• Wed
  • Oct 1, 2014
  • Updated: 9:28am
NewsHong Kong
CRIME

Hong Kong women 'being kept in slave-like conditions in Sydney brothels'

Australian media shines spotlight on possible collusion of some travel agencies in trafficking of women into harsh conditions in sex trade

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 13 April, 2014, 5:08am
UPDATED : Monday, 14 April, 2014, 9:29am

Hong Kong women are being kept in slave-like conditions in Australian brothels and some local travel agencies are facilitating the abuse, according to media reports and advocacy groups.

Late last month, an investigation by The Sydney Morning Herald found that a number of Hong Kong women are entrapped in Sydney brothels, where they have to work up to 20 hours a day and take illegal drugs with customers.

It was the latest in a series of articles that have cast a shadow on Hong Kong's anti-human-trafficking regime, including a damning report last month by the Justice Centre Hong Kong and Liberty Asia, which slammed the city's "narrow and fragmented" human-trafficking laws.

The women are brought to Australia on tourist visas obtained via Hong Kong travel agencies, some of which experts suspect are complicit.

"Travel agencies are the perfect front. They have the semblance of legality and are probably registered in one way, but they do a lot more," said one human-trafficking expert who declined to be named.

Upon arrival, women are brought to brothels where they are forced to work around the clock and take crystal meth - also known as Ice - with their clients, according to the Herald report.

The investigation follows separate reports in the Australian media on how Asian sex workers in Sydney are pressured to have unprotected oral sex amid intense industry competition. Rather than see a doctor, the sex workers choose to self-medicate with drugs imported from Hong Kong, Sydney tabloid The Sun-Herald reported.

More than half of Sydney's sex workers are from Asia, with many from Hong Kong and South Korea, a study by the University of New South Wales found.

The syndicates behind the trafficking apply for study visas for the women, knowing that the process - including appeals - can take up to two years and leaves enough time for the women to be swallowed up by the criminal underworld.

According to Chris Seage of Australian advocacy group Brothel Busters, many of the women go voluntarily but under false pretences.

"The women understood they would be working in the sex industry. They were told they would massage rich men, make lots of money and enjoy the Sydney lifestyle of beaches, cafes and great weather," Seage said. "But what did they get? Sixteen-hour days, drug addiction, living and sleeping on mattresses in the brothel and restricted freedom."

The women are also obliged to pay off the costs of their flight, plus the A$15,000 (HK$109,000) study-visa fee, Seage said.

Similar exploitation happens in Hong Kong, women's rights group Zi Teng says.

The Hong Kong police had not replied to questions as of press time.

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17

This article is now closed to comments

5351502a-4aac-4f67-b185-08db0a3209ca
The excesses of the Prostitution world that are closely knit to organized crime and Government support of that criminal state in aid of their positions and salaries coming from being voted in and extracting Taxes for a living. It is a corrupt way of an honorary office that is being occupied by a voluntary organization. Since when does the parliament pay out Wages for the Honor of serving your country. If anything at all, they should support the system if they want to keep a Realm of Legislators around if you what I mean. I know about Australia that it treats their Muslim peers as second rank citizens and that Racialism is more widespread than they reflect through their TV image everywhere. Having Hong Kong women degraded like that fits in the political profile of a fascist State. Look at the Prostitution in Holland. They closed Arnhem Spijkerkwartier to degrade the prostitutes they see in every woman and are dead against the image of fascists Utopia of a Sex house where Orgies await for every fascist soldier as the summum of their civilization to achieve for just an Elite.
meoii
The blatant rejection of the article mentioning Hong Kongers just exemplifies the stubbornness and ignorance of Hong Kongers and/or parents.
A Matsui
Australia have one of the worst human rights record in the world when it comes to human traf**** and the deplorable genocide of aborigines (First Australians).
virokick
Mostly HK and South Korean women - yes, as aptly reported by this SCMP article and by University of New South Wales. As it's easier for HK and South Koreans to apply for working and study visas. In-fact it's very hard for Mainland Chinese to get these visas.
In Australia, brothels and prostitution is a legal-tax paying trade. Given the strong Aussie dollars and ever strong economy there- even sex workers will go there to seek higher yields. Unfortunately these is where pimps prey on them too. Sex workers - many of them go there as students ;are allowed to work up to 20 hours a week( part time). The min wage is about $16 AUD per hour, so you could be toiling 10 hours at a pizza restaurant or get $150 to $200 per 45 min in the trade.
There's also a big demand in mining towns and the city.
These women can serve up to 5-6 clients a day - which they usually keep 2 thirds of their earnings - in licensed establishments( some of brothels are even public listed). So they easily make about $500 Aud per day. No wonder the sex trade is booming there.
Sexual workers and legal brothels have rights and are protected by law there- the problem only arises when there's illegal establishments, unlicensed , drugs and forced labor.
giggsy72
Most of the comments on this article seem to be displaying incredulity that Hong Kong people could be involved in such business. "Slave like conditions", "sex-trade" - oh my, how could it be?!?!? Interesting irony that the second most viewed story in this section outlines the impoverished, 3rd world conditions that Hong Kong people are forced to live in, in their own city. In 25 years those conditions have actually worsened. Yeah, how could it be that someone from Hong Kong, might choose such a life in a brothel in a mis-guided attempt to improve their living conditions and future? Incredible as well that there's more comments on this article and the possiblilty that these women are being incorrectly labelled as from Hong Kong.
C'mon Hong Kong, wake up and smell what you shovellin'!
CatherineOhlLaw
Why doubt ? we know - you MEN out there know - that as long as there is a DEMAND- and we also know that there ALWAYS will be a demand - most , in every society , will consider any of these sort of things as part of the necessary casualties of a greater Order. instead of blabbering on line, reflect on how you were raised/educated on the subject, and how you will raise/educate your sons . that would be the only avenue for real progress, maybe in 10 generations !
Formerly ******
Dear Ms. OhlLaw:
Hmmm. Do you believe that sex is a basic human drive? Is it similar to the desire to satisfy hunger by eating food? Why is prostitution referred to as the oldest profession? What's the difference between a woman who marries for money and a prostitute? Why is a husband's loss of employment linked to a substantial increase in the likelihood that his wife will divorce him? Why do non-homosexual men and women engage in same-sex when in prison or other situations involving segregation of the sexes?
Why are left-leaning, so-called liberal politicians the worst offenders when it comes to pursuing women in the workplace?
Perhaps one solution to cutting the demand would be to cut off the gonads after a male human first sires at least two children. Do you think that this would be a good solution?
親愛的女士 OhlLaw:
嗯。你相信性是一個基本的人類磁碟機嗎?是類似于的願望,滿足饑餓的吃的食物嗎?為什麼是賣淫稱為最古老的職業?錢娶的女人和妓女之間的區別是什麼?為什麼是丈夫喪失就業連結到大幅度增加的可能性他的妻子將和他離婚?
為什麼做非同性戀男性和女性在從事性別相同時在監獄或其他涉及性別隔離的情況?
政客們為什麼左傾,所謂自由最壞的罪犯追求婦女在工作場所的時候?也許切割需求的解決方案將切斷後至少兩個孩子生第一次人類的男性生殖腺。你認為這將是一個好的解決方案嗎?
plklfcls
correct it! not from HK must be from China
Not suprised many westerns (especially) do not know much about other countries probably they not even aware how rich and developed HK is.
I was asked by a native British lady in UK since you are from HK you must be speaking Japanese LOL
Formerly ******
Just one word of advice for these women - unionize.
建议这些妇女中只有一个字- 成立工会。
dccmailme@gmail.com
“成立工会”不是一个字,是四个字!

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