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Sex work per se is not illegal. We recognize that it is not possible to eradicate it and forcing it underground will lead to the greater likelihood of involvement by tri and organized crime, the trafficking of women, and public health risks. In addition, many sex work-related activities are criminalised.
This includes:. In practice, the police regulates and monitors a limited of brothels. In particular, the Specialised Crime Branch of the Singapore Police Force issues s to brothels and provides clearance for brothel sex workers to acquire a Work Permit. The State does not publicly acknowledge this, however, through our work, we managed to learn of some criterion for application of the yellow card:.
Most workers under the yellow card system are migrants. They will have to undergo an interview and a contract with the police upon arrival. We understand that some workers were asked at this point if they have been coerced into this industry. Amongst other things, the agreement states that one will not break any local laws, and that once their contract ends, they will face a travel ban lasting between three years to a lifetime. Workers under the yellow card system work full time—up to 6 days a week and compensation has to be provided if more off-days are required. They are often more vulnerable because they fear being arrested.
Sex workers face many issues. In , the top 3 forms of abuse we witnessed were harassment, physical assault, and financial violence e. One client preyed on multiple sex workers by serially raping and assaulting them. He was jailed for 8 months but upon release, started to prey on workers again. In another instance, a sex worker was attacked by her agent when asking for money to support her year-old daughter, and had to get ten stitches. These are only a few examples of the many instances of violence that are regularly documented.
Unfortunately, there are likely many more cases that go undocumented as well, as women in the sex industry often do not receive the necessary support and resources to speak up against abuse and may face repercussions if they do speak up. Different people are brought up with different opportunities.
More often than not, women enter the sex industry because sex work is the best opportunity available. We see many instances where these women are the main providers for their families, and have to support their parents, partners, and children. Like any other job whether blue collar, white collar, or home-based , sex work presents a set of risks which workers must negotiate.
Unfortunately, because sex work is so marginalized and sex workers so often discriminated against, the risks that women in the sex industry face are compounded. Many do not feel that they can speak out as they fear being exposed as sex workers. We hear some people say to sex workers that they are harming themselves, disrespecting themselves, by doing sex work, and as such, they should try to quit to regain dignity. These comments are extremely insensitive and often do more to quash the dignity and self-esteem that sex workers have of themselves.
Project X aims to empower and respect the dignity of women in the sex industry. This does not mean that we ignore the dangers and risks that they face. Rather, we aim to centre the needs of women in the sex industry, rather than persecute or judge them for their choices, and support them with the necessary resources and advice so that they can better navigate the challenges they face in life.
Article 3, paragraph a of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons defines Trafficking in Persons as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.
Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs. On the basis of the definition given in the Trafficking in Persons Protocol, trafficking in persons has three constituent elements:.
To ascertain whether a particular circumstance constitutes trafficking in persons, consider the definition of trafficking in the Trafficking in Persons Protocol and the constituent elements of the offense, as defined by relevant domestic legislation. Trafficking is a serious crime.
Project X similarly condemns trafficking and we do all we can to assist victims of trafficking. However, from our many years working with the sex industry, we have observed that under current legal definitions — which set a very high bar for what is considered trafficking — only a handful of individuals would be classified as trafficked.
Only four cases have been prosecuted to date. We also caution against the conflation of human trafficking with sex work. Not all sex workers are trafficked, but the belief that they are tends to undermine and disrespect the consent of sex workers. Further, trafficking occurs across a range of industries, including domestic work and construction, not just the sex industry.
However, these sex workers may locate the problem not in sex but in work. Whether or not sex work is enjoyable or fulfilling is less important than the question of whether sex workers work under non-exploitative and fair conditions, where their autonomy and safety is protected. We use the term to recognize that sex work is work, and to respect the labour involved in the work. It is hard to put a on this as many are informal and indirect sex workers.
According to a study conducted by the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health , there are about female sex workers in Singapore at any one time. Of this , there are about to 1, d sex workers in Singapore at any one time. A large majority of them are migrant sex workers. In , the police arrested 4, sex workers and in , 2, Singaporean sex workers make up a minority here. As such, while we can roughly estimate the of informal sex workers, we cannot put a on the exact population of informal sex workers in Singapore. People who do sex work come from all walks of life.
There is no single ethnicity, nationality, gender, age, or sexual orientation which determines whether someone is a sex worker or not. We work with both cis and trans, female and male sex workers. Gender non-conforming sex workers tend to face unique difficulties such as aggravated social discrimination and difficulty finding other employment. Project X has been in operation since November and all this information is gathered from speaking to workers and various agencies.
The State does not publicly acknowledge this, however, through our work, we managed to learn of some criterion for application of the yellow card: You have to be between 21 to 35 years of age You cannot be Malay or Muslim You cannot be Male on your identification card this includes pre-operative transgender persons You have to be from a list of approved countries i.
China, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore Most workers under the yellow card system are migrants. On the basis of the definition given in the Trafficking in Persons Protocol, trafficking in persons has three constituent elements: To ascertain whether a particular circumstance constitutes trafficking in persons, consider the definition of trafficking in the Trafficking in Persons Protocol and the constituent elements of the offense, as defined by relevant domestic legislation.Singapore online brothel website
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