Category Archives: Știri si opinii

” Out of sight letter from baghdad rania abouzeid …

Islamic militias intensify the dangers of Baghdad’s sex-trafficking underworld.
Islamic militias intensify the dangers of Baghdad’s sex-trafficking underworld.

On a Saturday night in late May, I sat in the back seat of a taxi as it drove through a shantytown in Baghdad. We were not far from Firdos Square, where, in April of 2003, invading American troops famously toppled a large statue of Saddam Hussein. A highway passed overhead, its traffic thudding, and Baghdad’s tallest building, the Cristal Grand Ishtar Hotel—still widely known as the Sheraton, although the hotel chain withdrew from Iraq in 1990—rose in the distance. A forty-year-old woman whom I’ll call Layla sat in the front passenger seat; she wore a black abaya, and strands of dyed-black hair fell out from under her head scarf. Her husband, Mohammad, drove.

We were headed toward a dimly lit cinder-block shack. Children darted in and out of the shadows, and a pregnant woman in a long-sleeved, turquoise ankle-length dress stepped out to see who was approaching. She was a pimp, Layla said. In 2012, Iraq passed its first law specifically against human trafficking, but the law is routinely ignored, and sexual crimes, including rape and forced prostitution, are common, women’s-rights groups say. Statistics are hard to come by, but in 2011, according to the latest Ministry of Planning report, a survey found that more than nine per cent of respondents between the ages of fifteen and fifty-four said they had been subjected to sexual violence. The real number is likely much higher, given the shame attached to reporting such crimes in a society where a family’s honor is often tied to the chastity of its women. The victims of these crimes are often considered outcasts and can be killed for “dishonoring” their family or their community.

Since 2006, Layla, a rape victim and former prostitute, has been secretly mapping Iraq’s underworld of sex trafficking and prostitution. Through her network of contacts in the sex trade, she gathers information about who is selling whom and for how much, where the victims are from, and where they are prostituted and trafficked. She passes the information, through intermediaries, to Iraqi authorities, who usually fail to act on it. Still, her work has helped to convict several pimps, including some who kidnapped children. That Saturday night, I accompanied Layla and Mohammad on a tour of some of the places that she investigates, on the condition that I change her name, minimize details that might identify her, and not name her intermediaries.

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Amnesty International ar vrea ca prostituția să fie „drept al omului”

**ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITON, APRIL 4-5**Geisha, a prostitute working at the Chicken Ranch brothel, rests in her bed in Pahrump, Nev., Tuesday, March 31, 2009. For more than 30 years customers have been patronizing the working girls of Nevada's legal brothels, though the state has not collected a dollar in taxes since prostitution was legalized in rural counties. Now with the state facing a more than a $2 billion shortfall in revenue, a Nevada lawmaker wants to bolster the budget, one sex act at a time. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Fara indoiala, prostitutia este sclavia vremurilor moderne. Din pacate, importanta organizatie Amnesty International se afla de partea gresita a istoriei, avand in vedere solicitarea sa recenta de legalizare a acestei practici.

Prostitutia e o practica imorala care injoseste femeile si barbatii. Ca atare nu poate fi un „drept al omului”, in sensul in care legislatia internationala defineste acest termen. Ceea ce nu impiedica Amnesty International sa o promoveze cu zel. Intre 7 si 11 august, notoria organizatie internationala si-a tinut la Dublin reuniunea internationala in cursul careia a adoptat o rezolutie solicitand statelor lumii sa legifereze “dezincriminarea muncii sexuale” – “sex work”, un eufemism pentru prostitutie.

Pozitiile Amnesty International privind prostitutia accentueaza transformarea intr-o organizatie care promoveaza practici imorale si daunatoare. Pina astazi, insa, nu am dedicat un comentariu special exceselor si abuzurilor in care Amnesty insista. Oricum, criteriile folosite de board-ul organizatiei pentru evaluarea gradului de libertate al tarilor lumii devin tot mai bizare de la an la an. AI promoveaza avortul, „casatoriile” homosexuale si dezincriminarea relatiilor homosexuale. Dupa legalizarea „casatoriilor” unisex in Irlanda in mai, Amnesty a lansat o propunere de legalizare a avortului prin intermediul unui raport de peste 100 de pagini. Iar acum, promoveaza prostitutia ca o forma de expresie a “libertatii sexuale”.

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” To protect women and minors, prohibit prostitution … “

But use the law to drive down demand, say experts in public health and culture.

Benzene Aseel / Flickr 

A vote at Amnesty International’sindian_woman_slider decision-making forum earlier this month has committed the human rights organization to promoting the full decriminalization of prostitution – a step, it claims, that will protect “sex workers” human rights and prevent trafficking and the exploitation of minors.

While such weighty authorities as the World Health Organisation and other UN agencies agree with Amnesty, women’s rights and anti-trafficking groups vehemently disagree. They say that coercion and abuse are inherent in prostitution and they want to see it abolished, following the approach of a Swedish law which prosecutes those who buy sex but not those who sell, the latter being helped to exit prostitution.

What is the best approach to this individual and social problem? For an independent view MercatorNet asked experts at the University of Navarre’s Institute for Culture and Society, who published their own report on the issue last year as part of the project Education of Human Affectivity and Sexuality. In the following interview Dr Jokin de Irala and Dr Cristina Lopez answer our questions.

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” Buying Sex Should Not Be Legal … “


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DUBLIN — HERE in my city, earlier this month, Amnesty International’s international council endorsed a new policy calling for the decriminalization of the global sex trade. Its proponents argue that decriminalizing prostitution is the best way of protecting “the human rights of sex workers,” though the policy would apply equally to pimps, brothel-keepers and johns.

Amnesty’s stated aim is to remove the stigma from prostituted women, so that they will be less vulnerable to abuse by criminals operating in the shadows. The group is also calling on governments “to ensure that sex workers enjoy full and equal legal protection from exploitation, trafficking and violence.”

The Amnesty vote comes in the context of a prolonged international debate about how to deal with prostitution and protect the interests of so-called sex workers. It is a debate in which I have a personal stake — and I believe Amnesty is making a historic mistake.

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” A Website for Gay Escorts Gets Busted by Homeland Security … “


Why was a federal crime-fighting priority?

A website on which male escorts advertise just got busted. The CEO of and six of its employees have conspired to promote prostitution, according to an indictment unsealed by Kelly T. Currie, the acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; Glenn Sorge, a Department of Homeland Security official; and William Bratton, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department.

Prostitution is illegal. And if the graphic criminal complaint can be trusted, there’s strong evidence that the site facilitated and encouraged prostitution.

On the other hand, having pondered how many man hours the Department of Homeland Security should spend trying to stop men paying other men for consensual sex, there’s a strong case can be made that the answer is “zero.” I find it hard to believe New Yorkers want the NYPD working this beat. And can’t federal prosecutors find more threatening conspiracies to thwart?

Even if this case didn’t represent a dubious use of scarce criminal-justice resources, I’d still argue that, in the end, it will leave the world a worse place than it is today.

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” Amnesty International has pimped itself out … “

TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY ALIX RIJCKAERT A German prostitute, called Eve, waits for clients behind her window in the red light district of Amsterdam on December 8, 2008. Under a plan called Coalitions Project 2012, unveiled on December 6, 2008 by the city council, Amsterdam plans to halve the number of prostitution windows and cannabis-vending coffee shops in a revamp of its historic center aimed at curbing rising crime. Prostitution was legalized in the Netherlands in 2000             AFP PHOTO/ANOEK DE GROOT        (Photo credit should read ANOEK DE GROOT/AFP/Getty Images)

A German prostitute, called Eve, waits for clients behind her window in the red light district of Amsterdam on December 8, 2008. Under a plan called Coalitions Project 2012, unveiled on December 6, 2008 by the city council, Amsterdam plans to halve the number of prostitution windows and cannabis-vending coffee shops in a revamp of its historic center aimed at curbing rising crime. Prostitution was legalized in the Netherlands in 2000 AFP PHOTO/ANOEK DE GROOT (Photo credit should read ANOEK DE GROOT/AFP/Getty Images)

There is no argument fiercer in feminism than the argument about prostitution. Say you want to ban it and the libertarian feminists denounce you as a ‘whorephobe’. Say you want to legalise it, and radical feminists denounce you as the tool of the patriarchy.

Inevitably, Amnesty International felt it had to intervene. And, this week, with an equal inevitability, it plumped for the apparently left-wing position of decriminalisation. I say ‘apparently’ because many on the left disagree. My sister paper the Guardian made the telling point that Amnesty’s leftism concealed rich-world prejudices.

[Its]suggestion that the trade be decriminalised but not then regulated is particularly far off-beam. Since when did unregulated markets guarantee human rights? There is nothing intrinsically repugnant to human rights in sex work if you exclude violence, deceit and the exploitation of children. But these aren’t fringe phenomena. They are central parts of the trade in most places round the world. To take as normative the experience of protected western adults is a morally disabling form of privilege. Continue reading

” Amnesty International’s new human rights cause: prostitution … “


– Prostitutes demonstrate for their rights in France. –

What would yesterday’s prisoners of conscience think of the right to sell oneself?

This weekend, delegates at an international conference of Amnesty International are due to vote on a proposal that Amnesty should advocate the full decriminalisation of prostitution. That’s right; the organisation founded to shame governments into releasing prisoners of conscience, might next week be lobbying states to remove the last shackles from a trade that most people still regard as shameful. And all in the name of human rights.

This drama is to play out in Dublin, the new world capital of sexual enlightenment, while from Hollywood and other benighted locations the protests of celebrities such as Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet and 1960s feminist icon Gloria Steinem ring out in support of women’s groups that are appalled at this development. Continue reading

” Amnesty Cites Disability Rights for Legalizing Prostitution … “


NEW YORK, August 7 (C-Fam) Two decades after the movie “Pretty Woman” glamorized prostitution, Hollywood stars are teaming up with ex-prostituted women to convince a human rights group not to advocate for legalizing prostitution.

Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Emily Blunt, and Kate Winslet added their names to a letter opposing Amnesty International’s “Draft Policy on Sex Work.” Amnesty delegates will vote this week whether to advocate for decriminalizing the sex trade.

In a leaked policy paper, Amnesty argues that sexual expression is a primary need. The paper claims that prostitution helps people with disabilities to “express their sexuality” and “develop a stronger sense of self” and improve “their life enjoyment and dignity.” Government interference with “an adult’s strategy to have sex with another consenting adult” intrudes on “those individuals’ autonomy and health.” Continue reading