Feeds

Have hordes of sex workers snubbed the Commonwealth games?

They never turn up when you're expecting them

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Where is everybody?

In fact the biggest issue for sex workers in Germany – where prostitution is legal – was the spate of aggressive police raids on licensed brothels in Berlin.

Last but by no means least is Athens, where a forecast 20,000 increase in sex workers during the 2004 Olympics led to a rather less eye-catching increase in arrests of around 300 for the entire year.

There appears to be little to debate. On the one side, the massed ranks of academics and experts who have studied this issue are mostly agreed that major sporting events are NOT places to go looking for any increase in trafficking. As Catherine Stephens of the International Union of Sex Workers (IUSW) told us: "These are family events, and the idea that thousands of testosterone-fuelled blokes turn up looking for sex just doesn't reflect reality."

She added: "Cynically speaking, criminals are just not going to recoup that much money in a fortnight; the economics of it do not make sense."

A balanced view is offered by a spokesman for the Met, who tells us: "The Met treats crimes such as human trafficking and prostitution extremely seriously and already has a number of investigative and proactive teams focused on these issues and women's safety generally.

"Intelligence relating these types of crime to the Olympics is low and we are seeing no evidence of an 'explosion' in the sex industry or human trafficking in relation to the Games."

Against this are those who, on the basis of very little evidence, continue to demand resources be directed toward this “problem”. Seemingly oblivious o the advice of his own Police Force and jumping on a bandwagon already occupied by Labour MP Dennis MacShane and ArchBishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, London Mayor Boris Johnson expresses his determination "to crack down on prostitution and human trafficking in the run-up to the London 2012 Games".

He asserts: "Major sporting events are often linked to an upsurge in demand for prostitution, which in turn fuels human trafficking. At the Athens Olympics the number of known human trafficking victims almost doubled."

El Reg asked the Mayor’s office for the evidence behind this claim – but received no answer.

So does it matter? According to Ms Stephens, the answer is a resounding "Yes". She tells us: "In an economic climate where resources are getting scarcer, these high-profile campaigns are an absolute disgrace, eating up funds that could be used to help women looking for support – and failing to help those genuinely looking for a way out of sex work.

“It may make the campaigners feel better – or even boost their political egos. It does nothing for the victims they claim they want to help."

Meanwhile, in Delhi, the authorities remain on red alert, awaiting the arrival of those ubiquitous 40,000 sex workers. It will be interesting to see how many do turn up. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators
Democrats needed just TWO more votes to keep alive bill reining in some surveillance
'Internet Freedom Panel' to keep web overlord ICANN out of Russian hands – new proposal
Come back with our internet! cries Republican drawing up bill
What a Mesa: Apple vows to re-use titsup GT sapphire glass plant
Commits to American manufacturing ... of secret tech
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?