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Monday, November 12, 2012

Modern Slavery News Round-Up

U.N. Report Calls for Decriminalizing Prostitution
Prostitutes in Thailand and New Zealand don't face the repressive laws that exist in the rest of the region, according to a new U.N. report that calls for the decriminalization of the voluntary sex trade. The worst countries to be caught possessing a condom while  appearing to work as a prostitute include China, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Malaysia  Myanmar, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, the Phillipines, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. So-called "flying" sex workers are people, such as students, who work part-time. Cherie Hart, a spokesperson for the U.N. Development Program (UNDP), stated that the "criminalization [of prostitutes] increases vulnerability to HIV." The report found "no evidence that [criminalization] has prevented HIV epidemics among sex workers," and called for euphemisms, like the preferred use of the term/phrase 'sex work'.

California's Prop 35: Why Some Oppose an Anti-Sex-Trafficking Initiative
California is quite solidly behind Prop 35, and if it passes tomorrow, several new provisions will be put in place, including a raise in the punishment for sex trafficking of a minor with force or fraud to as high as a life sentence, increased fines for trafficking to pay for services that help victims, and required registration of all convicted sex traffickers to the sex offender registry. The FBI says California is a major hub for trafficking, and the Los Angeles Police Department says that more gangs are using forced prostitution for revenue, rather than drugs.

North Korea, China Joins Calls for Japan to Settle Grievances over Wartime Sex Slavery
North Korea and China joined South Korea's calls for Japan to resolve a lone-standing grievance regarding women forced to serve as sexual slaves during World War II, displaying a show of unity against Tokyo over the issue at a U.N. meeting, Seoul officials said Thursday. A total of seven nations, including North and South Korea, China, and the Netherlands, pressed Japan to settle the issue on a humanitarian level at last week's meeting of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Human Rights Council, a U.N. body. It appears that aging women were forced into sexual slavery in brothels run by the Japanese military during World War II.

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