Activist suggests Ministry of Manpower should issue work permits to sex workers


Local activist Jolovan Wham has suggested that the Ministry of Manpower start issuing work permits for sex workers.

Linking an article that reports on how New Zealand has added prostitution to the list of employment skills for potential immigrants, Wham recalled a case he helped with in the past. Wham recounted that a sex worker from China, who had been robbed by her client after they had sex, sought his help.

When Wham accompanied the woman to the police station to lodge a complaint, the officer allegedly threatened to arrest the woman for soliciting and Wham had to step in and prevented the officer from arresting the woman.

Wham advocated on Facebook yesterday evening: “Sex work IS work. Singapore Ministry of Manpower should start issuing work permits for migrant sex workers. Sex work is like all other types of work and we should not be judgemental.”

He added: “It is only when we regulate and legalise sex work that we can combat sex trafficking more effectively and see real improvement in HIV rates. It will also protect them from abuse, violence and exploitation.”

I remember a sex worker from China whom I assisted many years ago. She was robbed by her client after they had sex. When…

Posted by Jolovan Wham on Thursday, 26 April 2018


Prostitution itself is not illegal in Singapore but prostitution-related activities such as public solicitation, living on the earnings of a prostitute and maintaining a brothel are criminalised.


    • Perhaps there are too many issues at hand here that needs to be addressed and each and every other person’s individual’s experiences in life contributes a deciding factor to the category of humans in distress that they eventually speak up for and represent in later life. And as wham himself had stated, he had ever come across such Sex workers before who had been exploited and thus could be the reasons for him speaking up for them now …

  1. Prostitution is the oldest profession in the world. Mr Wham didn’t know is that we do have a system of “ legalizing “ this profession but because of social norms & other implications it was not publicly “ recognized”. The “ professionals” are vetted & the number of brothels are tightly controlled & approved. The ladies have to do monthly medical check ups & screened. They hailed from a few countries like Malaysia, China, Thailand & Vietnam.
    So before anyone go around shouting for anything please do more research.
    Do they know that those girls that works here are given 2 years permit & when it expires, they cannot return forever?

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    • Agreed, the gov. just fall short of advertising their ownership of the social services at gaylang …….perhaps the gov. should tear down the 300+ brothel and built a built a new integrated mega social service hub to include massage spa parlor /night club/disco/ gambling & loan shark business under the purview of EDB , no more need of raid by spf ….LOL or are they are already in it ? LOL…….

  3. It’s about time the laws of legalised prostitution in Little Red Dot be updated with the times…

    I can’t agree more with activist JW’s proposition that the sex industry be better regularized… and it will be all for the better, not least:

    1. Overdue recognition and protection be given to what these often mistreated Sex Workers (local and foreign) encounter in their occupation, one that offers an essential service to a certain but definite segment of the society.

    2. Work permit issuance will afford officials a better handle on the sex trade, monitoring the numbers while weeding out abuses and illegal exploitation in the biz.

    3. Most importantly, ID’d and documented sex workers is a safe bet to putting a crimp in the potential spread of STDs inherently associated with this oldest profession.

    BTW, HK is somewhat ahead which, unlike Singapore, allows classified ads for such personal service…and in Italy, a predominantly Catholic country, prostitution laws are quite similar to S’pore’s that while legalizing the service, it bans pimping and organized bordellos.

  4. How nany shipyards FW are here?

    How many construction FW are here and dormitories?

    How many Town council cleaners are here?

    How many nos of projects maintenance and technician are here?

    Est Total 750,000- 150,000 maids.

    The number of FW here are scary if there is no Geylang services.

    Orchard towel and Hyatt are for the Expensive Xxpatriates Ang Mo/sailors/tourists./ PR ..etc

    If the MOM is not able to handle the issue. Our families daughters and ladies will be at risk.

    Gang rape is a seasonal affair in their (hometown) country.

    Domitories nearby estates will cause problems ….. if not handle with care.

    Why did they need work permits for prostitues?

    Do they see the problems now?

    Do you know why .. prostitutes they are opening up and at the same time pay levy for sex workers?

    Now we know?