Campaigners call for BMA to reject junior doctors’ policy of full decriminalisation of the sex trade


More than 30 organisations and 290 individuals have signed an open letter to the British Medical Association (BMA) calling on them to reject a new Junior Doctors’ policy backing the full decriminalisation of the sex trade as implemented in New Zealand. The motion was passed after less than 20 minutes of “debate” at the BMA Junior Doctors’ conference on 13 May.

Full decriminalisation means that all aspects of prostitution are exempt from criminal sanction, allowing pimping, brothel keeping, ‘sex’ buying and procuring to operate unfettered, in direct contradiction to binding international human rights treaties.*

“Concern about the sexual exploitation of children is at an all-time high after last week’s BBC three-part drama, Three Girls, and one wonders what planet those doctors are on,” said Nordic Model Now! member, Jackie Mearns. “Even though the New Zealand law bans buying sex from anyone under 18, they’ve got a real problem with predatory men pimping vulnerable children. The BMA didn’t mention that once in their so-called debate. Decriminalising prostitution makes men (let’s face it, it’s nearly always men) think it’s OK to buy women and girls for sex and makes it harder to police. It’s a scandal. Time and time again, we hear that lessons have been learned and professionals are taking sexual exploitation seriously, yet nothing ever changes. The New Zealand model lets all involved off the hook. It’s a complete cop out. We need strong laws like the Nordic Model, to protect vulnerable people and children from sexual exploitation.”


Nordic Model Now! is a grassroots group that campaigns for the Nordic Model. This decriminalises those who are prostituted, provides services to help them exit, imposes tough penalties on pimps and profiteers, and makes buying sex a criminal offence, in order to reduce the demand that drives sex trafficking.

*   For example:

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