Lies, Damn Lies and Ignoring Statistics: How the Decriminalisation of Prostitution is No Answer

Our guest writer responds to Juno Mac’s 2016 “The Laws that Sex Workers Really Want” TED Talk, showing that her insistence that ALL “sex workers” want the blanket decriminalisation of the entire sex industry is only believable if you are irritatingly shallow in your analysis. He shows how such blanket decriminalisation leads to an upsurge in the sex trade and sex trafficking, and takes us on a whirlwind tour of the economic disaster that engulfed the former Warsaw Pact countries after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and shows how this disproportionately hit women. In their efforts to escape the direst poverty, many women and girls fall victims to traffickers and become ensnared in the sex industry – particularly in the decriminalised brothels of Western Europe. The result is tragedy on a vast scale. Read More

Smoke and mirrors at TUC Congress fringe meeting on decriminalising “sex work”

We report from the ASLEF fringe meeting on Motion 39 to decriminalise “sex work” at the TUC Congress 2017. Fortunately the motion was defeated later in the week. In this article we deconstruct some of the arguments put forward at the fringe meeting, showing that, like the motion itself, they do not stand up to scrutiny and are in fact misleading and sometimes downright dishonest. Read More

TUC Congress 2017 Motion 39: Decriminalisation of sex work

The agenda for the 2017 TUC Congress has been published. It includes a motion from ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, calling for the full decriminalisation of “sex work.” This approach implicitly decriminalises pimping, profiteering and related activities that are currently considered to be exploitation. The motion is worded in such a way that on a superficial level it appears to be in the interests of the women and children who are involved in prostitution. However, that simply does not stand up to scrutiny. Read More

The problem with “safety in numbers”

The law in England and Wales prohibits brothel keeping; a brothel being defined as premises that two or more persons use for the purposes of prostitution. Many people call for this law to be changed so that small groups of prostituted women can operate together; the argument being that this would provide “safety in numbers.” They often cite the fact that female estate agents and police officers work in pairs, and call for the New Zealand approach that allows up to four women to operate from the same premises. At first sight, these arguments might appear persuasive. However, when you look more deeply, it becomes clear that things are not as straightforward as they might at first seem. Read More

Campaign to wipe women’s prostitution-related criminal records

On Tuesday 11 July, I was fortunate to attend the launch of Nia’s “I’m No Criminal” report, which examines the impact of prostitution-specific criminal records on women seeking to exit prostitution, and their campaign for such criminal records to be erased. The room was electric with passion at the injustice that women who are (or have been) involved in prostitution face and the warped system that makes disadvantaged women pay for the damage that men cause. Read More

Prostitution Policy and Law: What are the Options?

This article looks at legal and policy approaches to prostitution and why the Nordic Model is the human rights and equality-based approach.  Read More

What’s Wrong with Prostitution?

This article takes a hard look at prostitution, and how it affects people, taking in its intrinsic links with porn, sex trafficking and child sexual exploitation, its inherent racism, and why we should hold those who drive it accountable. Read More

Controversy over Prostitution at the Amnesty UK AGM

In January, we posted about a motion being brought to the Amnesty UK AGM in April 2017. The motion called for Amnesty’s current policy of lobbying for the full decriminalisation of the sex trade (including pimps and brothel owners) to be reviewed. This article explains what happened at the AGM and afterwards. Read More

What the idea of “sex robots” tells us about prostitution

We talk with Dr Kathleen Richardson, Senior Research Fellow in the Ethics of Robotics at De Montford University, about what the idea of “sex robots” can tell us about prostitution.

The artwork is by Suzzan Blac, a survivor of child abuse, prostitution and sex trafficking, who through her art sheds light on the violence, objectification and dehumanisation that is intrinsic to the commercial sexual exploitation industry. Read More

Male art that dehumanises women vs. female art that illuminates the reality of sexual violence and female objectification

Rae Story reflects on how when male artists create works that dehumanise women it is taken to be a comment on society as a whole, while women’s resulting brutalisation, isolation and objectification is seen as little more than a sideshow. She compares this with the powerful art of Suzzan Blac who mines her own traumatic memories of abuse and prostitution to create a blistering commentary on pornographic, female objectification and paedophile culture. Read More

Response to Scottish Research on the Impacts of Criminalising the Purchase of Sex

This is a response from Nordic Model Now! to the report of the research commissioned by the Scottish Government on the Impacts of the Criminalisation of the Purchase of Sex. Read More

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. Read More

Open letter to the BMA

More than 30 organisations and nearly 300 individuals have added their name to an open letter calling on the British Medical Association (BMA) to reject a new policy passed by junior doctors backing the full decriminalisation of the sex trade (including of pimps and brothel owners) as implemented in New Zealand. Read More

Why I campaign against the sex trade

Not even that hot night when I was 19 and slept with the door to my stuffy windowless room open to catch the breeze caused the blinkers to fall from my eyes. The blinkers that blamed my recklessness in leaving the door open and not the man who walked by and saw my smooth body lying there in all its youthful sweetness. He knew he was the only one in the building still awake and so there was a high chance he could get away with it. As indeed he did. Read More

How to Spot an Illegal Brothel

All brothels are illegal in the UK. Many people argue that legalising them would make the women safer and prevent the involvement of criminal gangs. However, experience where the sex trade has been legalised tells a different story. Here Jacqueline Gwynne reports on the illegal brothels in Melbourne in the State of Victoria in Australia where the sex trade is legalised. Read More