Jobcentre 'Pimpcentre' for carrying sex ads, anti-trafficking campaigners say

Campaigners have branded the Jobcentre “Pimp Centre” and called for the Government organisation to stop advertising jobs in the sex industry.

A spokesman from the Croydon Community Against Trafficking (CCAT) said presenting exploitation as a job opportunity in economically hard times was incredibly irresponsible.

Campaigners stood outside the Brixton Jobcentre with a blown-up Jobcentre advert for “Female Adult Webcam Models” to provide “entertainment for a male client basis in which you will be required to be nude/semi-nude and which will involve explicit sexual dialogue”.

Another advert for dancers in Croydon reads: “Duties require the successful applicant to be nude. Experience preferred but not essential as training is given. You will be required to dance in a club.”

The Department for Work and Pensions claims it has no choice but to carry these adverts following a 2003 legal ruling that Ann Summers should be allowed to advertise through Jobcentre Plus.

However, a spokeswoman from pressure group Object said girls as young as 17 answering jobs for masseuses, escorts and lap dancers found they were expected to sell sex.

Anna van Heeswijk, grassroots coordinator for Object said: ”It is well known that ‘escort’ and ‘masseuse’ are euphemisms for prostitution.

"Working in Ann Summers is very different from providing direct sexual services in prostitution or lap dancing.

“Sex industry jobs are not glamorous or harmless fun.

"They are exploitative, they make sexual harassment seem normal, and they promote the idea that women are always sexually available as long as you have a bit of cash to spare.”

A spokesman from CCAT said: “We are appalled that any organisation, government or otherwise, would be willing to advertise exploitation as a job opportunity.

“It is this same type of deception that is used to lure women in other countries into so-called jobs here in the UK and into a life of slavery in places like Croydon.

“The terms 'masseuses and escorts' are not only common language for prostitution, but we have evidence that shows that it is common language for the selling of trafficked women in our borough and evidence that proves that these are merely terms for a much more depraved reality which sees women sexually exploited, in many cases, against their will.

“Presenting exploitation to women as a viable option in the midst of economic vulnerability is nothing short of irresponsible.”

A DWP spokesperson said: “If a vacancy is legal we have to carry it, however, adult entertainment jobs are clearly marked as not suitable for people under the age of 18 and are only discussed with people who enquire about them.

“We have recently undertaken a full consultation exercise on the rules to see how we can tighten them even further.

"We will now review the existing policy in light of the responses received and aim to publish a formal response by the end of June.”

• Do you think Jobcentre should be able to advertise these jobs? Let us know in the comments section below.

Comments (8)

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1:52pm Thu 16 Apr 09

Bob Peel says...

I definately think the Jobcentre should be allowed to advertise these jobs. In fact if there's any interviewing/trialli
ng to be done I'll even give them a hand.

Who are the CCAT anyway.
I definately think the Jobcentre should be allowed to advertise these jobs. In fact if there's any interviewing/trialli ng to be done I'll even give them a hand. Who are the CCAT anyway. Bob Peel

6:59pm Thu 16 Apr 09

ANNE GILES says...

Bob Peel wrote:
I definately think the Jobcentre should be allowed to advertise these jobs. In fact if there's any interviewing/trialli ng to be done I'll even give them a hand. Who are the CCAT anyway.
Bob, really!!
[quote][p][bold]Bob Peel[/bold] wrote: I definately think the Jobcentre should be allowed to advertise these jobs. In fact if there's any interviewing/trialli ng to be done I'll even give them a hand. Who are the CCAT anyway.[/p][/quote]Bob, really!! ANNE GILES

7:51pm Thu 16 Apr 09

Fred1 says...

I think it's absolutely shocking. Especially when you consider that unemployed people face the prospect of benefit sanctions and disallowances when they back out of the jobs they initially enquire about in good faith.

Are advertising employers not required to abide by any standards of conduct at all? If not, then what's to stop an advertising employer capturing a jobseeker and taking them hostage? If we don't stand up to this, then the next thing you know will be that taxpayer-funded Jobcentres will be turned into slave markets right under our very noses.
I think it's absolutely shocking. Especially when you consider that unemployed people face the prospect of benefit sanctions and disallowances when they back out of the jobs they initially enquire about in good faith. Are advertising employers not required to abide by any standards of conduct at all? If not, then what's to stop an advertising employer capturing a jobseeker and taking them hostage? If we don't stand up to this, then the next thing you know will be that taxpayer-funded Jobcentres will be turned into slave markets right under our very noses. Fred1

7:51pm Thu 16 Apr 09

Bob Peel says...

ANNE GILES wrote:
Bob Peel wrote:
I definately think the Jobcentre should be allowed to advertise these jobs. In fact if there's any interviewing/trialli ng to be done I'll even give them a hand. Who are the CCAT anyway.
Bob, really!!
I have to get my kicks somehow Anne - even if I have to lower my standards once in a while!
[quote][p][bold]ANNE GILES[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Bob Peel[/bold] wrote: I definately think the Jobcentre should be allowed to advertise these jobs. In fact if there's any interviewing/trialli ng to be done I'll even give them a hand. Who are the CCAT anyway.[/p][/quote]Bob, really!![/p][/quote]I have to get my kicks somehow Anne - even if I have to lower my standards once in a while! Bob Peel

1:00am Fri 17 Apr 09

graveyardsmash says...

Firstly: to be taken seriously, please spell "definitely" correctly. 2ndly, if you are going to say "Really, Bob," to someone who wants to interview potential lapdancers, recant your previous comment, Ms Giles, that you enjoy being mentally undressed by men (quoting you over the Paul Beaumont debacle).
3rdly, try having the following letter printed in CG over its Larry Flynt lapdancing club advert (8 April 09) hypocrisy. (I've copied it to the unfairly denigrated Croydon Advertiser who will hopefuilly take up the hypocrisy mantle):
Pot (Croydon Guardian) calling the kettle (Croydon Advertiser and Post) black, ref. to Matt Watts article on Advertiser brothel ads, Page 16, 8 April 2009
Dear Sir/Madam,
Fancy a weekend this Easter of free drinks, free dances from paid women and free membership all at the Larry Flynt (owner of Hustler magazine, methinks!) lapdancing club on Crown Hill? Look no further than the two full-page adverts in the Croydon Guardian on 8 April 2009, the same edition that sanctimoniously cites as news on Page 16 that it does not profit from advertising sex services to men in Croydon like the Croydon Advertiser does. Two whole pages! One of the pictures shows a topless African Caribbean woman in Hugh Heffner bunny ears and cuffs (not handcuffs, lads!). No, it isn't in the same vein as Gauguin's paintings of Tahitian beauties in Tate Britain, and at least Heffner's Playboy women claimed they were safe by wearing umpteen layers of tights under their bunny gear. Larry Flynt's employees have claimed they are not so safe. How much did the Hustler Club pay the Croydon Guardian for these ads? It then has the audacity to rub the Croydon Advertiser's nose in it for advertising brothels and getting a member of the police to back its sanctimoniousness. Isn't this a bit late for an April Fool joke? Remember all the Met Police's brooha about this Crown Hill club opening and employing women who may be victims of the sex-trafficking industry, and potential overspill into prostitution? For many, many years I've believed that men who pay for sexual services are tragic victims of their own personal ugliness and deficit of intelligence, wit and charm in order to attract women. In the same way that I don't think toy adverts should be on children's TV to create unfulfilled wishes, I don't think it is kind of newspapers to fuel unfulfillable male fantasies with these ads, that's all.
Yours sincerely,
Firstly: to be taken seriously, please spell "definitely" correctly. 2ndly, if you are going to say "Really, Bob," to someone who wants to interview potential lapdancers, recant your previous comment, Ms Giles, that you enjoy being mentally undressed by men (quoting you over the Paul Beaumont debacle). 3rdly, try having the following letter printed in CG over its Larry Flynt lapdancing club advert (8 April 09) hypocrisy. (I've copied it to the unfairly denigrated Croydon Advertiser who will hopefuilly take up the hypocrisy mantle): Pot (Croydon Guardian) calling the kettle (Croydon Advertiser and Post) black, ref. to Matt Watts article on Advertiser brothel ads, Page 16, 8 April 2009 Dear Sir/Madam, Fancy a weekend this Easter of free drinks, free [lap]dances from paid women and free membership all at the Larry Flynt (owner of Hustler magazine, methinks!) lapdancing club on Crown Hill? Look no further than the two full-page adverts in the Croydon Guardian on 8 April 2009, the same edition that sanctimoniously cites as news on Page 16 that it does not profit from advertising sex services to men in Croydon like the Croydon Advertiser does. Two whole pages! One of the pictures shows a topless African Caribbean woman in Hugh Heffner bunny ears and cuffs (not handcuffs, lads!). No, it isn't in the same vein as Gauguin's paintings of Tahitian beauties in Tate Britain, and at least Heffner's Playboy women claimed they were safe by wearing umpteen layers of tights under their bunny gear. Larry Flynt's employees have claimed they are not so safe. How much did the Hustler Club pay the Croydon Guardian for these ads? It then has the audacity to rub the Croydon Advertiser's nose in it for advertising brothels and getting a member of the police to back its sanctimoniousness. Isn't this a bit late for an April Fool joke? Remember all the Met Police's brooha about this Crown Hill club opening and employing women who may be victims of the sex-trafficking industry, and potential overspill into prostitution? For many, many years I've believed that men who pay for sexual services are tragic victims of their own personal ugliness and deficit of intelligence, wit and charm in order to attract women. In the same way that I don't think toy adverts should be on children's TV to create unfulfilled wishes, I don't think it is kind of newspapers to fuel unfulfillable male fantasies with these ads, that's all. Yours sincerely, [Graveyard Smash] graveyardsmash

12:18pm Fri 17 Apr 09

MH1 says...

I don't think the Jobcentre should be allowed to advertise these jobs. They provide a way into the sex industry which is known to be an exploitative and harmful industry. Good on Object and CCAT for speaking out about it!
I don't think the Jobcentre should be allowed to advertise these jobs. They provide a way into the sex industry which is known to be an exploitative and harmful industry. Good on Object and CCAT for speaking out about it! MH1

12:54pm Fri 17 Apr 09

Andy Acton says...

Everyone calls in an exploitative industry but you could also say the same about cleaing jobs or entry level minimum wage jobs in the like of McDonalds or one of the large supermarkets.

If it was that bad then people wouldn't choose to do it. I happen to know someone who works in a well paid role in the city that works in such a role in her free time. Far from being exploited she earns very good money and hooses her own hours.

They are a business the same as everyone else and as such should be allowed to advertise. If its ok for the jobcentre to adviertise commission only "get rich quick" schemes (of which there are a lot) then why not a role in the sex industry. Its a personal choice to do this role and I can't really see the jobcentre cutting your benefit because you back out of taking such a role can you?
Everyone calls in an exploitative industry but you could also say the same about cleaing jobs or entry level minimum wage jobs in the like of McDonalds or one of the large supermarkets. If it was that bad then people wouldn't choose to do it. I happen to know someone who works in a well paid role in the city that works in such a role in her free time. Far from being exploited she earns very good money and hooses her own hours. They are a business the same as everyone else and as such should be allowed to advertise. If its ok for the jobcentre to adviertise commission only "get rich quick" schemes (of which there are a lot) then why not a role in the sex industry. Its a personal choice to do this role and I can't really see the jobcentre cutting your benefit because you back out of taking such a role can you? Andy Acton

7:18pm Fri 17 Apr 09

MH1 says...

Andy Acton wrote:
Everyone calls in an exploitative industry but you could also say the same about cleaing jobs or entry level minimum wage jobs in the like of McDonalds or one of the large supermarkets. If it was that bad then people wouldn't choose to do it. I happen to know someone who works in a well paid role in the city that works in such a role in her free time. Far from being exploited she earns very good money and hooses her own hours. They are a business the same as everyone else and as such should be allowed to advertise. If its ok for the jobcentre to adviertise commission only "get rich quick" schemes (of which there are a lot) then why not a role in the sex industry. Its a personal choice to do this role and I can't really see the jobcentre cutting your benefit because you back out of taking such a role can you?
Many of the jobs advertised in the Jobcentre lead to prostitution. This is an industry where 95% are problematic drug users (Home Office 2004 'Solutions and Strategies'). Lap dancing clubs are also part of the sex industry and there are many facts and figures showing many people who work in this industry are dependent on drugs and are being forced into acting in ways they don't want to ('A Growing Tide' 2008, 'Profitable exploits' Bindel 2004). These figures show that it is a completely different industry to that of McDonalds and the two are not comparable. Also, there is the question of choice, in these economic times, people (mostly women) are going to be pressured into these jobs out of economic necessity. That isn't any sort of choice. When in the industry, their freedom will further be eroded. The government shouldn't be providing a way in into the sex industry, it should be providing a way out.
[quote][p][bold]Andy Acton[/bold] wrote: Everyone calls in an exploitative industry but you could also say the same about cleaing jobs or entry level minimum wage jobs in the like of McDonalds or one of the large supermarkets. If it was that bad then people wouldn't choose to do it. I happen to know someone who works in a well paid role in the city that works in such a role in her free time. Far from being exploited she earns very good money and hooses her own hours. They are a business the same as everyone else and as such should be allowed to advertise. If its ok for the jobcentre to adviertise commission only "get rich quick" schemes (of which there are a lot) then why not a role in the sex industry. Its a personal choice to do this role and I can't really see the jobcentre cutting your benefit because you back out of taking such a role can you?[/p][/quote]Many of the jobs advertised in the Jobcentre lead to prostitution. This is an industry where 95% are problematic drug users (Home Office 2004 'Solutions and Strategies'). Lap dancing clubs are also part of the sex industry and there are many facts and figures showing many people who work in this industry are dependent on drugs and are being forced into acting in ways they don't want to ('A Growing Tide' 2008, 'Profitable exploits' Bindel 2004). These figures show that it is a completely different industry to that of McDonalds and the two are not comparable. Also, there is the question of choice, in these economic times, people (mostly women) are going to be pressured into these jobs out of economic necessity. That isn't any sort of choice. When in the industry, their freedom will further be eroded. The government shouldn't be providing a way in into the sex industry, it should be providing a way out. MH1

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