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1. AFRO Broadcasting Station

Stay Calm! -- When Dealing with a Threat

Because of the job nature, fellow sisters often need to stay with strangers in isolated settings, the risks they face every day are thus not small. Compared with sisters working in fixed places, sisters who make contact with customers in different forms such as via online contacts, spending time in streets, bars, etc. and go with them to different hotels are even more in lack of support and are more likely to become targets of villains.
 
Part-time girlfriends (PTGFs) are generally younger, with less life and work experience. Some people with bad intentions are specifically targeting them, and the purpose is often to defraud them of free sexual services. What they usually do is to trick the girls to send photos, or to take their personal information during the online dialogue, before they meet in person. And when they meet, they just ask for free sexual services, threatening the girls that otherwise they will spread their photos and/or personal information on the Internet, or tell their families/boyfriends/friends/schools about their working as PTGFs. Some may even try to steal more personal information from the girls' mobile phones during the transaction process, intending to gain control over the girls in long term.
 
AFRO once again reminds PTGFs or sisters who are engaged in different forms of sex work: During the communication with the customers, please do not send any photos or disclose any materials that can identify you personally. In the event of threats of extortion, you must remain calm, or at least cover up your panic, make sure of your own safety, try to stall and exchange time to think about countermeasures or to seek help. Don't lose your senses and blindly listen to the bad guy. If you do, there is a chance that he can then get even more chips to control you for the long term. His claim to have your personal information may not be true at all. In addition, according to Hong Kong laws, it is not illegal for a Hong Kong identity card holder who is not subject to any conditions of stay to engage in sex work in a personal manner. Unless it involves "Soliciting for an immoral purpose" in public, it is not illegal to conduct private communication with a customer for the purpose of sex trade.
 
If necessary, you can call AFRO 24-hour emergency hotline 27701002. AFRO can accompany fellow sister to report a case to the police and will try our best to provide the necessary support.
2. AFRO's Work

Lunar New Year Gathering in Glorious Weather

As we enter the Year of the Pig, AFRO and a group of fellow sisters celebrated the festival together at Tin Shui Wai Green Field. More than a dozen people joined for barbecue and outdoor activities. Participants felt the importance of body and mind health in a series of experience activities. The atmosphere was very lively and full of laughter.

Sisters were happy to temporarily leave their jobs, talk about life and things, and share the joy of the festival. Some sisters felt that they had been busy with work and didn't know much about the fun places in Hong Kong. Some said they hadn't had barbecues for many years. Some sisters reminded themselves that in the coming year they should go out more for fun and not only be busy with work. 

We wish fellow sisters good health in the Year of the Pig, and that everything goes as you wish.
Health Talk -- Colorectal Cancer

The incidence of colorectal cancer in Hong Kong has continued to rise. In 2015, the overall incidence of colorectal cancer in Hong Kong ranked the highest among cancers. At the same time, the number of patients with colorectal cancer is rising, so is its mortality rate. It may soon become the number one killer of cancer in Hong Kong.

On 15 March 2019, fellow sisters gathered at AFRO's Centre for a talk on colorectal cancer. We thank Leo from CUHK for his thorough and detailed presentation of high risk factors, symptoms and diagnosis methods of colorectal cancer.  We believe that fellow sisters have gained a better understanding and become more aware of colorectal cancer.
3. Upcoming Event

AFROthon AFRO Charity Walk 2019

Here comes again the annual AFRO Charity Walk!
 
Our theme this year is "Fear Nothing! 4.28 Sisters in Stride."
 
There are many red lines and restricted areas in society. Sex workers are a group of people who are not accepted by the society and are trapped behind the red lines.
 
AFRO hopes to cross the red lines with you.
 
Date: 28 April 2019 (Sunday)
Meeting point: Beside the Peak Lookout (121 Peak Road)
Assembly time: 10 am
Set off time: 10:30 am
 
Route:
Morning Trail – Lugard Road on the Peak (Completed in about an hour)
 
Remarks:
- Suggested personal fundraising target: HK$428
- Participants are welcome to join us for lunch after the walk (at your own expense)
 
For enquries, please call 27701065 (Monday to Friday, 9 am to 6 pm), or email to contact@afro.org.hk.

Facebook event page:
https://www.facebook.com/events/403646650188009/
4. AFRO's News Reading

Hong Kong bar manager jailed for selling coupons to customers that allowed them to touch Thai women's breasts in dice game

(South China Morning Post 2019-01-30)
 
A Hong Kong woman was jailed for eight months on Wednesday for managing a bar where customers could use HK$20 (US$2.50) coupons to redeem intimate exchanges with Thai women.

Yim Wai-han, 47, had urged undercover officers to purchase the coupons at a bar she ran in Tsim Sha Tsui, the Kowloon City Court heard. She was caught in a string of vice operations police launched between May 6 and June 22 last year.

Police disguised as customers were told by Yim to spend the coupons on a dice game, which determined prizes such as touching the breasts of Thai women at the place. They were also encouraged to reward the women with more coupons.

Yim had earlier pleaded not guilty to five counts of managing a vice establishment.
But Magistrate Joseph To Ho-shing convicted the woman on Wednesday, saying the coupon scheme was merely to shroud evidence of direct payments.

"The coupon system was a [device] to prevent arrest," he said. "The game of chance was merely a disguise for an opportunity [to touch the women]."

The magistrate noted that although there was no sexual intercourse in the case, the mere touching of breasts would amount to the "lewdness" required for criminal sanction.

During the trial, there were complaints that the officers had stayed longer than they needed to gather evidence, while one policeman admitted that he proceeded to act on what the dice game offered.

To acknowledge the difficulty of the operations, saying that surveillance footage showed it took the officers quite some time to wait for evidence to emerge.

The undercover operations were conducted in the lead-up to the Fifa World Cup last year, the trial had heard.

On the first four missions, two officers were greeted by Yim on their arrival at the bar. She claimed to be the manager.

On the first visit, Yim told them to buy the coupons and introduced them to two Thai women, who taught them how to play the dice game.

On the last occasion on June 22, the pair went back with four more colleagues, and Yim arranged for eight Thai women to accompany them. She was arrested later.

In mitigation, defence counsel Oliver Davies said the lack of explicit sexual interactions put Yim at the lower end of the spectrum compared with more serious cases.

To agreed but said he would also take into account the size of the bar operation. The fact that Yim could summon eight Thai women on the spot showed that the business was at least medium-sized, he said.

The magistrate described the gaming scheme as a strategy to make customers stay and spend more money on alcohol. "Relying on the use of provision of sex services to enhance sales is akin to depending on the earnings of prostitution," he said.

During the operation, 26 Thai women were arrested. Among them, 14 were charged for various offences such as soliciting for an immoral purpose and breaching conditions of stay. They were jailed for two months.


AFRO's comment:

During the undercover operation, the police must follow the internal guidelines. For example, if physical contact is required, it must be confirmed that it is of great help to the case. In this undercover operation, the police officers continued to carry out unnecessary undercover operations after collecting sufficient evidences, making it doubtful whether the purpose of participating in the case is reasonable.
 
AFRO reminds fellow sisters that if they are treated unfairly in the police's undercover operation, or if they believe that the police have violated normal law enforcement procedures, they have the right to complain to the CAPO (Complaints Against Police Office) or call the AFRO Hotline to contact us.
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TEL: (852) 27701065
EMAIL: contact@afro.org.hk

CONTACT ADDRESS:PO Box 98108, TST Post Office.

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