Movement for the Abolition of Prostitution

What is the Nordic Model?

The Nordic Model (sometimes known as the Sex Buyer Law, or the Swedish, Abolitionist, or Equality Model) is an approach to prostitution that has also been adopted in Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Northern Ireland, Canada, France, and Ireland. It has several elements:

1. Decriminalisation of those who are prostituted

Prostitution is inherently violent. Women should not be criminalised for the exploitation and abuse they endure.

2. Buying sex becomes a criminal offence

Buying human beings for sex is harmful, exploitative and can never be safe. We need to reduce the demand that drives sex trafficking.

3. Support and exit services

High quality, non-judgemental services to support those in prostitution and help them build a new life outside it, including: access to safe affordable housing; training and further education; child care; legal, debt and benefit advice; emotional and psychological support.

A holistic approach

A public information campaign; training for police and CPS; tackling the inequality and poverty that drive people into prostitution; effective laws against pimping and sex trafficking, with penalties that reflect the enormous damage they cause.

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This is the text of Anna Fisher’s talk at the CEASE UK summit (#CEASE18) on Wednesday 14 November, 2018. She explains that the Modern Slavery Act 2015 fails to follow international law in how it defines the offences that mainly affect women and children, why she thinks this happened and why it matters, and what kind of legislation and policy we need to effectively address the issues.

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Francine Sporenda interviews Yasmin Vafa, co-founder and executive director of Rights4Girls, which works to end male violence against young women and girls in the United States. She is a lawyer and her work focuses on the intersections between race, gender, violence, and the law. She educates the public and policymakers on these issues and how they affect the lives of marginalized women and children. She has successfully advocated for several anti-trafficking laws at the federal level, has testified before Congress and international human rights bodies, and co-authored a seminal report mapping girls’ unique pathways into the justice system: The Sexual Abuse to Prison Pipeline: The Girls’ Story. 

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Arinze Orakwue, Director of Public Enlightenment at the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) in Nigeria, sent this message of support for our campaign for the Nordic Model in the UK. He explains that it is only when men in Europe stop buying women and girls in prostitution that the tide of human trafficking from Sub-Saharan Africa, and all the suffering that entails, will end.

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The United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Professor Philip Alston, is undertaking an official visit to the UK from 6 to 16 November 2018. He is investigating the interlinkages between poverty and the realization of human rights.  Before his visit he made a call for written submissions to help him prepare for the visit. We made the following submission about how extreme poverty and widening inequality between the sexes is driving many women into prostitution, in violation of their human rights. 

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Another collection of #MeToo stories of the sex trade that we’ve received through our Share Your Story feature. This provides a space for women to tell their own accounts in their own words. We do not necessarily agree with all the views expressed.

“Prostitution is insidious, it is cruel on both sides. Some argue it is the men who exploit the women, but some of the men are just as fragile. They become entangled in their own emotional pain and trauma. The whole industry is based on lies and deception (as well as the invasion of our precious sacred selves).”

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This is an open letter to Brighton University in response to the presence of a Freshers’ Week stall run by the Sex Workers’ Outreach Project (SWOP), explaining our dismay, why it was a terrible idea, and requesting that they never allow something similar to happen again. It was sent this morning, 24 October 2018. 

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Prostitution Survivors’ Testimony

Prostitution Survivors’ Testimony

Cathy

As told to Roseanne Downton. Identifying details have been changed to preserve privacy.

“I was born in the 1950s into an ordinary working class family in a city in Yorkshire. I left school with a couple of O levels, landed a pleasant job in a nice little chocolate factory. I didn’t get on with my parents, left home, and rented a little flat. Life was fabulous and carefree. I went out most nights with my girl workmates or on dates. []

Mia De Faoite

Mia de Faoite is an activist and survivor of prostitution. She campaigned tirelessly for the introduction of the Nordic Model law in the Republic of Ireland. (The photo shows her holding a copy of the Act that implemented it.)

On the 27th March 2017, the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017 was enacted [in the Republic of Ireland]. It contains many necessary changes and amendments including a legal definition of consent. Right in the centre of the Act is Part 4, which criminalises the purchase of a human being for sex. []

Anonymous

If you imagine a situation to be inescapable you do whatever you can to make that situation agreeable. Coming to accommodate misery, in this way, is an insidious process. With specific regards to prostitution, if those who enter it have for years previous been emotionally or socially neglected, treated with ambivalence or indifference, and/or outright abuse (particularly) the psychological groundwork of ‘low personal expectations’ has been well and thoroughly set. []

Prostitution: Never young enough

Kylee Gregg interviewed by Francine Sporenda.

A victim of sex trafficking from the age of 10, Kylee Gregg is now an 18 year old college student. She lives in the US, identifies as a lesbian radical feminist, and runs an activist organization called Womyn Unleashed. []

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