Statement on the 14th International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers
Today is the 14th International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. Every year sex workers organizations all over the world carry out different types of activities to increase the public concern on sex workers’ vulnerability to violence, and to urge the society to eliminate the discrimination against sex workers.
In 2016, we received a total of 615 complaints from sex workers (see the table below). You can then see that sex workers yet to face much violence in their working environment, in which sex workers are still the main target for crime, and the police also abuse the violence and power on sex workers. However, what is encouraging is that, local judges more than once express that sex workers are the powerless minority who need the law to protect their rights and safety. Moreover, the judges state that it is necessary to explicitly convey a correct message to the community and the criminals, remind the latter that sex workers are not always helpless in the society. As a consequence, the defendants received what they deserved: the police officer who abused his power to force a migrant sex worker to provide free sexual service was sentenced to 9-month imprisonment, whereas the English banker who brutally killed two Indonesian sex workers was given a life sentence.
This year, we put sex workers’ New Year wishes on the Christmas tree. We hope that there will be less crime and violence targeting sex workers in 2017. The law will also be well used to punish those who hurt sex workers, so that all sex workers can work without worries under good working conditions.
Sex workers concern group
Dec 17 2016
Number of cases where sex workers in Hong Kong face violence (2016)
|Police violence/abuse||Client/criminal violence|
|Strip search||4 cases||Denial of payment||19 cases|
|Verbal threat and insult||57 cases||Theft||56 cases|
|Being deprived of basic rights||5 cases||Physical assault||3 cases|
|Free sexual service||11 cases||Condom removed||7 cases|
|Indecent assault||3 cases||Police impostor||12 cases|
|Physical assault||3 cases||Triad threats and harassment||5 cases|
|Force/coax into signing the statement||8 cases||Grievous bodily harm||2 cases|
|Obstructing the course of justice||17 cases||Forced labor||2 cases|
|Excessive license check||100 cases||Properties damaged||2 cases|
|police break into house without warrant||31 cases||Intimidation||2 cases|
|Free massage service before arrest||17 cases||Fraud||6 cases|
|Arbitrary arrest||225 cases||Counterfeit note||4 cases|
|Abuse of power||9 cases||Rape||1 case|
|Indecent assault||2 cases|