Saturday, 4 December 2010

Stop the Traffik

I read an interesting post by The Church Mouse earlier today. Mouse writes about one of the clergy who provided the inspiration behind the REV TV series.  According to a report in the Evening Standard the Rev Paul Turp is supporting a campaign to keep open lapdancing clubs in his parish, in the face of Hackney council’s ‘nil policy’ on such establishments.

I don’t know all the facts on the ground about this story and inevitably many press reports will present the story in the most sensationalist of terms. However, I am concerned about any impression or suggestion that lapdancing and strip clubs are harmless. The Revd Turp is quoted as saying:
I would prefer if it didn't happen, but Hackney council cannot impose a moral code on it citizens, it can only impose a criminal code. I've been here for 27 years and there have been no problems. They are not dodgy, back-street places where people are getting ripped off. They are well run and the council has done a good job at licensing them…

There are much bigger social problems that destroy communities for the council to be concentrating on than lapdancing clubs..
I’m not sure what is meant by there being ‘no problems’. The exploitation and degradation of women is a problem. The idea that women are commodities to be enjoyed for the cost of a tenner slipped in a G-string is a problem. The impact of the sex and pornography industries on our communities is a problem. A society in which 31 London councils have seen an increase in rape during 2010, while conviction rates remain pathetically low, has a problem. Eastern European women being enticed or forced to work in lap dancing and strip clubs across Europe including in the U.K. is a problem. Men, women and children being trafficked and traded across the world for the warped gratification of others is a problem.

Stop The Traffik is a growing global movement of individuals, communities and organisations fighting to PREVENT the sale of people, PROTECT the trafficked and PROSECUTE the traffickers. Those trafficked include those deceived or taken against their will, bought, sold and transported into slavery for sexual exploitation, sweat shops, child brides, circuses, sacrificial worship, forced begging, sale of human organs, farm labour, domestic servitude.

Now that’s a campaign well worth supporting.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Phil.
I agree with you wholeheartedly. I was shocked to watch a documentary in Channel 4 about a year ago showing that brothels operate above many lapdancing clubs.

I live in a small town between Edinburgh & Glasgow where 2 brothels have been raided in the last 15 years. The girls in these places are all largely Chinese or East European people who have been tricked & beaten into this degrading trade.

I can't believe that some people believe that this is a legitimate industry.

Alijean said...

Thank you so much Phil

Our son is recently back from a Tearfund Transform trip in Poipet, Cambodia, where he worked with Cambodia Hope Organisation who help those caught up in this dreadful and dehumanising trade. A variety of "industries" use trafficking to find suitable "staff", all over the world.

As Christians we're not supposed to be Pharisees, but we are supposed to use discernment and be as wise as serpents and gentle as doves.

Supporting this lucrative industry (the women don't get the cash) is not a smart way to support the women.

Revsimmy said...

Well said, Phil. In spite of the protestations of some in the so-called "sex industry" (a piece of Orwellian newspeak that attempts to sanitise the true nature of prostitution and pornography), so much of it seems to be based on coercion, exploitation and trafficking that I was quite shocked to find one of my colleagues in ordained ministry allegedly promoting this viewpoint.