Photo: Mark Garten/ONU

Entretien avec Heike Rabe, conseillère politique à l’Institut allemand pour les droits humains (Deutsches Institut für Menschenrechte)

L’ONU appelle à une lutte mondiale contre la traite des êtres humains. En Allemagne, l’accent est mis sur la prostitution forcée.* Dans une interview réalisée par Ute Welty pour le service des actualités allemandes detagesschau.de, l’avocate Heike Rabe déplore le manque de données fiables. Elle ne pense pas grand bien des intentions pour resserrer la loi sur la prostitution.

S’il vous plaît notez que le droit d’auteur pour cette interview est avec tagesschau.de et qu’elle n’est pas soumise à une licence Creative Commons.

Qui est victime de traite des êtres humains? Est-ce principalement le problème de ce qu’on appelle la prostitution forcée?

Lorsque l’on parle de…

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More Rights For Victims of Human Trafficking

International Day of Protest to End Violence against Sex Workers. Photo: Marek Foeller

Global protest to end violence against sex workers. Photo: Marek Foeller. All Rights Reserved.

Interview with Heike Rabe, Policy Advisor at the German Institute for Human Rights (Deutsches Institut für Menschenrechte)

The UN calls for a global fight against human trafficking. In Germany, the focus lies on forced prostitution.* In an interview with tagesschau.de, lawyer Heike Rabe laments the lack of reliable data. She doesn’t think much of plans to tighten the prostitution law.

Heike Rabe, Policy Adviser at the German Institute for Human Rights. Photo: German Institute for Human Rights/S. Pietschmann“The truths that are broadcast by the media aren’t empirically verifiable truths. There is no evidence that Germany is the biggest brothel of Europe. There is no evidence that prostitutes are also always victims of human trafficking. And there is also no evidence that the Prostitution Act of 2002 is to blame for that. Fact is, however: the measures that are discussed with regards to the pending revision of that law curtail the rights of prostitutes. They include, for example, mandatory health checks.”

Click here to continue reading at Research Project Germany.

“Camptown Prostitutes” sue Korean Government for Compensation*

The following is a translation of an article that appeared in Korean daily Kyunghyang Shinmun on June 25, 2014. The image below is property of Yonhap News.

“U.S. Military Camp towns were providing comfort women for U.S. troops” – 112 Women file for compensation against the South Korean government

Camptown Prostitutes sue Korean Government for Compensation. Photo by Yonhap News.

The Korean government’s tolerance and supervision of camp towns was illegal.

Women who were involved in prostitution near US army bases filed for compensation against the Korean government. They submitted a petition to the Seoul Central District Court asking for a compensation of ten million won (approx. US$ 9,900) per person. The plaintiffs, comprised of 112 women, held a press conference on the 25th of June at Seoul Women’s Plaza, and stated, “The Korean government’s policy to keep military camp towns was nothing short of providing comfort women to US troops.” They went on to demand “an apology and compensation for every victim of the comfort women system within military camp towns”.

Plaintiffs also stated, “South Korean comfort women were not only in Japan. The Korean government created a ‘U.S. army comfort women’ system and supervised it.” “No one from the government protected us; instead they used us to earn foreign currency.” They continued, “Poverty resulting from the Korean War or human trafficking brought us to the military camp, and we experienced various forms of violence committed by U.S. soldiers. We tried asking the police for help in order to escape the camp, but it was the police themselves who brought us back there.”

Plaintiffs pointed out that the government not only tolerated prostitution, which was illegal, but also overlooked the abuse committed by the soldiers. They went on to say, “The government should reveal the history of comfort women in U.S. military camps, investigate the harm done to them, and take legal responsibility.” The press conference and the submission of the petition was hosted by the “United Korean Women’s Association” and “Solidarity for Human Rights of Gijichon Women”.*

Source: Park Eun Ha, Kyunghyang Shinmun. Click here to read the original article in Korean.

* Gijichon (기지촌) is the Korean term for U.S. military camp towns.

Recommended Reading

Sealing Cheng – On the Move for Love: Migrant Entertainers and the U.S. Military in South Korea (UPenn Press)

* With regards to the title, it was pointed out to us that the term “camptown prostitutes” was, in that person’s view, “arbitrary” and “not fair”. The exchange of sex for money in the vicinity of U.S. military bases in South Korea is generally referred to as “camptown prostitution” and the women involved therein as “camptown prostitutes”. The corresponding Korean term for the latter is gijichon yeoseong (기지촌 여성), which literally means “military base village women” but is generally translated as “camptown prostitutes”. To our knowledge, the suit brought forward by the 112 plaintiffs is the first occasion where these women compare their situation to those women who are often referred to as “comfort women” (위안부, wianbu), a euphemism to describe women forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II. We decided to publish the translation of the above article because of the significance of this change, and we always used scare quotes when using the terms “camptown prostitutes” and “comfort women” to indicate that they represent special terminology used in this discourse. Where “camptown prostitution” is concerned, it remains unclear to what extent some, most or all women involved were forced to provide sex. The title above is not intended to dismiss the veracity of the claims brought forward by the plaintiffs, nor is it intended to express any opinion on the matter. It simply used, in scare quotes, the term these women are generally referred to.

Event: Korean Sex Workers’ Day 2014

Join Giant Girls and SWASH on Korean Sex Workers’ Day 2014!

What: Presentations, Discussion, Performance!
When: Sunday 29 June 2014 1pm
Where: Alternative Visual Culture Factory i-Gong
2F 330-8 Seogyo-dong Mapo-gu Seoul Korea (121-836)
Entrance fee: ₩5,000
Language: This event is held in Korean and Japanese
Click here to join the event on Facebook

GG Korean Sex Workers Day English Poster 1GG Korean Sex Workers Day English Poster 2

June 29th Korean Sex Workers’ Day

On this day, the National Solidarity of Sex Workers Day was organized, after the Special Anti-Sex Trade Law [which includes a Prevention Act and a Punishment Act] was passed in 2004. Since then, we commemorate this day as Sex Workers Day to honour all sex workers who have contributed to the struggle against discrimination over the years.

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