Statement on the 12th International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

Today is the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. Every year sex workers groups all over the world organizes different activities to memorize the victimized sex workers, and to increase the public concern over sex workers.

During 2014, Zi Teng still received the complaints from sex workers and massage workers. They mainly faced the violence and unfair treatment from police officers and clients. Throughout the year, 341 complaints related to the police were collected, whereas 187 cases were related to the clients. However, there is a more helpless group, that is, the migrant sex workers who leave their hometown and work in another place. Since sex work is not recognized as a job in most areas and countries, migrant sex workers work without valid working document. They do not dare to seek assistance when they are in danger, let alone calling the police for help.

In 2013, we worked with other 3 groups from Macau and China on a survey about the migration experiences of Chinese sex workers. According to the results released in December in 2014, more than 80% of the respondents experienced more than two different types of violence at work, such as robbery, forced sex without condom, and physical assault.

Although migrant sex workers break the law for working without valid working document, this does not mean that they deserve unfair or inhuman treatment. They are also human beings, they are entitled to basic human rights and legal protection. We hope that when migrant sex workers experience unfair treatment or bodily injury, the public can be fair and objective, and show more concern on the migrant sex workers. The law enforcement units in particular should arrest the people who hurt the migrant sex workers, and provide adequate support to the victims, so as to respect the basic human rights and dignity of the migrant sex workers.

Zi Teng
Sex workers concern group
17 December 2014