Re: Campaign for labour and human rights protections for those working in the sex industry?

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Subject: Re: Campaign for labour and human rights protections for those working in the sex industry?
STV@stv.nl
Date: Thu Feb 25 1999 - 07:42:52 EST


Dear Lacey,

I don't know if there has been such a requirement for participating in the
list, but I do feel it would be good to make clear that there are different
views possible and that a great deal of NGOs working in the field support
the ILO report, its conclusions and its nuanced approach.

We for instance are very happy with the ILO report, which could be a first
step in including sexworkers in existing international instruments
specifically aiming at the regulation and improvement of working
conditions, the protection of workers against abuse and coercion and the
elimination of forced labour. Many of us, working e.g. with victims of
trafficking, daily experience the effects of excluding those working in the
sexindustry from these basic labour and human rights protections. In our
experience, precisely this exclusion helps to create the conditions for
traffickers to operate with impunity.

We also think that the criticasters of the report missed the main point,
notably the recommendation to accord workers in the sex industry RIGHTS,
which is a widely accepted and historically proven effective strategy to
improve women's position and combat abuse of power. I don't see what good
it can do to any woman to exclude one specific category of women, notably
sexworkers, from this principle.

Marjan Wijers, Foundation Against Trafficking in Women

>>Got the following with great confusion....Haven't we clarified several
>>times on this list that we do not see prostitution as exploitation in and
>>of itself...Only in forced, fraudulent and coerced situations?
>>There, the very first sentence is contradictory to the purposes of this
>>list. I say, send letters in opposition to the ban on legalization.
>>
>>Lacey Sloan
>>
>>
>>>
>>>Prostitution is a deprivation of women's human rights. It is with great
>>>concern we read the International Labor Organization (ILO) study "The Sex
>>>Sector: The Economic and Social Bases of Prostitution in Southeast Asia."
>>>The ILO study on prostitution forwards a not too subtle recommendation to
>>>legalise prostitution, citing the industry as an "economic sector."
>>>Undoubtedly, prostitution and other activities related to sexual
>>>exploitation earn billions of dollar world-wide. In Japan alone the so
>>>called entertainment industry brings in an amount that is nearly equivalent
>>>to its military budget. The ILO study presumes that everybody, including
>>>the women and children trapped in prostitution, benefit economically.
>>>
>>
>>Lacey Sloan, Ph.D., MSSW
>>Assistant Professor
>>Graduate School of Social Work
>>University of Houston
>>Houston, TX 77204
>>
>>713.743.8105
>>713.743.8149 (fax)
>>
>>
>>
>
>

---------------------------------------------------------
Marjan Wijers
Foundation Against Trafficking in Women (STV), Netherlands
Email: M.Wijers@stv.nl
General STV email address: STV@stv.nl


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