The Winter Olympics-Prostitution Myth

5 07 2009

Thanks to some media sources, there seems to be growing murmur of concerned voices around the sex trade in Vancouver during the 2010 Winter Olympics. People are starting to anticipate a boom in the trafficking of sex trade workers into Vancouver.

Of course, if one were to take a closer look at the facts, they would see this as useless babble being perpetuated by the media.

According to this article, a study was done for police and community groups that concluded otherwise. In addition, similar predictions were mad around the 2004 Olympics in Athens and the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany turned out to be wrong (It’s interesting to note that the anticipated surge of sex trade workers into the area failed because many human traffickers aren’t willing to make that huge of an investment for relatively short events. But that’s straying a little off topic).

The people that conducted the study warned that the increased level of security around the Winter Olympics would cause problems for street-level sex trade workers by driving them into other areas where they are more susceptible to be subjected to violence.

A group of sex trade workers have been lobbying  heavily for a few years for a brothel to be opened up to provide a safe place for sex trade workers in Vancouver during the games. It’s too bad that current legislation does not permit brothels..

Sue Davis, the person organizing the lobby for this brothel also envisions commercial enterprises being developed to help longtime prostitutes find other work as an alternative to the sex trade.  A lot of the women out there do have skills that they can use out of the sex trade. For example, Sue Davis does consulting by speaking to Vancouver Police officers about dealing with street prostitutes. She envisions other sex trade workers doing presentations to raise money for her

She has voluntarily spoken to many Vancouver police officers at police headquarters about how to deal with street prostitutes and has been paid $150 an hour to make similar presentations to other groups to raise funds for the West Coast Co-operative of Sex Industry Professionals, a group launched by a consulting business (http://forums.castanet.net/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=16711).

This shows that we can and should start being creative with our solutions to ending violence against sex trade workers. People are people, no matter what they do, and they deserve safe environments in which to carry out their daily lives.

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One response

14 08 2009
stephenpaterson

Hi Canada, UK calling…

We’re already getting paranoia breaking out here over human sex trafficking and the London 2012 Olympics. In connection with this, I recently wrote my blog piece at
http://stephenpaterson.wordpress.com/2009/07/29/traffickingtheolympicsandthebill/

I also read through Kate Shannon’s study in Vancouver published a few days ago + wrote a piece you’ll find on the front of my blog. Where any of you involved in the study?

Will add this blog to my blogroll, lol…

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