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U.S. State Department Response to UN Human Rights Council Working Group UPR Report « www.harlotsparlour.com

Posted: March 10th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments »

The US State Dept. published a response to the UN's Universal Periodic Review in full support of Recommendation 86, which says "no one should face violence or discrimination in access to public services based on…their status as a person in prostitution". The Woodhull Freedom Foundation, an advocacy group who worked with the UN’s US delegation praised the statement. "We are especially happy to note that the Obama administration is taking human rights abuses against sex workers seriously," RJ Thompson, Woodhull's Human Rights Program Director said.

But many US sex workers, who face discrimination and violence from US police forces, expressed skepticism. A sex worker rights advocate and blogger who writes under the name elrond said: "Will this mean sex workers can get tested for STDs in the US without fear of arrest? While cities like New Orleans who imprison sex workers for long sentences, I some how don't think so."

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Mob set Naroda guesthouse on fire – India – DNA

Posted: November 3rd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

A sex worker from Kolkata has died and two other women were injured in India this week due to burns sustained after a mob of about 50 people set fire to the guesthouse they were in. The mob of vigilantes believed the guesthouse, which had been raided by local police twice before, to be engaged in presumably prostitution-related "illegal activities." Evidently, however, despite any concerns for the guesthouse's occupants, the vigilantes decided manhandling the people there, pelting the building with stones, and ultimately committing arson that lead to murder was more appropriate behavior.

It is a grizzly reminder of the violence sex workers face at the hands of so-called "rescuers." While some of the loudest anti-prostitution activists are women, their advocacy perpetuates whore stigma to the detriment of all women; they're frauds.

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CBC News – Windsor – Craigslist prostitution ads must go: Ontario

Posted: October 20th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

Following in the footsteps of an anti-Craigslist, anti-justice dogpile of 17 US Attorneys General, three Ontario cabinet ministers signed a letter to Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster asking him to remove prostitution-related ads from the website in their province. According to a report by CBC News, "The New Democrats said prostitution and human trafficking were serious problems and Craigslist should quickly remove its prostitution-related ads under its erotic services section." In the letter, ministers cited "a simple matter of fairness" for why they want to see the Craigslist section for adult ads censored.

The letter comes on the heels of a recent Ontario court ruling (criticized by anti-prostitution & pro-censorship groups) that found laws against communication for the purpose of prostitution, which Craigslist is a remarkably safe facilitator for, violate Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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"It’s a good day," sex workers say in wake of Ontario court decision – Latest News Roundup

Posted: September 28th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Candian sex workers won a victory against anti-prostitution laws in Ontario today as provincial court struck down a number of key provisions in "Section 213(1)(c), which makes it illegal to communicate for the purposes of prostitution; Section 210, which makes it illegal to run a common bawdy house; and Section 212(1)(j), which makes it illegal to live off the avails of prostitution," according to a report at Xtra.ca.

Sex worker rights activists said they were pleased because the laws made it illegal for them to work indoors where they are safer. "While prostitution in itself is not illegal, just about everything related to it is illegal," Stacey Ashley notes in a report at CTV Winnipeg. While the government is "seriously considering" an appeal, Sex Professionals of Canada, plaintiffs in the case, said they would fight the appeal, and would start raising funds.

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The Scarlet "SW" For Sex Worker – The Rumpus.net

Posted: September 26th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Since 2007 the University of New Mexico has been embroiled in a controversy so tired it boggles the mind to see academics perpetuate it: slut-shaming. The controversy stems from anonymous "appalled parents" objecting to a cash-strapped tenured professor's choice to seek employment at a BDSM phone sex fantasy line. In the eyes of anons and a legion of people who only possess purported "facts" trotted out by the media, the professor, Lisa Chavez, "is now somehow permanently tainted," Amy Letter observes.

But in all of this few people gave Professor Chavez a chance to speak for herself. And if the appalling actions of anonymous cowards writing letters sounds familiar to you, it should.

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5 Things You Need to Know About The Craigslist Adult Services Censor

Posted: September 8th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

"This weekend, Craigslist censored the Adult Services section of their site," Lori Adelman writes of the much-publicized controversy in which Melissa Farley and other anti-prostitution activists have hypocritially accused the company of facilitating child sex trafficking. Using wildly inflated numbers, misguided or just plain ignorant activists along with 17 "criminally shortsighted" attorneys general eager to jump on the panic-wagon put enough public pressure on Craigslist to make them self-censor part of the website.

If this all sounds familiar, it should. And what ideologically-motivated anti-trafficking groups ought to know is what they most don't want to hear: censoring Craigslist helps traffickers, hurting women, children, and cops.

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SPOTLIGHT: Lifting the lid on Project Acumen’ | An Anthology of English Pros

Posted: August 29th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Recently, project Acumen, by Association of Chief Police Officers in the UK, put together a report called "Setting the Record," which sought to discover how many sex workers, and particularly migrant sex workers, in the UK were "vulnerable" or "trafficked." Naturally, there were immediately headlines all over the Internet saying things like "1 in 10 Sex Workers Trafficked," with the number of trafficked workers being reported as anything from 2,600 to 12,000. Because, of course, most media sources want to get something published more than they want to read through appendices. Stephen Patterson of An Anthology of English Pros, however, did read through the whole thing. What he has to say about it not very surprising to us at Kink On Tap, but I bet it would surprise the heck out of a lot of the people reading the mainstream coverage of the report.

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Is sex a human right? (via early to bed)

Posted: August 18th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Early To Bed has a great rundown of a recent controversy:

In England, a 21 year old man with learning disabilities is receiving government funding to take a trip to Amsterdam for the purpose of losing his virginity to a prostitute. … This is just one of the many people receiving sexual services funded through a £520million scheme introduced to empower those with disabilities.

[A social worker] claims, "Refusing to offer him this service would be a violation of his human rights." Jezebel points out the sobering point that this is similar to language used by misogynists to defend rape. … [D]oes any one else find it odd that a country where prostitution is illegal has no problem sending a young man to see one elsewhere?

So, is sex a human right? No, but sexuality is. … Should taxpayers foot the bill for a 21 year old's sex holiday? Hell no.

This sheds some much-needed light on debates over acceptable sex and, more importantly, personal sexual responsibility.

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Reporter’s Sex-Trafficking Questions Silences Craigslist Founder – Tech Talk – CBS News

Posted: August 6th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Craig Newmark, "the Craig from Craigslist," was "ambushed" by CNN's Amber Lyon for a slam piece about sex trafficking, Charles Cooper reports. "When the reporter…first approached him with a question about screening out ads for sex with minors, Newmark told her that the company had explained all that on its corporate blog. … After a cutaway with a Detective, Lyon returned to the attack." In Lyon's CNN report, he asks her "Have you reported this to us?" She replies, "Why do I have the responsibility to report this to you when it's your website? You're the one posting this online." Newmark then walked away. In an emailed statement, a Craigslist spokesperson wrote Lyon's interview "was a direct violation of the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics."

Sex trafficking is a loaded issue, and conflations between it and sex work are dangerous for victims and society alike.

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Denying Sex Workers HIV Funds | Mother Jones

Posted: August 2nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

After years of discrimination, sex workers and NGOs staged the largest protest against the President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) ever at this year's International AIDS Conference. Back in 2003, mandated by the Republican-controlled Congress and former President Bush, PEPFAR was heralded by many conservatives and liberals as a big step forward for HIV/AIDS prevention in Africa. What many don't know is that an anti-prostitution clause embedded in the bill severed US funding to one of the highest at-risk populations: sex workers.

PEPFAR mandates that any organization receiving US funds enforce "a policy explicitly opposing prostitution and sex trafficking." But, Titania Kumeh notes, "it's not clear whether [PEPFAR's proponents] recognized the difference between sex trafficking and prostitution, spoke to any sex worker-run organizations that combat exploitation, or spoke to groups that seek HIV preventative care and battle sex trafficking," thus harming PEPFAR's own goal.

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