The Week in Links



Daisy Nokato of Uganda, speaking on main plenary at AIDS Conference 2014. (Photo via Elena Jeffreys’ Instagram account)

The International AIDS Conference in Melbourne featured discussion of how laws criminalizing sex work hinder efforts to prevent the spread of HIV. This Reuters story covers counterproductive global laws. A study was presented that argued decriminalization could cut the rate of infection by up to a third. Chinese sex worker activist Ye Haiyan was prevented from traveling to the conference.

Porn performers aren’t the only ones getting screwed over by banks: the owner of strip clubs Scores and Penthouse Executive Club is suing Deutsche Bank for $1 million after the bank reneged on a $17 million loan when it discovered the nature of his business.

As part of its “Consolidated guidelines on HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and care for key populations” (key populations being men who have sex with men, prisoners, injection drug users, sex workers, and transgender people) the WHO has announced that countries wishing to increase access for these populations need to remove the legal and social barriers preventing access, including decriminalizing sex work.  “The global fight against HIV and AIDS will not be won by relegating segments of the population to the shadows,” said John Berry. The WHO was guided in forming these recommendations by the actual target populations themselves.

Cyd Nova just made a handy list for you to hand out to your future acquaintances:  Nine Stereotypes Sex Workers Are Tired of Hearing About. Yes, this is a real job and no, it is never appropriate to ask someone about their abuse history. If someone actually does that, just take the list back and save it for the next person.

“What does the Swedish model get wrong?” asks this Time column, answering that it is the treatment of women as incapable of consent and the continued marginalization of sex workers. Moreover, it announces that decriminalization is actually the answer.

The Washington Post asks, “Do Dating Aps Have a Prostitution Problem?” Did the Washington Post have a slow news day problem?



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(photo via Stoya’s Instagram page)


More from Vice on why the closure of MyRedbook is dangerous for sex workers.

Tech Savvy Sex Workers Trade Pimps For Web Pages: despite the cringe-inducing title the article is actually a pretty good look at class stratification among sex workers and the safety offered by internet advertising.

Sex worker advocate Ye Haiyan has been barred from leaving China to attend the World AIDS Summit. This is not the first time Haiyan has been persecuted by the government in her decade of sex work activism, but it is part of a new and larger crackdown against sex work.

25 sex workers were killed in Baghdad this week when a gunman attacked a residential building, leaving behind graffiti that read, “This is the fate of any prostitution.

How the Financial Sector Makes Sex Workers Lives Miserable: the recent closure of porn performers’ bank accounts isn’t the first time the financial sector has worked against sex workers; it’s part of a systemic problem called whorephobia.



Petite Jasmine (Photo via her Facebook page, courtesy of Rose Alliance)

Petite Jasmine (Photo via her Facebook page, courtesy of Rose Alliance)

Today marks on year since the murder of Petite Jasmine. Reading about her life and death is the most powerful argument we know against the Nordic Model.

Cool, some tourist filmmakers are fundraising to shoot a documentary in Dallas strip clubs. “The project ‘was started because the strip club and stripper industry was one of the few areas I felt created clear camps — men and women,’” OK!

Bitch Flicks writes about Shae on Game of Thrones, picking up on some of the same themes you saw covered here.

An interesting twist to opposition to Canada’s bill C-36: “A Saskatoon man whose money was stolen by people posing as licensed adult services workers says the federal government’s proposed prostitution bill will give ‘free reign’ to such thieves, or even human traffickers, by preventing people from going to the police.”

Looks like thanks to researchers in Brazil, after this World Cup we can finally put to rest the idea that big sporting events are a boon to sex workers. According to one sex worker,

the World Cup has hardly been the boom she hoped for, and that many tourists have come from Latin American countries with weak currencies and haggle over prices lower than what a Brazilian would pay. “The tourists have even less money than we have,” she said dryly.




Rachel Phillips, the new executive director of PEERS (Photo via Times Colonist, by Adrian Lam)

Victoria, BC sex worker resource society PEERS has a new executive director and some exciting new developments. After a rough financial situation last year, PEERS had to close the drop-in shelter last August, but between community support and a $100,000 grant from the provincial government it is reopening the shelter five days a week.

Remember last month when Giulia Jones went to Europe and returned to Australia full of Nordic ideas about sex work?  Sex workers in Canberra are telling her they want none of it.

Vietnamese sex workers continue to reject the notion that quitting their livelihood for loans in sums smaller than they would make at work will help them in the long term. [READ MORE]



The front page of post-seizure (screenshot)

The front page of post-seizure (screenshot)


In a terrible blow for Bay Area sex workers, the sites and were shut down by the FBI, accused of money laundering and facilitating prostitution.  Redbook was one of the few free advertising sites left where sex workers could advertise, talk to and screen clients with a degree of distance.

Steph Key, a member of the Australian Parliament, is trying for the third time to make decriminalization a reality in South Australia.

Some brothels in the Dolly district of Surabaya are still running, despite being officially “shut down” last week.

Operation Cross Country, a five-day nation-wide trafficking sting, yielded 168 child victims, many of whom had never been reported missing, and far more adult workers.  The children, who are primarily runaways, many of whom weren’t reported missing by their families, will be returned to their families where possible or placed in foster care. In at least one instance a driver was also arrested on charges of conspiracy and promotion of prostitution.

Anne Elizabeth Moore and Leela Corman did a comic strip about what anti-trafficking NGOs  really do for Truth-Out’s series Our Fashion Year.

Toronto’s Maggie’s Sex Worker Action Project is raising funds to battle C-36.