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Sex workers deserve equal treatment, dignity

Macau Times, Hong Kong

December 5, 2008

The belief of selling sexual services is disgraceful and should be eliminated in society while sex workers, as like people in other occupation, deserved equal human rights and dignity, a women's concern group said yesterday. More

Macau Times, Hong Kong

December 5, 2008

The belief of selling sexual services is disgraceful and should be eliminated in society while sex workers, as like people in other occupation, deserved equal human rights and dignity, a women's concern group said yesterday.

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The third edition of the Hong Kong - Macau Sex Cultural Festival opened at The Venetian Macao yesterday and will run until December 7 to promote sex from an educational perspective.

 

Zi Teng, a sex workers concern organization in Hong Kong, is one of the exhibitors in the festival.

 

Yim Yuet Lin, a member of the organization, told the Macau Daily Times their theme this year was about "men visiting brothels".

 

In order to protect both sex workers and customers' safety and interests, Zi Teng has suggested 10 rules that customers should follow during a sexual transaction. "For example, special service requirements should be stated before sexual intercourse begins, condoms have to be worn and pay attention to hygiene," Ms Yim said.

 

According to the concern group, besides sex workers, customers will also be discriminated in society.

 

"Another vulnerable group is the customers who are being misunderstood by the public," Ms Yim said.

 

"Hence it's important to minimise such misinterpretations or discrimination in society against both sex workers and customers," she added.

 

In recent years Hong Kong had seen cases of sex workers having been killed or robbed by purported customers.

 

Ms Yim told the MD Times the key problem lay in the common misconception that sex workers deserved such treatment or ordeals because they chose to "ruin their lives" by engaging in the industry.

 

"If society no longer discriminates the selling of sexual services and can see it as a normal occupation, and police can protect the workers as like those in other industries, the problem will not exist," she said.

 

"Police and society think sex workers give up their own lives and thus don't deserve to be protected. This belief drives theft or bad people to approach sex workers and put their lives in danger," she added.

 

Hence, the non government organisation has always been promoting the message that sex workers should not be "ill famed" and at the same time customers should learn to respect themselves and also the workers in a sexual transaction, Ms Yim pointed out.

 

According to Zi Teng, "the selling of sexual services, being one of the longest surviving professions in the world, has long been dismissed and discriminated against.

 

"Sex workers are facing exploitation from their pimps, violence from customers, not to mention the risk of all kinds of sexually transmitted diseases. They have been denied by society at large, living a life with no human rights or dignity." Ms Yim said all women should have the "same basic human rights, and that they are equal and entitled to fair and equal treatment in the legal, judicial and any other social systems".

 

During the four-day festival, participating exhibitors will give talks on different topics such as sexual violence and gender equality, dealing with children accessing pornographic materials, how to lead a harmonious sex life, and how sex enhance intimacy at different marital stages.

 

Guest speakers are from The Family Planning Association of Hong Kong, Zi Teng, The Hong Kong Sex Education Association, The Association Concerning Sexual Violence Against Women as well as renowned Hong Kong sexologist Professor Ng Man Iun. Held concurrently with the sexuality festival, the Asia Adult Expo (AAE) 2008 - the first international trade and entertainment event of its kind in the region, will showcase sex products, lingerie and other novelties from 60 worldwide exhibitors including from Australia, mainland China, Japan, Hong Kong and the Netherlands.

 

Visitors and buyers will also have the chance to see a three-metre tall "Christmas tree" made of over 20,000 condoms, a large sadism and masochism (SM) machine shipped from Spain and a six-foot Swiss vibrator.

 

The AAE will also feature photo taking opportunities with cosplay models and adult video stars, as well as performance by Australian artist "Pricasso" who has been using his genital as a brush to paint portraits in public since 2006.

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