Olympics Brothel Warning

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 119 months ago
Olympics Brothel Warning

Here's an effect of the 2012 Olympics that wasn't trumpeted by Lord Coe in the bid: mega-brothels.

They were sanctioned in Athens 2004 and Germany for the World Cup, Beijing had a crackdown and Vancouver sex workers are pushing for safer working environments in time for the 2010 Winter Olympics. It seems that anywhere there's a gathering of athletes and sports fans there's an explosion in prostitution - almost as if what's happening on the track or pitch isn't exciting enough.

Now, the C of E dioceses of Newcastle and Winchester have set down a motion for the next General Synod to discuss human trafficking related to the expected rise in Olympics prostitution. Because let's face it; although we're sure that some women travel to punter hotspots of their own free will, many (most?) are trafficked there by pimps wanting to maximise profits.

It's impossible to get accurate figures on how many women are trafficked into London for sex work, but the excellent Poppy Project had a go in 2004 (wotchit - it's a PDF). They estimated that just 19% of women in London's sex industry were of UK origin. Not all of the foreign nationals will be forced, of course, but when you consider that anywhere between 6,000 and 18,000 trafficked women are thought to be in the UK for prostitution, and when the ever-wonderful PunterNet reports women who are frightened and unwilling, you know there's a problem.

We're not sure just how effective debating the problem amongst churchmen is going to be and would prefer to see the government taking some real action against trafficking rather than wishy washy targeting of men using women who are already here. We want to celebrate the Olympics when it arrives, not spend it worrying about a seedy underbelly.

Last Updated 20 January 2009