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.


Find out more

Latest Posts

The London Mayor’s VAWG strategy no longer commits to targeting men’s demand for prostitution and does not even mention sex buyers once in its 100 pages. Meanwhile the men who bought children to rape and sexually abuse in Telford are mostly excised from the media reports. How can we address the heinous crimes of CSE, sex trafficking, and the pimping of women in prostitution if we refuse to look at the men who drive it and the culture that creates this behaviour and gives it impunity?

Continue Reading

Raising awareness of the Nordic Model as the equality and human rights based approach to prostitution

Many people in the UK have never heard of the Nordic Model approach to prostitution and how effective it can be (when it is implemented well) in changing social norms and reducing the number of vulnerable people who are drawn into the sex industry. In this post we explain some of the ways you can work with Nordic Model Now! to spread the word.

Continue Reading

This piece, by Alice Glass, is timely in the light of the recent cancelling of an event about prostitution that was to be co-hosted by a UK university and an organisation that provides services to people involved in prostitution, after complaints from students that it didn’t feature “sex worker” voices – even though a woman who had experienced many years of prostitution was billed to speak. Alice Glass, who herself survived ten years in prostitution, asks who are the “sex workers” who must be allowed to speak?

Continue Reading

There is a long history of women who speak out on behalf of vulnerable girls and women being harassed and silenced. We are disappointed that the Women’s Equality Party has seen fit to censure Heather Brunskell-Evans for expressing concern that adolescent girls are being fast-tracked into life-changing treatments and surgery that cause sterility and which some are likely to grow up to regret.

Continue Reading

Drawing on testimony from women survivors of the sex trade, German feminist activist, Manuela Schon, writes about mechanisms women use to survive prostitution and why exiting can be so hard, why we need to hold the perpetrators accountable, and how prostitution has a key role in maintaining male supremacy and the second class status of all women and girls. The article was first published in German on the Abolition 2014 website. The English translation is by Elisabeth Lauer.

Continue Reading

The Women and Equalities Committee in the UK parliament has launched an inquiry into male sexual harassment of women and girls in public places and are calling for written submissions. Anyone can send a submission and we would encourage you to do so. Alternatively, feel free to share your experiences with us and we will use them to inform our submission. You can do this in the comment section below the post or by emailing us in confidence.

Continue Reading
Read More
Prostitution Survivors’ Testimony

Prostitution Survivors’ Testimony


Olivia writes from New Zealand, where the sex trade is fully decriminalised.

“Hey you ‘If a woman CHOOSES to do sex work then she is empowered by sex work and you’re just a SWERF bigot crowd! Yes you! Hi. Listen to me.

I am one of those women who is said to be here by choice. No one groomed me into this choice, granted I was underage when I was first faced with this choice but it was still my own ‘choice’ as you define the word. And I still ‘choose’ this every time I get up and go into the brothel for money (which is every time I have rent/bills or need food or other necessities i.e. All the time). 


“My name is Beth, I was a prostitute for five years. I never thought it would happen to me, but debt and almost becoming homeless can drive people to do things they usually wouldn’t do.

I had a good understanding with my clients but eventually I got a violent one. I was badly beaten up, raped and had my ribs cracked.

A friend got me away and put me up till I was OK. I gave up and moved back to my parents home and used debt consolidation to end my debt. 

Cynthia Payne

“I really hated it… I didn’t go into the business happily. It was to pay my son’s private school fees, his dad didn’t help… All the prostitutes I’ve ever known have got children and that’s why they do it. Marriage is just a form of prostitution.

There is a problem now with the women and girls who are hooked on drugs. Also I am horrified at the kind of pornography freely handed around at the moment – children, animals, violence, snuff films, women being killed in front of the cameras. 

Wendy Barnes

Two excerpts from Wendy Barnes’ brilliant book “And Life Continues: Sex Trafficking and My Journey to Freedom”, in which she tells the story of how she became a victim of human trafficking, why she was unable to leave the man who enslaved her for fifteen years, and the obstacles she overcame to heal and rebuild her life after she was rescued

Keep in touch!

Join our mailing list.

Sign up now