WEIGHT: 65 kg
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Supreme Court heard the second of 11 girls expected to testify against Reza Moazami — a year-old facing 36 criminal charges including two counts of human trafficking, as well as sexual interference, sexual exploitation, sexual assault and living off the avails of prostitution that involved girls ranging in age from The girl, who could not be named because she was a 15 at the time of the offence, said she was set up in an apartment on Hemlock Street in Richmond that was well-stocked with clothes, lingerie, high-heeled shoes, condoms, a Taser and a ready supply of liquid GHB also known as a date rape drug in a water bottle in the freezer.
Micro-brothels have become the latest in prostitution and Richmond has seen its fair share of them, said Richmond RCMP spokesperson, Cpl. Crack downs on massage parlours have led sex workers or their pimps to rent out apartments for sex acts. In Richmond, a number of factors make it difficult to either charge somebody involved or help sex workers believed to be in the trade against their will, according to Ashton.
But whether women are working in micro-brothels, massage parlours or on the street, the issue for advocacy groups is safety and some argue the only means to that end is the abolishment of the sex trade through criminalization of johns, which will allow police to charge the men purchasing sex, rather than the women. This is known as the Nordic model, as it has played out in places like Sweden. Police can then direct women to proper resources and social services. However, the success of this model has been under debate.
Others are fighting for the legalization of brothels such as the types operating in Richmond. The Supreme Court of Canada is currently hearing a case, after an Ontario case challenged Canadian prostitution laws. There can be a gatekeeper, or a security guard. People working there know they can call the police if something goes wrong. Systemic issues such as racism and sexual abuse, as well as the exposure to violence, will remain. Although acting like business operators, women would still be dealing with men.
It disadvantages all women and normalizes racism. On the other side of the spectrum, sits Susan Davis, who has been a sex worker at a micro-brothel in Vancouver for the past 27 years, pushing for its legalization.