And they\’re lying about prostitution and trafficking again

A report by the Sunday Times (paywalled link) this week detailed the growing prevalence of nail salons controlled by human traffickers and staffed by the trafficked, specifically from Vietnam. Industry insiders estimate that there are 100,000 Vietnamese manicurists working in the UK, despite only 29,000 Vietnamese-born migrants officially being registered in census data. The workers are often expected to paint nails by day and work in prostitution by night. Many are children – and even if they\’re identified and taken in by social services, 90% will be tracked down by their traffickers and disappear from care.

Look, there aren\’t 100,000 tarts in the entire nation. Let along 100,000 Vietnamese tarts and most especially not 100,000 Vietnamese child sex slaves.

This is just another attempt to get around Nick Davies\’ wondrous use of Operation Pentameter to explode the fantasies of Bindel, MacShane etc.

And of course in addition to the above flat out lying these people are confusing the two meanings of the word trafficking again. There is unwilling movement across a border leading to the repeated rape of sex slavery. This is disgusting, vile, highly illegal, grossly immoral and also, thankfully, extremely rare.

Then there is the willing movement of people across borders illegally to work in nail bars and yes even in prostitution. For there are indeed people perfectly content (not perhaps happy or overjoyed, but content with the choice) to sell sex to strangers in return for cash. And not surprisingly those willing to do so from poor countries would prefer to do so in rich countries where the pay is better. Thus they cross the borders illegally to do something they\’re content to do. This is also being called trafficking.

But confusing the two meanings of the word is just the usual NGO bollocks.

28 thoughts on “And they\’re lying about prostitution and trafficking again”

  1. That’s curious. According to the figures, one in forty UK females between the ages of 15 & 25 are Vietnamese nailbar girls. And no-one noticed.

  2. I wondered why the comments under that piece were so spectacularly stupid. Then I saw that the default setting is now to display the “guardian picks” rather than all the comments.

    The comments that weren’t picked aren’t actually too bad. The one from “MacNara” that points out that one out of thirty British adult males should be paying for sex with a tired Vietnamese nail manicurist each day if this story was true was probably my favourite. It somehow isn’t a guardian pick, however, so I’ll just highlight it here:

    “If they are all women, then this would mean one in 315 females of all ages in the UK is a trafficked Vietnamese manicurist. And if we assume they are between fifteen and forty-five, and this age range accounts for half of females, then they would be one in about 150 females in the range. If they are all on the game, as you claim, then even if they only have one client a night, then on any given day, one British man in 300 (ages 15 to 80) pays for sex with a tired trafficked Vietnamese nail manicurist. If they each had ten clients a night, then that would be one British man in 30 paying for sex with a trafficked Vietnamese nail manicurist – each day!

    Does this seem plausible to you. Do you really think you and the author are qualified to write about anything involving numbers if you lack even the basic arithmetical common sense needed to judge the plausibility of this story.

    And since when did ‘It was in the Sunday Times, so it must be true’ become the motto of Guardian ‘reporters’?”

  3. Well, look at the source of the estimates. “Industry insiders.” In the nail polishing business. Does everyone submit data for discussion at a national seminar, or what?

  4. If you take the Eurostat numbers, you find that the number of presumed and identified trafficked individuals averages 1.3 per 100,000 in the EU, 5 per 100,000 in the Netherlands. If we apply this number for the Netherlands to the UK, this is 3,000 people. Let’s assume that this number understates the problem by a factor of 10. This means 30,000. In order to get to the numbers they’re suggesting, this would mean that the Eurostat numbers are out by 30 JUST for Vietnamese. Who are a tiny minority of trafficked victims. Nigerians are five times as common, so if you believed these idiot numbers, total trafficked victims would have to be out by 2400. This would then mean that there are 12,000 trafficked victims per 100,000 population or 12 out 100 people are trafficking victims. (all back of the envelope stuff). Since 2/3 are supposed to be sex workers, that means 8% of the population are prostitutes, or 12% of workers are…

  5. This is the link to the Eurostat report that I take the numbers from in the post above:

    I’d note that estimates for prostitution in the UK run to around 80K. My estimates above (based on the Guardian idiocy) would mean it was actually 7.2 million… And that’s just trafficking victims. This suggests the Guardian is out by a factor of between 100 and a 1000. Which would make the number far more believable.

  6. SBML>

    That report has some interesting lines:

    “52% of those recruiting victims are men, 42% are women and 6% are both men and women

    I wasn’t aware the proportion of transsexuals in the population was anything like that – within a couple of orders of magnitude at least.

  7. Dave: There’s many more transsexuals in the sex industry than in the general population, for a variety of overlapping reasons.

  8. Matthew L:

    “Dave: There’s many more transsexuals in the sex industry than in the general population, for a variety of overlapping reasons.”

    If the sex industry had turned themselves into a Multi-level marketing operation they would not be able to recruit the laughable figures the femmi-commisars and their pals are banding about.

    Hey–the next time the traffickers ship 100,000 prostitutes to the US superbowl (a group that , if it existed outside the sick, demented fantasy world of the Senior Anti-sex league, would be the same size as the stadium crowd watching the game) maybe they could give these poor Vietnamese girls a US holiday. The UK border gang and the TSA would be too busy looking for the boyfriends of dissidents to notice a few girls slipping by.

  9. Matthew>

    Yes, transsexuals are over-represented. By a factor of a thousand, though? Of course not. The proportion amongst the general population is thought to be around 1 in 25000 at the most generous plausible estimates. That’s 0.004%, so my gut instinct was right, and it’s orders of magnitude away from the number they give.

  10. Ian and Dave: I don’t agree with the numbers from the Guardian. The clue is that I didn’t put “and I agree with the numbers from the Guardian” in my comment. But 6% of sex workers being transsexual is about right according to friends of mine in the industry (actually most of them thought it would be higher, but not substantially so).

  11. Fascinating as this discussion on ladyboys is, the quote has nothing to do with that-

    “52% of those recruiting victims are men, 42% are women and 6% are both men and women”

    Firstly, it’s talking about recruiters, not those “trafficked”.

    Secondly, if they meant “transsexuals” they’d say so, not “both men and women”. It means some recruiters are couples or otherwise a combination of men and women. Not a person who is “both male and female”.

    Other than that, do carry on.

  12. Matthew>

    Your friend is surely mistaken. One in twenty prossies is a genuine transsexual – not a tv? I very much doubt it.

    Or try that the other way around, and from the roughly 100k sex workers in this country, you’d get 5-6k transsexual ones. Out of around 20k transsexuals in the country. Are one in every three or four transsexuals in the UK really working as prostitutes? Again, I doubt it.


    I know. My initial comment wasn’t serious. Subsequent pedantry is of course a serious matter.

  13. “100,000 tarts in the entire nation” you’d be surprised. Sex for money covers a lot of ground.

    I suspect that most brothels are fairly high end “clubs” that don’t advertise and don’t even have a sign on the door (and certainly not a red light above it) – not far from the golf club and it’ll cost you a three hundred at least (entry fee, massage fee, drinks for the girls etc, etc , the actual bill for sex).

    Then there’s many kept women, who may be kept by more than one man.

    Then there’s woman who might or might not but you’ve got to spend a lot on them – posh holidays etc in order to get anything, not exactly prostitution but neither entirely not having sex for money.

    Streetwalkers tend to be junkie wretches and are visible, but most “economic sex” is probably far from on view.

    Simon Cowell has been in the news recently for his expensive cruise with many babes, do you reckon he shagged any of them, I bet he did. Would you say that they did it for gain? Where’s the line to be drawn?

    What about ex wife who’s behind on the rent and ex hubby helps out, but gets his first shag in donk(ies|eys) (its his kids, and he’ll get half of the house when the kids are gone).

    Sex as a transaction of some sort probably involves many more than 100,000 thousand women.

  14. Dave: Can’t find any UK specific figures, but this report says:

    Some Western European countries, such as France, Greece, Luxembourg, Belgium and Italy report a relatively high proportion of transgender sex workers (15% to 25%). Most other countries report that transgender sex workers comprise a maximum of 5% of the overall sex worker population.

  15. Matthew>

    Transgender includes TVs. Transsexual is more specific.There are a hell of a lot of at-least-occasional TVs around, so that would be far more believable.

  16. Transvestites are more likely to be clients than sex workers. Transgender includes pre-op and pre-treatment as well as post-op and those on hormone treatment. The difference between them and transvestites is pretty blurry at the edges I agree, but Big Burly Bob the truck driver who likes to wear dresses is very unlikely to be a sex worker.

  17. For those of you slow on the uptake, Matthew, I’m just going to reiterate my above comment that the initial quote has nothing whatsoever to do with transsexuals, but instead refers to the sexes of the recruiters, or “procurers” as they used to be called, and refers to a) recruiters who are male b) recruiters who are female c) recruiters who are male/female couples.

  18. I’m aware of that Ian, I was responding to Dave’s comment that:

    I wasn’t aware the proportion of transsexuals in the population was anything like that – within a couple of orders of magnitude at least.

    and digressed into the number involved in sex work.

  19. “Some Western European countries, such as France, Greece, Luxembourg, Belgium and Italy report a relatively high proportion of transgender sex workers (15% to 25%). Most other countries report that transgender sex workers comprise a maximum of 5% of the overall sex worker population.”
    Sorry, but I reckon they just make these figures up. Heaven knows how many hookers we’ve got along the coast here. Thousands. Club at the bottom of the road has about 70 for a start & I can think of a dozen clubs within half an hour of here. None of them are offering a TS option, to my knowledge. And bearing in mind this is the Costa del Sol, Spain’s premier resort coast. The service providers cater to what the punter wants & we have plenty of visitors from all oer Europe. Lux & Belgium for a start. So how many TS? Eng lang local paper’s carrying ads for 16. Maybe the agencies have few more on the books but the TS market is predominantly ad based because there isn’t the clubs/villas/apartment network the punters can frequent.
    Why the discrepancy? I think you get a bit of this with the gayers as well. They wish to feel ‘wanted’. So an inflating the number of service providers implies an inflated number of punters wanting the service. Which itself implies an inflated number of peeps keen on getting off with TS’s.

  20. BIS>

    No, it’s just a matter of ‘transgender’ having a very wide meaning. Gender and sex tend to be used interchangeably colloquially, but they’re not the same thing: gender is about masculine/feminine, whereas sex is about male/female.

    Arguably a dominatrix (for example) is not ‘gender-normative’ in that she (and her subs) don’t abide by the normal gender-roles. (Logically, one might argue, homosexuality is a form of transgender. That view is not unknown, although generally seen as somewhat unhelpful, but might explain the stat.)

  21. “No, it’s just a matter of ‘transgender’ having a very wide meaning.”
    Not to the bloody punter it doesn’t.

  22. Incidentally, if you’re wanting to discover relative desirability it’s always worth seeing what the market has to say. Not hard in these days of the interweb. Top of the range TS hooker is priced well under the equivalent real girl. And that’s not allowing for the TS being obliged to perform one specific service the RG may either not do or demand a hefty supplement for. Worth also bearing in mind a TS can be high front cost*/high maintenance, which the price should be trying to reflect.
    *That’s not just the plastic rack. Lot have facial & other work done.

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