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Prostitution: 'one Woman Brothels': How To Deal With Them?

5254 words - 22 pages

I. IntroductionProstitution, the exchange of sexual services in return for consideration in the form of money, is not illegal in Hong Kong. It has been described as 'merely deviant sexual behavior, characterized by barter, promiscuity, and emotional indifference' . However, although many agree that it is an age-old profession, with its roots deeply entrenched in Chinese history, our society still does not accept it as a morally upright and a normal occupation. Prostitution has been criticized for being 'a social fact deplorable in the eyes of moralists, sociologists and the great majority of ordinary people.' It has been said to be a 'nuisance' and a 'degradation of society'. It is ...view middle of the document...

Up to the mid-1800s, there was no restriction on prostitution in Hong Kong. Brothels were established by business men and were operated commercially. Taxes were collected from the businessmen. Later, in the 1860s, brothels were required to be licensed. In 1931, brothels were abolished, but the demand for prostitution remained . Thus, other forms of prostitution flourished. These included street soliciting, touting, vice-dens in the form of ordinary brothels, hotels , 'music halls' and 'beauty parlours', bath houses, 'static electric-treatment centres' and 'call-girl' centres. But these were abolished by the new law enacted in 1978, thus, prostitution again adapted to its new restrictions and 'Fish Ball Stalls' emerged. These were 'vice establishments where teenage girls are provided for customers to satisfy themselves by fondling the body of the girls under dim lights'This paper will focus on an even newer and even more popular form of prostitution in Hong Kong - brothels run by the prostitute. Nicknamed 'one woman brothels', they are not illegal and are not covered by the Crimes Ordinance , but many are subject to harassment by police and are treated with disdain by people in areas where they flourish. These 'brothels' are becoming a serious area of concern. According to a report by Zi Teng , Prostitutes allege that policemen abuse and mistreat them, even though they are not committing a crime, people living in areas where these prostitutes work complain about the nuisance of customers knocking on wrong doors and legislators are constantly requested to do something about it.This article aims to1. define and illustrate what one woman brothels are2. highlight the operation of these brothels in Hong Kong and the problems related to it3. outline the applicable laws in this area and demonstrate that the law is still inadequate to protect the prostitutes4. introduce different viewpoints and solutions raised by different sectors of the society (judges, legislators, sex workers, the media)5. propose changes to the current lawTo achieve a fair and balanced report, we have gathered different points of views on this issue. These include primary sources from interviews with the sex workers, a judge, legislators and newspaper journalists. Our secondary sources are drawn from newspaper reports, journals, articles and other sources of writing.II. Definition of 'one woman brothel'Description of one woman brothelsLocated throughout Hong Kong, one-woman brothels are single flats or apartment units, where a commercial sex worker works. The use of the word 'brothel' to describe these establishments is quite misleading, as brothels indicate that more than one sex worker gather in one apartment. The commercial sex worker in one-woman brothels operates her 'brothel' alone. She does not work with other prostitutes and does not use a third party to negotiate transactions. These flats are rented on a daily or monthly basis by the prostitute herself. She provides all...

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