Exposure to job-related violence among young female prostitutes (Nigeria)

In Nigeria, many young girls are engaged in commercial prostitution as a means of livelihood and support of dependent relatives. Although studies have documented some of the violence related issues among commercial prostitutes, the plight of adolescent and young prostitutes particularly in urban slums may be different in context and depth. This study explored the experiences of violence and health related harm among vulnerable young female prostitutes in urban slums in Ibadan and Lagos, Southwest Nigeria. It also analysed their coping strategies and survival mechanisms. Young female prostitutes aged 15–24 years who reported having experienced violence were recruited for the study. Twelve participants completed the interviews out of the 20 initially contacted. The study was conducted in brothels of two selected slum areas in Ibadan and Lagos, Southwest Nigeria. The results showed that the major motivation for engaging in commercial sex work was for economic reasons. However, there are inherent risks involved particularly for the vulnerable young people. Stigmatization from the community, clients’ uncontrolled-aggressive behaviour and harassment from law enforcement agents are some of the frequent violence experiences reported. Self-help coping strategies are usually employed to prevent or mitigate the challenges. The plight of these young people requires policy and program attention towards alternative economic empowerment to rehabilitate those willing to leave the profession. Also the need to develop arm reduction interventions towards protection of young prostitutes against violence.

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About 90 people go missing (South Africa)

Missing Children South Africa said, it roughly records between 60 to 90 missing people cases per month. The daughter of the former Economic Freedom Fighters secretary-general has also been reported missing. It is understood that she was last seen at a retail store with her daughter. Her 3 year old child was found the same day stranded on the street. Reporting missing cases as soon as possible is essential as the first 24 to 48 hours are crucial particularly when a child goes missing. Human trafficking has escalated in South Africa and it is now being declared as a human trafficking hub by the US department of state”.

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Proposed online safety bill poses threats to prostitutes (UK)

The UK Parliament received a bill proposition about the regulation of “harmful” online content which will target the safety of prostitutes. The internet has given prostitutes an opportunity to safely practice their occupation without the dangers of in-person work. A 2018 U.K. research showed that online prostitution is actually a safer method, as it revealed that only 5% of prostitutes surveyed had experienced physical assault in the last year. To put things into perspective, there’s a 45% to 75% chance prostitutes will experience violence throughout their careers. With this new proposed law, tech companies will be financially penalised for allowing the advertisement of prostitution on their platforms, and they could face jail time.

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Prostitution in Israel on decline, study finds

The consumption of prostitution in Israel is on the decline, while the number of Israelis who perceive the profession in a negative light has increased, according to a new study published. The study, conducted by the Brookdale Institute for the Welfare and Interior ministries, found that about 84% of all Israelis consider prostitution a harmful and degrading social phenomenon that serves to damage the person’s honour, while 23% believe that “prostitution is a legitimate profession.” The study also found that 45% believe that women have every right to sell their body for sex and that those soliciting to prostitution come from all walks of life, ages, education levels and marital status i.e. both married and single. Overall, about 20% of all men who took part in the study admitted they had paid for sex at least once. Among men who paid for sex in the five years prior to the study, 68% testified that they had solicited to prostitution more than once. In addition, the study also found that the number of men who had said that they paid for sex dropped from 11% before the 2018 law, to 7% in 2019 and 5% in 2020, the year the law went into effect, while 18% said that they had stopped their solicitation altogether due to the law.

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Psychological effects of Human Trafficking (South Africa)

Juanita van Heerden, Director of Escape (a Safe House), discussed the Psychological harms of Human Trafficking on SABC TV. She described how Human Trafficked people are more likely to be malnourished, have chronic diseases, borderline personality disorders, psychosis, schizophrenia, paranoia, depression, anxiety and insomnia. The biggest challenge is to place the victims back in society. At her Safe House they teach the victims life skills including computer courses, reading and writing. Her concern is that South Africa wants to legalise Prostitution. She pleaded for resources to be made available to prostitutes to enable them to exit this life they are trapped in.

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Is decriminalised prostitution ANC government’s job creation plan? (South Africa)

Justice and Constitutional Development Deputy Minister, John Jeffery, released a statement indicating he has begun a series of consultative meetings to discuss the possible decriminalisation of prostitution. The statement says that the SA Law Reform Commission (SALRC) released its Report on Adult Prostitution in 2017 saying the topic needs to be further debated. However, Mr Jeffery failed to explain why Cabinet felt the possible decriminalisation of [prostitution] should be further debated since nowhere in the SALRC Report is decriminalised [prostitution] recommended as decent or productive work”. Paragraph 46 of the SALRC Report states: “The Commission agrees with Doctors for Life that criminalisation of prostitution provides a legal mechanism to remove a prostitute from coercive circumstances and to provide her with an opportunity to enter rehabilitation, training and reintegration programmes”. 

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LIFEalerts – Sexual Exploitation

Sexual Exploitation

USA – Investigation finds TikTok exposes children to inappropriate material 

According to an investigation by The Wall Street Journal, the video-sharing platform TikTok shows underage accounts thousands of videos depicting drugs, pornography and sexual content, and alcohol use, including over 100 videos promoting pornography subscription services and sex products. Investigators set up 31 fake TikTok accounts registered to users between the ages of 13 and 15 and studied their “For You” feeds, which consist of videos recommended to users by TikTok’s suggestion algorithm. The investigation took over several months. One particular account, registered to a 13-year-old, was shown at least 569 videos related to drug use, including meth and cocaine addiction. Another account was recommended videos depicting role-playing sexual content until 90% of the account’s feed consisted of videos related to bondage, sadomasochism, and other sexual practices.  127

TikTok responded admitting that they don’t separate content intended for adult users from content safe for children but were looking into technology that would filter out adult content for underage users. Apple was the subject of a similar investigation last month that found its App Store had few controls in place preventing minors from accessing adult hookup apps and apps with sexual content. An investigation released in June by the Human Trafficking Institute found that 59% of sex-trafficking victims were recruited through Facebook. More

USA – Nevada makes sexual exploitation ‘Dirty Dozen List’ again

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) announced that the State of Nevada is once again on its Dirty Dozen List of mainstream contributors to sexual exploitation.   The State, Nevada Legislature, and Governor were the defendants in a now dismissed lawsuit brought by a pair of women who were trafficked from Texas into Nevada’s illegal sex industry, the largest of any state. Nevada is a hub for sex trafficking. “Legalized brothels in Nevada have proven to be a failed experiment,” the 2021 Dirty Dozen list reads. Evidence shows that a legalized sex trade increases demand from sex buyers and therefore increases sex trafficking as exploiters try to satisfy the market. Survivors are exposing the ugly truth about life behind brothel doors. By legalizing brothels, Nevada is profiting from sexual exploitation and abuse—just like any other pimp.” More

South Africa – More than half of SA’s prostitute’s victims of rape, study finds

A study looked at the violence experienced by a sample pool of 3 000 female prostitutes in the country. The study found that 70% had experienced violence, while 57.9% had been raped. The study was conducted by the South African Medical Research Council and the Perinatal HIV Research Unit. The study followed a 2016 pilot in Soweto conducted among female prostitutes. It showed that prostitutes were extremely vulnerable to violence, mental health problems and, worryingly, signs of HIV drug resistance.” In the past year, 70.4% of female prostitutes experienced physical violence, and 57.9% were raped: by policemen (14.0%), clients (48.3%), other men (30.2%) and/or an intimate partner (31.9%),” the study found. It said: Sexual intimate partner violence was associated with food insecurity, entering prostitution as a child, childhood trauma exposure, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), drinking alcohol to cope with prostitution, working more days, partner controlling behaviour, having an ex-client partner, and having no current partner to protect from ex-partners.  Dr Jenny Coetzee, the principal investigator of the study, said it had put numbers to the high levels of violence experienced by prostitutes and that, because of the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, there would likely be an increase in the number of people engaging in “survival-type” prostitution. “It is vital that prostitution programmes are properly resourced; so that they can help protect prostitutes from violence … There has been a lot of research showing what needs to be done to help prostitutes. Now we need committed resources to protect this vulnerable group of women,” Coetzee said. More

LIFEalerts – Sexual Exploitation

Sexual Exploitation

USA – Decriminalization and Legalization law Models for prostitution

Decriminalization and legalization of prostitution are unmitigated disasters in every country where these laws have passed. Local authorities in the Netherlands, Germany, and Australia, where pimping, sex buying, and brothel owning were legalized, struggle to contain the illegal sex trade and organized crime that thrives under this framework. Up to 90% of women and girls in brothels across Europe are undocumented foreign women from the poorest countries of Eastern Europe and the global south deemed to have been trafficked. Germany hosts country-wide, multi-storied chain brothels in which Johns are offered menus from which to choose sexual acts, some of which amount to torture. Since New Zealand passed its decriminalization law, street prostitution doubled in Auckland between 2006 and 2007. More

USA – Sex trafficking victims can sue Twitter

A federal judge in California has allowed a lawsuit against Twitter filed on behalf of two victims of child sexual abuse to move forward, having partly denied a motion by the social media platform to dismiss the complaint. In an order released Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Spero ruled that the two victims in the case “have stated a claim for civil liability under the” Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017. “This lawsuit seeks to shine a light on how Twitter has enabled and profited from [child sexual abuse material] on its platform, choosing profits over people, money over the safety of children, and wealth at the expense of human freedom and human dignity,” stated the lawsuit. More

USA – DHS Insider Blows Whistle

A Department of Homeland Security insider has come forward to Project Veritas to blow the whistle on how international cartels exploit U.S. immigration loopholes to carry out massive child sex trafficking operations. The whistle-blower sat down with Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe to lay out how exactly these criminal networks get around immigration law. “It’s almost like they are coached, ‘Hey if you get caught, just go ahead and say this.’” The whistle-blower said most transnational gangs are involved in child sex trafficking because it’s a lucrative black market industry. “This to me is a bigger problem than terrorism is right now” …Every single one of these Transnational Criminal Organizations are involved in sex trafficking,” he said. More

LIFEalerts – Sexual Exploitation

Sexual Exploitation

Germany – Registered sex workers drop sharply in pandemic

The number of people registered as sex workers with German authorities declined sharply last year as coronavirus restrictions shut brothels for months. Legislation in 2002 legalized and regulated prostitution in Germany, giving sex workers social benefits, and they are now obliged to register. But brothels have been closed for much of the time since the covid-19 pandemic hit in March 2020 as part of wider lockdowns.  At the end of last year, 24,940 prostitutes were officially registered with authorities, the Federal Statistical Office said. That was down from some 40,400 a year earlier — a 38% drop. This is the reality if you want to legalize prostitution. We learn from countries who tried it, it does not work. More

Germany – Brothel converted into test centre

Prostitutes in Germany were trained up to become Covid testers after their brothel closed down due to lockdown restrictions and then subsequently turned into a test center. Brothels closed down and the sale of sex has been banned across Germany due to the coronavirus, which has forced many prostitutes into poverty and danger. Some prostitutes have admitted that they have had no choice but to flout the restrictions. Regarding the free-of-charge examinations, they said; ‘We want to make a contribution to the fight against the pandemic and to do something good for the people.’ Doctors For Life International is impressed with news like this. More

USA – Detective finds evidence of sex trafficking on OnlyFans

A Detective from Texas, one of the country’s most elite human trafficking investigators, shared with viewers how OnlyFans shows evidence of sex trafficking activity. He has participated in arresting over 460 sex buyers, 149 individuals for human trafficking and related offenses, which led to the identification of 260 trafficking victims.   During the pandemic, OnlyFans has seen exponential growth. Last year, it claimed to have more than 30 million registered users and more than 450,000 creators. Palmbach said some of the ways to stop the potential threat of OnlyFans is through banking, financing, working with law enforcement by reporting things that are witnessed and searching for potential dangers in other social media platforms. More

LIFEalerts – Sexual Exploitation

Sexual Exploitation

World – Epilogue on the Archives of Criminology

Human trafficking is yet another type of crime whose meaning and expression are both relative and evolutive.  Palermo Protocol is where the UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) advocate three main approaches: prosecution, protection and prevention strategies.  Canada and the US have a fourth P which stands for partnership to build capacity at local, regional and national levels for combating human trafficking.  Despite an increasing push towards the protection of victims, the literature on the subject shows an ongoing disproportionate emphasis on the offender’s prosecution.  Finally, prevention has been touted as a more effective and efficient response than prosecution.  Without participation, the response to human trafficking will not be evolutive. More

South Africa – Cops nabbed after sex trafficking victim ‘raped repeatedly’

The Hawks have arrested two senior members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) for their alleged role in a sex trafficking operation in Vereeniging, south of Johannesburg. According to the elite crime-busting unit, the two suspects were regulars at an unidentified brothel where a missing woman was being held hostage and used as a sex slave. Instead of abiding by their oath and coming to her rescue, the officers – a brigadier and captain, forced themselves on the woman, raping her on multiple occasions and paying money to the brothel owner. The DPCI [Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation] is committed to tackling this scourge in collaboration with our partners in government and civil society. Instead of decriminalizing prostitution, the focus should be aimed at dealing with corrupt officials like these. More

UK – COVID shuts down UK red light district

When the Covid pandemic hit the number of sex workers plummeted by 50% and caused the UK’s first red light district to shut down. The Holbeck Managed Approach scheme launched in 2014 and was the only place in the country where on-street sex work was legal. This initiative hoped to make is safer for the women but locals objected because the sexual activity invaded their streets. The scheme officially closed last year following the emergency measures introduced by the Safer Leeds Partnership as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Recommendations that ban kerb crawling and punters on foot have also been adopted. Men preying on vulnerable women in street prostitution are no longer welcome or tolerated in Holbeck. More

Mozambique – Prison wardens force inmates into prostitution

The Centre for Public Integrity (CIP) reported recently how guards at the Ndlavela Women’s Prison in Maputo are sexually exploiting inmates by selling the women to clients for money, which the wardens then pocket for themselves. Those who complied were offered special treatment in jail, but those who did not were “tortured,” the CIP said. The sexual exploitation has been going for more than a decade. Justice Minister Helena Kida visited the prison and ordered an urgent government inquiry, the findings of which are expected soon. More