Sex workers protest social restrictions and police violence in Malawi capital
- The Female Sex Worker Association (FSWA) took to the streets of Lilongwe, petitioning the government to address police brutality and the economic effects of new COVID prevention measures.
- Protesters claim police have targeted sex workers in the wake of new restrictions on nightlife and socializing, showing up at their homes and physically assaulting them.
- As COVID cases and deaths in the country have spiked in the new year, the FSWA has argued that the unequal treatment of social activities has endangered their already fragile livelihoods and access to critical health resources.
“Sex workers in protest march in Lilongwe: ‘We provide essential services’” (Nyasa Times | January 2021)
“Malawi sex workers protest at ‘targeted police brutality’ after Covid-19 curfew” (The Guardian | January 2021)
“Malawi sex workers to hold demos” (Malawi24 | January 2021)
New database catalogs human rights violations for the Caribbean’s vulnerable communities
- The Shared Incidents Database (SID) will document violations affecting people with HIV, sex workers, people with substance addiction, gay and bisexual men, trans people, vulnerable youth, migrants, and the incarcerated.
- The database is a collaboration between the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC) and the Centro de Orientación e Investigación Integral (COIN), based in the Dominican Republic.
- Human rights and social justice organizations across the Caribbean are being trained in the use of SID, which creators envision as a tool in program development, policy creation, petitioning, and reporting.
“Caribbean’s first online human rights database launched” (The Jamaica Observer | May 2017)
“New Database Aims to Track Rights Violations of Caribbean’s Most Vulnerable Communities” (Global Voices | May 2017)
“Caribbean’s First Online Human Rights Incidence Database Launched” (Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition | May 2017)
South Korean sex workers protest court ruling upholding criminalization of sex work
- Pro-sex work activists protested the Constitutional Court’s decision to uphold a 2004 law that set punishments for both sex workers and customers, arguing it unfairly limits women’s economic opportunity and punishes poor clientele while paid relationships among the wealthy persist.
- Sex workers and consumers face up to a year in jail or a fine of 3 million won ($2,600).
- Activists say the ruling violates their right to work and announced intentions to petition the United Nations.
“South Korean Court Upholds Ban on Prostitution” (The New York Times)
“South Korea prostitutes decry court ruling, demand right to work” (Reuters)
“South Korea Upholds Tough Anti-Prostitution Laws” (AP via ABC News)
(Image Credit: Jean Chung/The New York Times)
European court rules brothel owners in Amsterdam must share language with sex workers
- The European Court of Justice ruling sided with the city of Amsterdam, which blocked the application of a brothel owner to run a Red Light District window rental space because the owner could not communicate in the language of some of the workers.
- The business owner had his business plan denied because he rented to Hungarian and Bulgarian immigrant workers who did not speak Dutch and whose languages the owner did not speak.
- The court cited the safety of women, human trafficking vulnerability, the prevention of sex work by minors, and pimping deterrence as justifications.
“Court: Amsterdam brothel owners must speak prostitutes’ language” (The NL Times)
“Double Dutch barred in Amsterdam brothels” (AFP, via Yahoo! News)
(Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/LeDeuxAlpe, via The NL Times)