The 67th issue of Zi Teng Newsletter

Last year, we have been hearing sex workers saying they did not have good business. Customers did not visit them as often as before for different reasons, say, the economy was affected by the Trade War and they had to think more deeply before they spend, some of them were afraid that the public transportation would suddenly suspend and they failed to go home for unexpected clashes between police and protesters resulted from anti-extradition law movement. When 2020 just began, there was even the outbreak of coronavirus. Coronavirus further scared customers from visiting sex workers. Some sex workers also worried that the customers might infect them. On one hand, they were afraid that the income would decrease sharply, on the other hand, they concerned the risk at work. Those who had children also had to spend much efforts to find masks for their child, or to keep their flats clean as children needed not to go to school.

Under the above, we can imagine the pressure on sex workers. Unfortunately, there are still unscrupulous people who try to take advantage of sex workers. Police also seem to resume their ‘usual’ work, including undercover operation against sex workers, after spending much effort to cope with the anti-extradition law protests last year.

Below are the cases how sex workers are exposed to different violence in the past 4 months. We not only see violence from customers, we also see police officer receiving free massage and sex service, which ‘vanished’ for some time. As long as the police refuse to review the undercover operation guideline, and the police management turns a blind eye to those who infringe the operation guideline, sex workers can never protect their rights.

As no one can tell when the coronavirus pandemic ends, and police abuse shows no sign to stop, sex workers will probably have a hard time in 2020. Below is the number of complaints about violence from sex workers in the past 4 months.

Police violence/abuse Client/criminal violence
Free massage service before arrested2 casas Denial of payment2 cases
Verbal threat and insult1 case Candid camera14 cases
Neglect of duty2 casas Theft2 cases
Arbitrary arrest120 casas Robbery2 cases
Triad threats and harassment1 case
Counterfeit Note2 cases
Intimidation6 cases
Cyber violence1 case
Privacy violation1 case
Condom removed2 cases
Rape1 case
Telephone harassment1 case
Physical assault1 case

  ▶  The 67th issue of Zi Teng Newsletter