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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Hundreds of women’s human rights organizations from 18 countries have released an international statement to request a global ban on womb rental (‘surrogacy’). In an unparalleled global call for action, these feminist organizations ask heads of Government and State to deliver public statements calling for a global ban on surrogacy during the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly. They also exhort governments to consider withdrawing funding support to the United Nations agencies that are supporting the legalization of surrogacy.

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This is the text of a short talk Anna Fisher gave at a Public Policy Exchange event, called “The Future of Sex Work in the UK: Working in Partnership to Support Sex Workers and Minimise Harm,” on Wednesday 19 September 2018.

When the state sanctions prostitution as work, it institutionalises male domination and female suffering, and motivation to address women’s poverty and fix the broken benefits system is lost – because prostitution is institutionalised as welfare for poor women.

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As a group campaigning for the Nordic Model approach to prostitution, people often berate us for not “listening to sex workers.” If we did, they say, we’d know they all want full decriminalisation of the sex trade and not the Nordic Model. But our group includes survivors of the sex trade and we know that the reality is a little more complicated. In this article we explain why we created our Share Your Story page and distill some of the themes that have emerged from the moving and heart-breaking stories we’ve received so far.

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Chelsea Geddes has had many years experience in the legal brothels in New Zealand, whose fully decriminalised approach to the sex trade is often held up as the most enlightened solution to prostitution. In this article, she begs to disagree and explains that, on the contrary, it has made punters more demanding and entitled, and has done nothing to make conditions safer for the women like herself.

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This is the text of our submission to the APPG on Hate Crime’s inquiry into hate crime in the UK. We argue that hate crime is typically the behaviour of members of a dominant group towards members of a less powerful group – usually with the motivation of maintaining their collective and individual dominance; that the hate crime framework must never be used to silence respectful debate and dissent; that porn should be considered a form of hate propaganda; and that the hate crimes that are centrally monitored and for which perpetrators can get an increased sentence should be extended to include misogynistic hate crime.

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This is another collection of #MeToo stories of the sex trade that we’ve received through our Share Your Story page.

“That was the end of my life and the start of the trafficking for the next two years. […] Getting beaten all the time by pimp and johns. Johns were more dangerous than the pimp sometimes. Did the math and almost slept with an entire football stadium full of people. Disgusting. Made him millions and never touched a penny.”

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Prostitution Survivors’ Testimony

Prostitution Survivors’ Testimony

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. […]

Alice Glass in Conversation with Laura, Chelsea, Alisa & Rebecca

“We must listen to Sex Worker’s Voices”

It is a rallying cry I have heard countless times in the last few years. It is one of the most prolific and popular phrases currently in use in relation to prostitution, so much so that it is approaching the status of the idiomatic. And like all phraseologies fiercely adopted in the service of social agendas, the statement itself becomes the politics. What it is supposed to be referencing is distorted and obliqued. Like, Destroy Power Not People, or Make Love Not War.  […]

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. []

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