Movement for the Abolition of Prostitution

What is the Nordic Model?

The Nordic Model (sometimes known as the Sex Buyer Law) is an approach to prostitution that has also been adopted in Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Northern Ireland, Canada, and France. 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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Dr Anna Cleaves has proposed a motion to Amnesty International UK (AIUK) asking the International Secretariat to re-evaluate its policy on prostitution. The resolution has been accepted and it will be debated at the AIUK Conference in Nottingham on 8 and 9 April 2017.

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Heather Brunskell-Evans examines options for prostitution law reform in the UK. She argues that full decriminalisation is predicated on outdated notions of the inevitability of men’s ‘need’ for sex and their concomitant ‘right’ to pay for the sexual use of women (or other men) as if they were a commodity, and that full decriminalisation’s vocal proponents make several erroneous claims. Instead she concludes that the Sex Buyer Law (aka the Nordic Model) is in line with 21st century ideals of equity and social justice.

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This is the text of an open letter to the Home Secretary from Nordic Model Now! with 14 other groups and organisations and 35 individuals in response to the UK government response to the interim report of the Home Affairs Select Committee Inquiry into Prostitution.

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This is the text of Nordic Model Now’s written submission to the Scottish Government’s 2016 consultation on its ‘Human Trafficking and Exploitation Strategy for Scotland’.

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Janice Williams draws comparisons between Pokemon Go and prostitution. Is it just that they are both called ‘The Game’ or do the similarities go deeper?

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Janice Williams reports from the 29 September 2016 event on prostitution policy organised by the Public Policy Exchange. “We were overwhelmingly outnumbered by those working in the so-called Harm Reduction sector which perpetuates prostitution while purporting to ameliorate some of its worst harms (a bit).”

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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. []

Rae Story

“It is hard to unravel ten years of prostitution into non fictional coherence. To put all the years of confusion and compromise and cognitive dissonance and bent consent onto a page. One year (this month, as it happens) after my last ever ‘appointment’ with a ‘client’, I am trying to retrace my steps through prostitution, with the clarity that comes from distance. Distance being the only thing that enables the human ego to confront its frailties and falsehoods. It is like the clarity a dipsomaniac obtains months, years, from their last, mind altering drop of booze.

Olivia

“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). 

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

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