Jobcentre 'Pimpcentre' for carrying sex ads, anti-trafficking campaigners say
7:00am Thursday 16th April 2009 in News
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.”
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