Dutch in the picture. Follow by Chinese and then English translation.
“Selling sex is not human trafficking”
Interview: Ryan Lam, sex worker
It would be good for him if sex work were legalised, but that is even more the case for women doing the same work.
By: Margriet Oostveen
Volkskrant, page 3 (12 August 2015) [English translation of a dutch newspaper]
Ryan Lam, a pseudonym that he uses professionally, works at the Chinese organisation for sex workers Midnight Blue. The interview is by phone, after having been introduced through the Dutch women’s fund Mama Cash. Mama Cash hosts and supports the international Red Umbrella Fund, which aims for legalisation of sex work and recognition of sex work as decent work.
“I had a job in the financial sector and I have been a sex worker for the past five years. Clients find me through advertisements on gay websites. I also have a type of agent to find clients, and you build your own network after a few years.”
“In our circle we are quite open minded. Six years ago I started to work for Midnight Blue. One thing led to another and now I am a part-time sex worker too.”
“In China the police can incarcerate you for two weeks on mere suspicion of prostitution, without interference of a judge or hearing and they can give a fine up to 500 Euro. It has not happened to me yet, but it has happened to some of my friends. Especially transgender people and women, because they are easier to recognise as sex worker.”
“Of course I agree with the wish of Amnesty International to legalise sex work. Opponents of legalising prostitution confuse human trafficking with the selling of sex. Conservatives mostly, who oppose the selling of sex under all circumstances and find it degrading. But we have the same rights as anyone else and I want to decide for myself how I live.”
“It is much more difficult for women sex workers as long as it is illegal. I have women friends who sell sex, simply because they can make more money that way than through regular work. And if you don’t contribute enough money at home, you easily get a low status in the family in China. So many of my friends sell sex in big cities far from their family.”
“But women sex workers are often arrested and they tend to experience more violence and discrimination than men. So as long as sex work is illegal here, my friends have few people who will stand up for them when they have a problem.”