Alexa

Group criticizes local governments for balking at red-light districts

Group criticizes local governments for balking at red-light districts

Taipei, Nov. 6 (CNA) A sex trade advocacy group on Sunday accused the central and local governments of passing the buck on the establishment of legal red light districts under the terms of a recently passed law amendment. Under the new law that became effective Sunday, local governments can decide whether to set up special districts for sex trade within their constituencies. Conducting such business outside the designated zones could result in a maximum fine of NT$30,000 (US$938) for both the sex providers and their customers, according to the new law. But the Collective of Sex Workers and Supporters (COSWAS) said the the government and local governments are trying to avoid responsibility for the decision on setting up red light districts, since several local government chiefs such as Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin are reluctant to have such districts in their constituencies. This reluctance is forcing sex workers to move their business underground, which will pose a threat to their personal safety and their working environment, COSWAS Executive Director Chung Chun-chu said. In addition, clients will be deterred by the fact that it is still an offense under the new law to patronize the sex trade, which in turn will deprive sex workers of their means of livelihood, she said. "The sex business is not like setting up a nuclear power plant," she said. Chung said the sex trade has long existed in the country and that local governments should first seek to understand the relationship between the sex industry and the neighboring communities before saying no to red light districts. She also blasted licensed pubs and massage parlors that she said secretly offer illegal sex services. There are over 100 such establishments and more than 5,000 women providing sex services within those establishments, Chung said. Most of those businesses have the support of corrupt politicians and media outlets, and the new law only exploits the rights of those sex workers who do not have powerful people behind them, she charged. The group called for counties and municipalities to pragmatically deal with the issues and policies pertaining to the sex industry and address the rights of sex workers. (By Johnson Sun and Jamie Wang)


Updated : 2021-01-27 13:13 GMT+08:00