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Closing windows...

Amsterdam introduces repressive new rules to make sex work more difficult


Link Here 1st September 2018
Full story: Sex Work in the Netherlands...Netherlands less friendly to sex workers
The Council of State Administrative Law division has upheld restrictive rules for brothel owners, that were initially introduced in 2013, but have been postponed due to a legal challenge.

The brothel keepers in Amsterdam's Red Light District must ensure that prostitutes should meet the minimum-age requirement of 21.

The owners are also obliged to interview sex workers in order to spot signs of human trafficking. A previous 2015 court judgement requires that Dutch brothel owners must speak the languages of the sex workers they hire. Reports of these interviews should then be made available to municipal supervisors.  However personal data of sex workers obtained during interviews does not have to be shared with municipal supervisors.

Among rules not upheld by the court is the requirement for the owners of window-based brothels to be held responsible for violations of hygiene rules, including cleanliness of the rooms and sex toys.

The decision by the Council of State is irrevocable and leaves no room for another appeal, the Parool reported.

 

 

More Strip Troubles...

Miserable Israeli prosecutors declare that lap dancing is tantamount to prostitution


Link Here 30th August 2018

Israel's state prosecutor's office has issued a miserable new directive clamping down on such lap dances in the country's strip clubs, claiming that under some circumstances dances could be considered an illegal act of prostitution.

Deputy State Prosecutor Shlomo Lamberger  has instructed police to increase the enforcement against such lap dances, which, in certain circumstances (such as the duration of the dance and the nature of the physical contact between the dancer and the customer) will be considered as an act of prostitution-- which does not have a legal definition.

According to the new directive, law enforcement officials will be able to act against owners of strip clubs by issuing closing warrants, discontinuing the clubs' business licenses, and in case of violations of the directive, filing indictments against such institutions.

The police have begun issuing warning letters to strip club owners around the country detailing the change in policy and warning the owners of potential future police action. Anti-prostitution activists have hailed the new policy for giving the police an effective enforcement tool that will make it easier to close down strip clubs on the claim that prostitution activity is occurring on the premises.

The new policy was developed after a Tel Aviv district court judge ruled that a strip club near the Ramat Gan Diamond Exchange could not be granted a license as a place of entertainment. The prosecutor's office then assembled a team to look into grounds for deeming strip clubs as places of prostitution.

 

 

Banning anything adult and more...

India parliament considers a new internet censorship bill based on the recent US FOSTA law


Link Here 25th July 2018

Indian politicians have been admiring the effectiveness of the recent US censorship law, FOSTA that bans anything adult on the internet by making websites responsible for anything that facilitates sex trafficking. As websites can't distinguish trafficking from adult consensual sex work then the internet companies are forced to ban anything to do with sex work and even dating.

A new session of the Indian Parliament kicked off on 18 July with the introduction of the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill .

There are a few problematic provisions in the proposed legislation, which may severely impact freedom of expression. For instance, Section 36 of the Bill, which aims to prescribe punishment for the promotion or facilitation of trafficking, proposes a minimum three-year sentence for producing, publishing, broadcasting or distributing any type of material that promotes trafficking or exploitation. An attentive reading of the provision, however, reveals that it has been worded loosely enough to risk criminalizing many unrelated activities as well.

The phrase any propaganda material that promotes trafficking of person or exploitation of a trafficked person in any manner has wide amplitude, and many unconnected or even well-intentioned actions can be construed to come within its ambit as the Bill does not define what constitutes promotion. For example, in moralistic eyes, any sexual content online could be seen as promoting prurient interests, and thus also promoting trafficking.

In July 2015, the government asked internet service providers (ISPs) to block 857 pornography websites sites on grounds of outraging morality and decency, but later rescinded the order after widespread criticism. If historical record is any indication, Section 36 in this present Bill will legitimize such acts of censorship.

Section 39 proposes an even weaker standard for criminal acts by proposing that any act of publishing or advertising which may lead to the trafficking of a person shall be punished (emphasis added) with imprisonment for 5-10 years. In effect, the provision mandates punishment for vaguely defined actions that may not actually be connected to the trafficking of a person at all.

Another by-product of passing the proposed legislation would be a dramatic shift in India's landscape of intermediary liability laws, i.e., rules which determine the liability of platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, and messaging services like Whatsapp and Signal for hosting or distributing unlawful content.

Provisions in the Bill that criminalize the publication and distribution of content, ignore that unlike the physical world, modern electronic communication requires third-party intermediaries to store and distribute content. This wording can implicate neutral communication pipeways, such as ISPs, online platforms, mobile messengers, which currently cannot even know of the presence of such material unless they surveil all their users. Under the proposed legislation, the fact that human traffickers used Whatsapp to communicate about their activities could be used to hold the messaging service criminally liable.

 



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