Zi Teng issues statement on 14th International Day to end violence against sex workers

Publish Date: 
Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Women and ESCR Working Group member Zi Teng, a “sex workers concern group” marked the 14th International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers on December 17, 2016 by issuing a calling for reduced crime and violence targeted against sex workers and the hope that “the law will also be well used to punish those who hurt sex workers, so that all sex workers can work without worries and under good working conditions.”

The information shared by Zi Teng includes a total of 615 complaints of violence that sex workers in Hong Kong suffered both at the hands of police and clients throughout 2016. In the case of police violence and abuse, Zi Teng recorded 225 cases of arbitrary arrest by the police, 100 cases of excessive license checks and 57 cases of verbal threat and insult. Violence also took the form of strip searches, deprivation of basic rights, free sexual services, indecent and physical assault, forced or coaxed signing of statements, warrantless break-ins, free massage services before arrest and abuse of power. The statistics gathered on violence against sex workers as perpetrated by clients includes client/criminal violence in the form of the denial of payments, theft, physical assault, removal of condoms, police imposters, threats and harassment, grievous bodily harm, forced labor, property damage, intimidation, fraud, counterfeit notes, rape, indecent assault and robbery.

Zi Teng’s statement also includes some positive developments including the following: the conviction and life sentence of an English banker for murdering two sex workers from Indonesia; the sentencing of a police officer who forced a migrant sex worker to provide free sexual services; and statements by judges about the importance of the law in protecting sex workers’ rights.