The Truth

Government Accused of Pimping by Allowing Ads for Escort Girls, Lap Dancers and Strippers in Jobcentres .........

added 29/4/08
The BBC reports:

Jobcentre adverts may lead to women becoming prostitutes, a group dealing with trafficked sex workers has warned.

Denise Marshall, of the Poppy Project, told the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee women as young as 17 were being offered jobs in the sex industry.

After addressing MPs, she accused the government of "pimping" by offering jobs such as stripping and escorting.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said a test case meant such adverts must be carried by Jobcentres.

Relatives 'distressed'...

Poppy Project director Ms Marshall said it had had contact with two 17-year-olds who had gone into a Jobcentre where a number of the vacancies had come up.

She told the committee: "Their mother and older sister contacted us because they were so distressed that this had happened."

Ms Marshall said the age of applicants was not monitored by the Jobcentres' computer system.

"And when you are offering 20 an hour to be a webcam stripper to a 17-year-old, the chances are they may be naive," she added

Outside the hearing, Ms Marshall said she was not aware of any cases of women becoming involved in prostitution.

But she added: "It hasn't happened yet, but it will.

"The jobs included stripper, webcam stripper, adult show hostess, lap dancing and work with an escort agency."

Court ruling...

The Poppy Project said it had accessed adverts in a number of Jobcentres in the London area despite protests to the DWP which runs the network.

The DWP said Jobcentres had to advertise the job vacancies after the Ann Summers sex shop chain brought a test case in 2003.

The High Court ruled that advertisements for legal work in the "sex and personal services industries" should be allowed.

The project's Anna Johansson also told the committee that law enforcement agencies in Albania and Nigeria have been accused of either being actively involved in trafficking women to the UK or turning a blind eye to it.