Archive for the ‘The sex trade’ Category

Traffic jam: where are all the bonded hookers? (21/10/09)

Finally, a major paper has bothered to deconstruct the mythical numbers that are bandied about to justify the UK government’s idiotic conflation of sex work with sex trafficking. The fact that raids on over 800 brothels didn’t net any traffickers doesn’t mean that there isn’t anyone in the UK selling sex against their will. But […]

Harriet Harman, homophobia, tum-ti-tum (13/10/09)

Last week, I was trying to explain Britain’s sexual and cultural politics to a friend newly-arrived from Canada. That meant trying to explain why nice, left-wing feminists like Harriet Harman are using their political party conference speeches to send men to a website that advertises and rates sex workers. It’s like this. Ms Harman, who […]

A parliament of whores? Access denied! (29/06/09)

Writing in the Guardian, Cath Elliot trumpets the unanimously warm reception for a new attempt to lock men up for buying sex. She’s proud of her own contribution to the debate, she says, though the hyperlink she gives for that contribution simply takes us to a remark about the International Union of Sex Workers which […]

Finally, (parliamentary) Wisdom FOR Whores (19/05/09)

It’s an exciting day in the UK. While you’d be forgiven for thinking that all MPs worry about is their expenses, they’ll in fact spend this afternoon debating the policing and crime bill, which deals with airport security, public drunkenness. Oh, and prostitution. It seems that home secretart Jaqui Smith has been listening to sex […]

My old employers on an old profession (08/05/09)

In belated recognition of May Day, I give you these sensible words from sex workers in India, courtesy of my once-long-ago employers, Reuters. Funnily enough, one of the very first stories I ever wrote for Reuters was about sex workers in a time of economic meltdown. It was also the first to draw a response […]

Sex in London: tonight’s special offer (11/03/09)

Hookers, cops, abolitionists, health workers — we’ll be getting hot and heavy tonight at a debate on the sex trade. More specifically, a discussion of how best to tackle the small but vicious portion of the industry that consits of women (and men and transgenders? though we don’t seem to think of them as “victims” […]

Whose war is it, anyway? (10/03/09)

The Colombian President says we’ve lost the war on drugs. So does his predecesor. And his Mexican counterpart. Not to mention Harvard economists. Oh, and the editors of The Economist. Is it conceivable that the United Nations and the US government, that have for so long dug their heels into the mud of prohibition as […]

For Obama’s inauguration, DC hookers get vaccation (17/01/09)

Many people are thrilled that the Bush Years are almost over. Few more so than sex workers, who have essentially been declared not to exist under the administration’s HIV funding rules. Though many are disappointed that Mark Dybul will stay at the helm of PEPFAR for a while, some of us hope that he’ll do […]

As Obama knows, slavery and work are not the same thing (14/01/09)

Regular readers of the New York Times are used to columnist Nicholas Kristof banging the drum against sex slavery, especially in Cambodia. This time, he’s making an argument that sounds like it might have come from The Wisdom: hit traffickers in the pocket and they’ll stop doing it. He’s both right and wrong. I believe […]

Of sex and MacBooks (12/11/08)

The Royal Geographical Society has seen it all. From Darwin arguing 100 years ago that we are descended from apes to Germaine Greer arguing last night that it is wrong not to pay for sex. The debate was organised by IQ2, and the house was packed with the great and the good of London’s chattering […]

Of rescues and rape (19/09/08)

Still on the theme of rescue, hear it from Cambodian sex workers themselves: If one were looking for an unexpected ray of light in this dreary tale it would be in the testimony from the sex worker who was raped by six policeman. Nothing light about that, obviously. But the fact that she was able […]

Starting from scratch: sex work after rescue (15/09/08)

Today’s post is copied wholesale from Laura Agustin. In the poster, the product of a workshop by the Thai sex workers rights organisation EMPOWER, sex workers relate what being “rescued” in brothel raids means to them. • We lose our savings and our belongings. • We are locked up. • We are interrogated by many […]

Epidemiology and the wrath of God: Nigerian nightmare (22/08/08)

HIV research nerds like myself collect information from people at risk because we want to make things better for those people (by providing better prevention services, e.g.), not because we want to make things worse. But what happens when that information gets used as a weapon against the very people we want to help? It’s […]

A fine, upstanding police officer (16/08/08)

Texas, the state that put an HIV positive man in jail for spitting in a cop’s eye, is not always so quick to defend the boys in blue. Beaumont cop Keith Breiner has been fired, even though, according to his lawyer, his strongest suit is “supervisory compliance”. Doing what he’s told. What he was told […]

Painting the sex trade in black and white (15/08/08)

Here we go again. Prostitution, trafficking, the sexual exploitation of kids. All of a piece, all equally wicked, and all inextricably linked (and unpacked quite nicely over at Boinkology). It’s what we’ve come to expect from the zealots who put their own souls ahead of other people’s bodies and minds. The goody two-shoes rescue cowboys, […]

Sex workers rock Mexico (09/08/08)

For 26 million dollars, you’d expect a good party. The AIDS conference in Mexico didn’t deliver much in the way of new science, but on the party front, it did just fine. It did serve to push some neglected issues up the agenda; the right of women, men and transgenders to sell sex safely was […]

Looking the PEPFAR gift horse in the mouth (17/07/08)

The bill allowing another US$ 50 billion of US taxpayer’s cash to be spent on HIV in developing countries has finally been given the thumbs up by the Senate. There’s good and bad drafted on to the PEPFAR legislation. The good is the dropping of a law which forbids foreigners with HIV from sullying the […]

What’s wrong with Malay girls? (09/07/08)

So a Russian girl is worth twice as much as a girl from north China, huh? And Malaysian girls are discounted fairly heavily. There are 460 million young adult women in China. That’s 60 times more “girls” that you’ll find in Malaysia (even if you count the Chinese Malaysians). My rudimentary understanding of economics suggests […]

US pressure squashes Cambodia’s HIV success (01/07/08)

We don’t have many success stories in HIV prevention. And it seems like the Bush government is determined to undermine the ones we do have. Cambodia and Uganda, both shining examples of success in HIV prevention, are being squashed into failure by ideologues who would rather see people die than help sex workers and young […]

Demonstrating success (29/06/08)

Some Sunday silliness courtesy of Lazygal.

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