Vancouver Olympics – Alert 2!

The second alert I am issuing is in regard to those who stray from the Olympics as a family event. There are Olympics workers and visitors who seek sex workers for their pleasure.

Here’s some of where the Olympic Games city stands at the moment on prostitution — for that is what is truly being offered in many of these escort services, spas and on the street.

During the Vancouver Winter Olympics, Safe Games 2010 volunteers will be circulating at major events and at parties handing out 20,000 packages that include: condoms, information on the sex trade and HIV, and a card stating: “Vancouver sex-industry workers welcome the world. Please treat us with respect and play safe.”

Jamie Lee Hamilton — who is a former sex worker, an advocate for street prostitutes and former candidate for Vancouver’s city council and parks board — will set up a kiosk on Kingsway (near Victoria Street) for Olympics visitors to learn more. And, there, the kiosk staff will hand out organic condoms and information about Downtown Eastside sex workers. They will also encourage tourists to use reputable escort agencies and massage parlors and avoid street prostitutes, she says.

As far as the street prostitutes, Jamie says ‘We don’t want the visitors taking advantage of individuals who have so much to deal with already, and are just so lost and so broken’. “We’ll be suggesting places that are female-operated, owner-operated, for the most part.”

Publicly communicating for the purpose of prostitution, profiting from prostitution and / or operating a brothel are illegal in Canada, although prostitution itself is not.

In Vancouver, the city licenses escort services and individual escorts, but the practical result is the fact that only 7 escorts were licensed this year suggests the vast majority are not working under official sanction.

Vancouver police say that they aren’t planning any crackdown on prostitution during the Games, says Const. Lindsey Houghton.

“Street-related prostitution existed before the Games, it will exist during the Games and it will exist after,” Houghton says. “Our enforcement around that will not be any different. We have a dedicated vice unit that works very closely with the girls and the guys . . . to ensure that they are safe.”

Just be aware of what’s going on, whether you are part of this scene or not. The various levels of the sex industry are gearing up for the Games, bringing in prostitutes from all over Canada; advertising for spurious locales and “jobs”. All of it is buyer beware.

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