Joint statement of Zi Teng and JJJ Association in regards to the arrest of murderer

We are very glad to hear that the police have arrested the suspect. Yet, we will not feel 100% released, as we are concerned if there is only one or two murderer. We are also afraid that there will have any copycat, bringing harm to sex workers. As long as we still see the risks, sure we will continue to remain alert and protect ourselves.

Last year in March, several sex workers were killed. Since then, there has been more societal concern on sex workers. Some governmental departments also change their attitudes in providing service and assistance for sex workers: the staff from the Criminal and Law Enforcement Injuries Compensation Section of the Social Welfare Department not only helps injured sex workers to apply for compensation, they also provide assistance for the family of the murdered; the Crime Prevention Bureau of the Hong Kong Police Force concerns much the safety of sex workers that the latter enjoy more effective protection; most members of the Police special teams well respect sex workers, that sex workers can receive the safety messages from the police without any worry over police harassment. In particular, the special teams in Yuen Long, Shamshuipo and Tsuen Wan respect sex workers much. This not only wins our appreciation, also indirectly encourages sex workers to report cases to the police.

The above tells us that sex workers can definitely enjoy more protection and rights if every involved party is willing to do good to sex workers. No matter it is the governmental department, law enforcement agencies, or the general public, if every one of them cares for sex workers, accepts and helps sex workers as a part of the community, there we have more peace and equality for sex workers. Unfortunately, police abuse never stops to exist, despite that the police have improved much their protection of sex workers: there still have some damnable officers, who force sex workers to provide information of flat owners and family members, discouraging them to cooperate with the police; migrant sex workers receive no protection but only the charge of ‘breach of a condition of stay’ when they report they are abused or robbed to the police; push them to choose enduring rather than reporting the crime and violence to the police. Besides, the discrimination and hate against sex workers still persists in the society. Some vents their anger and uses violence on sex workers. This increases sex workers’ vulnerability to social isolation, violence and even murder. Last month, one sex worker in Tsuen Wan was robbed. Yet, none of the passer-bys provided her help. They indifferently told each other that they did not need to help a ‘hooker’. The homicide, who killed three sex workers last year, said that he killed sex workers for defending social justice. People posted on the internet forums, saying that ‘murdered sex workers deserve no sympathy’. When sex workers are still isolated and hated in the society, crime and violence on them will continue. Sex workers have to continue facing different risks and dangers.

Seeing the above, we have the follow-up and appeals as below:

  1. Zi Teng will continue our work on sex workers’ safety, which includes our sponsorship for sex workers to install the panic alarm and the tape-recording system.
  2. Zi Teng and JJJ Association will carry out some blessing activities for sex workers.
  3. Sex workers have to remain alert, bring nothing expensive to work, and learn self-defense skills.
  4. The police and government should stop crime by teaching the public further how causing harm to sex workers can lead to heavy punishment.
  5. The police should substantially help but not arrest migrant sex workers who are endangered.
  6. The government should formulate some effective policies to eliminate the discrimination against sex workers, especially repealing the criminal law which discriminates against the sex industry.

Zi Teng    JJJ Assocation

Feb 5, 2009

Contact person: Zi Teng - Lam Yee Ling, Elene (23327182)