The head of the agency representing adult entertainment clubs in Barbados is calling for the regulation of the industry following last weekend’s raids by police – including granting adult club licences to owners and dancers.
At the same time, president and founder of the Global Adult Industry Association (GAIA) Charles Charlie Spice Lewis has blasted authorities for the crackdown, calling it “a colossal waste of time, resources and taxpayer’s money”.
He contended that said the raids have little impact on gentlemen’s clubs, which bounce back almost immediately, and warned that such actions could give rise to corruption and other problems.
While insisting that these clubs are a valuable source of entertainment for tens of thousands people in Barbados, including many officials, the association boss cautioned against persisting with similar course of action in the future.
“These raids also have a devastating impact on the livelihood of many adults who depend on these businesses to make a living. Barbados on the whole also depends on these clubs for its economic survival as this sector makes a significant contribution to the GDP,” he said in a statement on the matter.
Lewis contended that Barbados should follow the lead of St Martin, Curacao and Aruba, which have implemented measures to regulate the clubs.
He suggested that authorities impose a special adult club licence and licensing fee, as well as strict guidelines, and create a one to three-month immigration entry visa for women and men from all over the world to work in Barbados as dancers, at a cost of between $100 and $300 per person.
Lewis also recommended that someone be appointed to monitor the sector to ensure adherence to the regulations.
“In the event that there is sex trafficking and other human rights violations or criminal activity within the adult club sector, the authorities should focus their investigations on the individual perpetrators and not on the entire sector,” he said.
“Why throw away a full bag of good potatoes to get rid of one bad one in the middle?”
He added that the association’s representatives were willing to sit down with Government to discuss the way forward for the sector.
“The management of GAIA would welcome the opportunity to meet with the local authorities to discuss the bigger picture from an economic perspective, as well as the legal aspects of adult entertainment in Barbados,” Lewis said.
“We also urge the owners, dancers and patrons of all clubs in Barbados and across the Caribbean to join our association to further empower us to represent their interests, concerns and rights.”