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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Latest Posts

As the five year anniversary approaches of Canada passing its Nordic Model-style Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act (PCEPA), Zoë Goodall interviews several activists from the women’s movement to find out what PCEPA has achieved. What she finds is both disappointing and enraging and provides salutary lessons to all who want to see the Nordic Model implemented: passing the legislation is just the first step in the battle.

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A motion to the Unison Delegate Conference 2018, seeks to overturn Unison’s longstanding support for the Nordic Model approach to prostitution and replace it with support for full decriminalisation of the sex trade, including profiteers and sex buyers, on the basis that this is safer for “sex workers.” This article goes through the motion showing that it relies on partial facts, poor-quality research, and distortion of the bigger picture. We hope that this will help delegates and Unison members understand what is at stake and why we recommend you vote against the motion.

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This article explains briefly what full decriminalisation of the sex trade (or “decriminalisation of sex work” as its sometimes called) means in practice. This supplements the bullet points on our white flyers with background information and references to research, etc.

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The UK government is consulting on a new Domestic Abuse Bill. While we welcome some of its measures, male violence against women and girls is at emergency proportions, and the Bill is too much like a sticking plaster. We need something bigger and bolder – for the government to also urgently address the worsening inequality between the sexes, the low pay and precarious nature of so much work, the lack of affordable housing, and to implement a mandatory gender mainstreaming approach in all government departments.

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Submission to the Women & Equalities Committee’s inquiry on the implementation of SDG5

This is the written evidence that Nordic Model Now! submitted to the Women & Equalities committee in the UK Parliament in response to its 2016 inquiry into the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 5 (SDG5) in the UK.

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This article (written in late 2016) by Alice Glass gives an insightful analysis of the 2016 Home Affairs Select Committee (HASC) inquiry into prostitution and how it shamefully privileged pro-sex industry voices. She calls for higher standards of honesty and integrity among our politicians. Her arguments are as relevant to the current debate as they were to the specific situation she describes. Alice was herself in prostitution for a decade.

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Prostitution Survivors’ Testimony

Prostitution Survivors’ Testimony

Rebecca Mott

“I speak as a radical exited woman who cannot debate when I see and know of a constant genocide of the prostituted class being made normal. This is a genocide that is made invisible by the sex trade profiteers who will replace the dead or discarded prostituted by yet more vulnerable women and girls.

The reason I fight so relentlessly is to speak to the source of this genocide – speak to the creators of this genocide, and speak to who gains from silencing of this horror. […]

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.  […]

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. []

Alice Glass

“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. []

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