The Safe House 2009 Pilot for LGBTQ Youth Explained & more


In response to numerous requests for more information on the defunct Safe House Pilot Project that was to address the growing numbers of displaced and homeless LGBTQ Youth in New Kingston in 2007/8/9, a review of the relevance of the project as a solution, the possible avoidance of present issues with some of its previous residents if it were kept open.
Recorded June 12, 2013; also see from the former Executive Director named in the podcast more background on the project: HERE also see the beginning of the issues from the closure of the project: The Quietus ……… The Safe House Project Closes and The Ultimatum on December 30, 2009

Monday, December 17, 2012

International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers

First celebrated in 2003, December 17th is the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers is the brainchild of Dr. Annie Sprinkle and the Sex Workers Outreach Project USA (SWOP-USA), an American Sex Worker’s Rights organization.

Originally conceived as a memorial and vigil for the victims of the Green River Killer in Seattle Washington, it has evolved into an annual international event. The day calls attention to AIDS, hate crimes committed against sex workers all over the globe as well as the need to remove the stigma and discrimination that is perpetuated by custom and prohibitionist laws that has made violence against sex-workers acceptable.

The red umbrella has become an important symbol for Sex Workers Rights and it is increasingly being used on December 17: “First adopted by Venetian sex workers for an anti-violence march in 2002, red umbrellas have come to symbolize resistance against discrimination for sex workers worldwide.”

Sex work in Jamaica is taboo. Selling sex - prostitution, is illegal. There have been ongoing lobby from a human rights perspective for the repeal of the 18th century laws that makes prostitution (selling of sex) and buggery illegal. However several men and women practice the illicit trade sometimes covertly, sometimes out in plain sight. Sex workers are rarely arrested for selling sex, however, based on their own admissions, it is a dangerous business.

They are sometimes mistreated by their clients but they cannot report abuse to the police. The sex workers in this video claim that they are even abused by the police.

Sex workers are among the vulnerable populations in Jamaica and the nature of their work makes them vulnerable to contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Because the trade they are involved in is illegal, they have very little recourse available to them to seek redress when they are exploited or otherwise wronged.

It sometimes also prevents them from seeking medical attention if they become hurt or ill while plying their trade as they fear retribution and the violation of their trust if they divulge to medical practitioners what they do for a living.

This video was developed under a media fellowship awarded to Jamaican journalist, Carol Francis of Jamaica News Network, a cable television subsidiary of Television Jamaica and is based on the publication, "Oral Testimony of Jamaican Sex Workers" which was published by Panos Caribbean in November 2010.






As at post time The Sex Worker Association of Jamaica had not prepared a statement on the day.

The term sex workers' rights encompasses a variety of aims being pursued globally by individuals and organizations that specifically involve the human and labor rights of sex workers and their clients.

The goals of these movements are diverse but generally aim to destigmatize sex work and ensure fair treatment before legal and cultural forces on a local and international level for all persons in the sex industry.



Discrimination and stigmatization

In most countries, even those where sex work is legal, sex workers of all kinds feel that they are stigmatized and marginalized, and that this prevents them from seeking legal redress for discrimination (for e.g., racial discrimination by a strip club owner overseas, dismissal from a teaching position because of involvement in the sex industry), non-payment by a client, assault or rape. Activists also believe that clients of sex workers may also be stigmatized and marginalized, in some cases even more so than sex workers themselves. For instance, in Sweden, Norway and Iceland, it is illegal to buy sexual services, but not to sell them (the client commits a crime, but not the prostitute).



Common arguments for the legalization/decriminalization of prostitution

The legalization of sex work often entails additional restrictions and requirements placed on sex workers as well as registering with official government offices. Additionally, many activists favour decriminalization over legalization. Decriminalization involves a focus on laws which protect the rights of sex workers, such as those against coercion into or to stay in sex work, while all consensual sexual contact between adult sex workers and adult clients would not be criminalized. But given our buggery law and the religious imperative to keep it on the books male sex workers find it doubly difficult to survive coupled with homophobia and rejection from even within the LGBT community surprisingly.

Roanld Weitzer, a well-known proponent for the legalization/decriminalization of prostitution, stated that the use of nonscientific evidence about prostitution has contributed to a "moral panic" because opponents commonly use the argument that prostitution is inherently violent and unable to be regulated. However, he also claims that other governments have been able to reject this notion and find ways to regulate it and uses Nevada as an example

Arguments for the legalization/decriminalization of prostitution

Below are some of the main premises that the pro-legalization and pro-decriminalization of prostitution movement rests upon.

Prostitution is a crime where no one is necessarily harmed and the adults are consenting adults.

Prostitution is a free choice for women.

Sex work is no more moral or immoral than other jobs.

Sex trafficking and coercion into the industry can be effectively prohibited if sex work is legalized and/or decriminalized.

Decriminalization and/or legalization can protect women from violence.

The spread of diseases can be hindered through the legalization and/or decriminalization of prostitution.

The rates of rape could decrease if prostitution were legalized and/or decriminalized.

Sex work could become a legal business that is able to be regulated and human rights would be able to be enforced.
Prostitution can be a career option in which the free market is being taken advantage of and women’s claims over their own bodies.

The criminalization of prostitutes only exacerbates problems that prostitutes are already facing. Therefore, the decriminalization and/or legalization can be a starting point to addressing these issues.


Legalization/ decriminalization in the Netherlands

A study by Janice Raymond states that there can be many detrimental consequences to legalizing and decriminalizing prostitution. One consequence mentioned was that prostitution can been seen as a suitable and normal option for the poor. Therefore, poor women can be easily exploited when there is a lack of sexual services which does not lead to their empowerment. Melissa Farley supported this idea with an analysis stating that most women do not rationally decide to enter prostitution rather the decision is made as a survival choice and that there are certain circumstances can drive women into the field of prostitution, leaving them with a choice that is more along the lines of voluntary slavery. Thus, it is merely used as a surviving strategy.

Furthermore, Raymond states that businesses in the sex industry are able to offer services to any men which has led to more gender inequality because women have to accept that prostitution is a new norm. She supported this by saying that even disabled men are able to receive sexual services and their caregivers (mostly women) are required to take them to these establishments and assist them in engaging in sexual acts. Another consequence Raymond mentioned was that child prostitution has increased in the Netherlands. She suggests this is because the Netherlands has created a prostitution-promoting environment through laws concerning children that make it easier for abusers to use children without penalty. She also adds that the distinction between voluntary and forced prostitution could be detrimental because it can be argued that the thought of someone being forced into prostitution can be exciting for some men because it may be a part of clients' fantasies. Finally, another study states that the legalization and/or decriminalization can be detrimental because studies that surveyed sex workers where it is legally concluded, violence is accepted as part of the job with the universal experience of molestation and abuse.


The arguments for abolitionism/criminalization of prostitution

Many proponents of abolitionism and/or criminalization of prostitution commonly use ten reasons based on studies done on the effects of prostitution in countries where it is legalized and/or decriminalized.

Prostitution is a gift to pimps, traffickers, and the sex industry.

Prostitution promotes sex trafficking.

Prostitution expands the sex industry instead of controlling it.

Prostitution increases clandestine, illegal, and street prostitution because many women don’t participate in health checks or registration and don’t want to be controlled by businessmen.

Prostitution increases child prostitution.

Prostitution doesn't protect women in prostitution.

Prostitution makes it socially acceptable for men to buy sex and women are viewed as sexual commodities that men are encouraged to partake in.

Prostitution does not promote women’s health because the condom-use policy is not strictly enforced.

Prostitution does not enhance women’s or man's choice.

Prostitutes do not want the sex industry legalized or decriminalized

Dangers of sex work

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

In countries where sex work is either criminalized, illegal, or both, sex workers face many potential threats of violence. One major threat of violence is the risk that they may contract a sexually transmitted infection (STI) due to their labor and context-dependent barriers that can be either structural (government) or individual (fear) in nature. Since violence in the streets can be commonplace, this further increases their susceptibility to contracting a disease due to factors such as coercion or rape. Therefore, they lack the ability to demand that a condom is used or to refuse service. In addition, the World Health Organization states that sex workers have been known to be refused health services when seeking out disease prevention and treatment because of their job.

Furthermore, sex workers are also afraid to seek out health services for problems because of structural barriers that prevent them from knowing about and utilizing services that could teach them better prevention methods. A particular example of the disease threats sex workers are faced with can be demonstrated via a study conducted in Cambodia where the rate of HIV has increased over the years. This report studied the prevalence of HIV among a group of indirect sex workers of Cambodia called beer promotion girls, women employed by distributors to promote and sell beers. The study found that they have the highest rate of HIV because they often sell sex as a means of supplementing their salary. This report also found that among indirect sex workers the condom usage rate is lower because they may be getting paid more for sex without condoms. It concluded by explaining how disease prevention campaigns often target direct sex workers such as those who work in a brothel and neglect the women in other areas of sex work who are also at risk of contracting STIs.

Thus, advocates of the legalization/decriminalization of prostitution believe policies need to be made that targets anyone who may be in vulnerable positions such as theirs.
Physical violence

Likewise, the World Health Organization report says that criminalization creates an environment where women are less likely to report crimes against them and accept the possibility of violence such as rape, murder, beatings, and kidnapping as a part of the job description. The report also states that sex workers are even at risk of being harassed, humiliated, and coerced into sex with local law enforcement. Although these are some of the common threats that both decriminalizing/legalizing and criminalizing/decriminalizing prostitution hope to address and reduce, another study concludes that the rates of victimization of prostitutes are not nearly as high as some studies claim.

Strip club employment issues

Dancers in strip clubs are independent contractors that face many problems that they are unable to rectify because of their inability to organize to challenge the current systems of strip clubs. There are some outreach groups who have a presence on the circuit mainly SWAJ and sometimes the Ministry of Health through its HIV prevention programs via the regional health authorities.


Advocacy

Sex worker activists and advocates argue that sex workers should have the same basic human and labour rights as other working people. Catherine Healy, a sex workers' rights activist from New Zealand, has co-edited a book Taking the Crime Out of Sex Work which argues decriminalization has resulted in better working condition for prostitutes in New Zealand. SWAJ locally has been active in the field and making headway in securing funds to properly formalize its operations to serve the community on a whole.

For example, the Canadian Guild for Erotic Labour calls for the legalization of sex work, the elimination of state regulations that are more repressive than those imposed on other workers and businesses, the right to recognition and protection under labour and employment laws, the right to form and join professional associations or unions, and the right to legally cross borders to work.

Also, the legalization of sex work would allow it to be carried out in better organized circumstances (e.g., legal brothels), where standard industry practices (e.g., practicing condom use and regular health checkups for sex workers) could reduce the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.


Sex Workers Association of Jamaica the Kingston Chapter has been doing ground work in bringing the issues to public attention, in 2010 PANOS released a report on CSW: ORAL TESTIMONIES OF JAMAICAN SEX WORKERS



A male sex worker's point of view

The lure of easy money, peer pressure, economic difficulties and lack of education and training seem to be the factors which prompted most of the interviewees to begin sex work. Boy Blue regards his entry into the industry as responding to a higher calling although he hints that none of his previous jobs was as lucrative as sex work. A few of the oral testimonies reveal that early sexual abuse combined with economic hardship helped drive some young women into sex work,

The sex workers have had mixed experiences regarding working conditions in the sex industry. Some of the women lived on the same premises where they worked. Most have worked in bad conditions as well as in good places where they were satisfied with the treatment they received. Violence is mentioned as a constant threat to sex workers and some shared their experiences of this. They also speak of exploitation at the hands of both club bosses and clients, and of some employers who keep strict control over their actions. Some sex workers feel the police make no effort to protect them as citizens or to respond seriously to any complaints they make.Boy Blue’s oral testimony is in stark contrast to those of the female sex workers. He sees himself as the star of his own show. He says he negotiates what he does and where. He travels as he likes, chooses what acts he will perform and most importantly enjoys the sexual intercourse (unlike most female sex workers interviewed who said they were careful to separate business from pleasure).

1 comments:

Blogger said...

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Aphrodite's P.R.I.D.E Jamaica, APJ launched their website


Aphrodite's P.R.I.D.E Jamaica, APJ launched their website on December 1 2015 on World AIDS Day where they hosted a docu-film and after discussions on the film Human Vol 1






audience members interacting during a break in the event


film in progress

visit the new APJ website HERE

See posts on APJ's work: HERE (newer entries will appear first so scroll to see older ones)

VACANT AT LAST! SHOEMAKERGULLY: DISPLACED MSM/TRANS PERSONS WERE IS CLEARED DECEMBER 2014





CVM TV carried a raid and subsequent temporary blockade exercise of the Shoemaker Gully in the New Kingston district as the authorities respond to the bad eggs in the group of homeless/displaced or idling MSM/Trans persons who loiter there for years.

Question is what will happen to the population now as they struggle for a roof over their heads and food etc. The Superintendent who proposed a shelter idea (that seemingly has been ignored by JFLAG et al) was the one who led the raid/eviction.

Also see:

the CVM NEWS Story HERE on the eviction/raid taken by the police

also see a flashback to some of the troubling issues with the populations and the descending relationships between JASL, JFLAG and the displaced/homeless GBT youth in New Kingston: Rowdy Gays Strike - J-FLAG Abandons Raucous Homosexuals Misbehaving In New Kingston

also see all the posts in chronological order by date from Gay Jamaica Watch HERE and GLBTQ Jamaica HERE

GLBTQJA (Blogger): HERE

see previous entries on LGBT Homelessness from the Wordpress Blog HERE


May 22, 2015, see: MP Seeks Solutions For Homeless Gay Youth In New Kingston


War of words between pro & anti gay activists on HIV matters .......... what hypocrisy is this?



War of words between pro & anti gay activists on HIV matters .......... what hypocrisy is this?

A war of words has ensued between gay lawyer (AIDSFREEWORLD) Maurice Tomlinson and anti gay activist Dr Wayne West as both accuse each other of lying or being dishonest, when deception has been neatly employed every now and again by all concerned, here is the post from Dr West's blog

This is laughable to me as both gentleman have broken the ethical lines of advocacy respectively repeatedly especially on HIV/AIDS and on legal matters concerning LGBTQ issues

The evidence is overwhelming readers/listeners, you decide.


Other Entries you can check out

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Homeless MSM Challenges and relationships with agencies overview ........



In a shocking move JFLAG decided not to invite or include homeless MSM in their IDAHO activity for 2013 thus leaving many in wonderment as to the reason for their existence or if the symposium was for "experts" only while offering mere tokenism to homeless persons in the reported feeding program. LISTEN TO THE AUDIO ENTRY HERE sad that the activity was also named in honour of one of JFLAG's founders who joined the event via Skype only to realise the issue he held so dear in his time was treated with such disrespect and dishonour. Have LGBT NGOs lost their way and are so mainstream they have forgotten their true calling?

also see a flashback to some of the issues with the populations and the descending relationships between JASL, JFLAG and the displaced/homeless LGBT youth in New Kingston: Rowdy Gays Strike - J-FLAG Abandons Raucous Homosexuals Misbehaving In New Kingston

also see all the posts in chronological order by date from Gay Jamaica Watch HERE and GLBTQ Jamaica HERE

GLBTQJA (Blogger): HERE

see previous entries on LGBT Homelessness from the Wordpress Blog HERE

Newstalk 93FM's Issues On Fire: Polygamy Should Be Legalized In Jamaica 08.04.14



debate by hosts and UWI students on the weekly program Issues on Fire on legalizing polygamy with Jamaica's multiple partner cultural norms this debate is timely.

Also with recent public discourse on polyamorous relationships, threesomes (FAME FM Uncensored) and on social.

Popular Posts

RJR - Surprise Yes vote by Ja on Sexual Orientation Removal from Summary Executions Resolution

Beyond the Headlines host Dionne Jackson Miller has Arlene Harrison Henry and Maurice Tonlinson on Human RIghts Day 2012 on the the removal of language in the form of sexual orientation on the Summary Executions UN Resolution - On November 21, 2012, Jamaica voted[1] against resolution A/C.3/67/L.36 at the United Nations condemning extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions which urges States “to investigate promptly and thoroughly all killings, including… all killings committed for any discriminatory reason, including sexual orientation

Homeless MSM evicted from Cargill Avenue (evening edition)



28/08/12 CVM TV again rebroadcast a story of homeless MSM and the deplorable living conditions coupled with the almost sensationalistic narrative of the alleged commercial sex work the men are involved in. Gay Jamaica Watch has been following this issue since 2009 when the older populations of MSMs who were for the most part displaced due to forced evictions and homo negative issues and their re-displacement by agencies who on the face of it refused to put in place any serious social interventions to assist the men to recovery CLICK HERE for the CLIP

Information, Disclaimer and more

Not all views expressed are those of GJW

This blog contains pictures and images that may be disturbing. As we seek to highlight the plight of victims of homophobic violence here in Jamaica, the purpose of the pics is to show physical evidence of claims of said violence over the years and to bring a voice of the same victims to the world.

Many recover over time, at pains, as relocation and hiding are options in that process. Please view with care or use theHappenings section to select other posts of a different nature.


Not all persons depicted in photos are gay or lesbian and it is not intended to portray them as such, save and except for the relevance of the particular post under which they appear.

Please use the snapshot feature to preview by pointing the cursor at the item(s) of interest. Such item(s) have a small white dialogue box icon appearing to their top right hand side.

God Bless


Other Blogs I write to:
http://glbtqjamaica.blogspot.com/
http://glbtqja.wordpress.com
Recent Homophobic Incidents CLICK HERE for related posts/labels from glbtqjamaica's blog & HERE for those I am aware of.

contact:
lgbtevent@gmail.com

Steps to take when confronted by the police & your rights compromised:

a) Ask to see a lawyer or Duty Council

b) Only give name and address and no other information until a lawyer is present to assist

c) Try to be polite even if the scenario is tense

d) Don’t do anything to aggravate the situation

e) Every complaint lodged at a police station should be filed and a receipt produced, this is not a legal requirement but an administrative one for the police to track reports

f) Never sign to a statement other than the one produced by you in the presence of the officer(s)

g) Try to capture a recording of the exchange or incident or call someone so they can hear what occurs, place on speed dial important numbers or text someone as soon as possible

h) File a civil suit if you feel your rights have been violated

i) When making a statement to the police have all or most of the facts and details together for e.g. "a car" vs. "the car" represents two different descriptions


j) Avoid having the police writing the statement on your behalf except incases of injuries, make sure what you want to say is recorded carefully, ask for a copy if it means that you have to return for it
glbtqjamaica@live.com

Notes on Bail & Court Appearance issues

If in doubt speak to your attorney

Bail and its importance -
If one is locked up then the following may apply:

Locked up over a weekend - Arrested pursuant to being charged or detained There must be reasonable suspicion i.e. about to commit a crime, committing a crime or have committed a crime. There are two standards that must be met:
1). Subjective standard: what the officer(s) believed to have happened

2). Objective standard: proper and diligent collection of evidence that implicates the accused To remove or restrain a citizen’s liberty it cannot be done on mere suspicion and must have the above two standards

 Police officers can offer bail with exceptions for murder, treason and alleged gun offences, under the Justice of the Peace Act a JP can also come to the police station and bail a person, this provision as incorporated into the bail act in the late nineties

 Once a citizen is arrested bail must be considered within twelve hours of entering the station – the agents of the state must give consideration as to whether or not the circumstances of the case requires that bail be given

 The accused can ask that a Justice of the Peace be brought to the station any time of the day. By virtue of taking the office excluding health and age they are obliged to assist in securing bail

"Bail is not a matter for daylight"

Locked up and appearing in court:
 Bail is offered at the courts office provided it was extended by the court; it is the court that has the jurisdiction over the police with persons in custody is concerned.

 Bail can still be offered if you were arrested and charged without being taken to court a JP can still intervene and assist with the bail process.

Other Points of Interest:
 The accused has a right to know of the exact allegation

 The detainee could protect himself, he must be careful not to be exposed to any potential witness

 Avoid being viewed as police may deliberately expose detainees

 Bail is not offered to persons allegedly with gun charges

 Persons who allegedly interfere with minors do not get bail

 If over a long period without charge a writ of habeas corpus however be careful of the police doing last minute charges so as to avoid an error

 Every instance that a matter is brought before the court and bail was refused before the accused can apply for bail as it is set out in the bail act as every court appearance is a chance to ask for bail

 Each case is determined by its own merit – questions to be considered for bail:

a) Is the accused a flight risk?
b) Are there any other charges that the police may place against the accused?
c) Is the accused likely to interfere with any witnesses?
d) What is the strength of the crown’s/prosecution’s case?


 Poor performing judges can be dealt with at the Judicial Review Court level or a letter to the Chief Justice can start the process


Human Rights Advocacy for GLBT Community Report 2009

What Human Rights .............

What are Human Rights?

By definition human rights are our inalienable fundamental rights. Inalienable means that which cannot be taken away. So our human rights are bestowed upon us from the moment we are born and, thus we are all entitled to these rights. Because we are entitled to our human rights and they cannot and should not be taken away from us, we as a people must strive to protect them, government should protect them and breaches of our rights should be highlighted and addressed appropriately.

Human rights are the same for everyone irrespective of colour, class or creed, and are applicable at both the national and international level. In Jamaica, our human rights are enshrined in and protected by our Constitution. Internationally, there have been numerous laws and treaties enacted specifically for the protection of human rights.

Milestone document

Most notably of these is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This declaration is seen as a milestone document in the history of human rights. It was proclaimed by the United Nations, in 1948, as a common standard of achievements for all nations, and sets out the fundamental human rights to be universally recognised and protected.

The Declaration sets out the following rights:

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

No one shall be held in slavery or servitude.

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Equality before the law

Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Everyone has the right to freedom of movement

Everyone has the right to a nationality.

(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.

(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.

(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.

(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.

(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.

(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government;

Everyone has the right to education.

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.