Statement of support for Heather Brunskell-Evans

There is a long history of women who speak out on behalf of vulnerable girls and women being harassed and silenced. We are disappointed that the Women’s Equality Party has seen fit to censure Heather Brunskell-Evans for expressing concern that adolescent girls are being fast-tracked into life-changing treatments and surgery that cause sterility and which some are likely to grow up to regret. Read More

Survival Mechanisms and Trauma Bonding in Prostitution

Drawing on testimony from women survivors of the sex trade, German feminist activist, Manuela Schon, writes about mechanisms women use to survive prostitution and why exiting can be so hard, why we need to hold the perpetrators accountable, and how prostitution has a key role in maintaining male supremacy and the second class status of all women and girls. The article was first published in German on the Abolition 2014 website. The English translation is by Elisabeth Lauer. Read More

Women and girls, what is your experience of sexual harassment in public places?

The Women and Equalities Committee in the UK parliament has launched an inquiry into male sexual harassment of women and girls in public places and are calling for written submissions. Anyone can send a submission and we would encourage you to do so. Alternatively, feel free to share your experiences with us and we will use them to inform our submission. You can do this in the comment section below the post or by emailing us in confidence. Read More

How important are punters in informing the prostitution culture and ergo, the culture at large?

Alice Glass, survivor of ten years in the sex trade, reflects on punters (prostitution-buyers), why there is no organised punter movement, and their apparent absence from the prostitution debates. She goes on to ask why many women in prostitution support a cause that does not further their own interests (or women’s generally) and attack the Nordic Model approach that would decriminalise them and provide much needed services. Read More

Cool men don’t buy sex

We are calling on men to join a #CoolMenDontBuySex social media campaign to raise awareness that prostitution-buying is damaging and drives the vast prostitution industry, most of whose $186 billion annual global turnover goes into the pockets of pimps and traffickers. This article introduces the campaign, explaining some of the background and why it is in everyone’s interests, including men’s, to end prostitution. Read More

Submission to the APPG on Prostitution & the Global Sex Trade’s inquiry into ‘pop-up’ brothels

This is the text of our submission to the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Prostitution and the Global Sex Trade’s inquiry into ‘pop-up’ brothels. We argue that pop-up brothels are not a new phenomenon, permanent brothels are operating with impunity all over the country, prostitution is damaging to both individual and community, the UK is not meeting its international obligations in this area, the police too often pursue vulnerable women involved in prostitution rather than the ruthless profiteers, and we provide 13 recommendations for a complete overhaul of the law and policy. Read More

The Ever Increasing Concentration of the Sex Industry in Germany

Francine Sporenda interviews Manuela Schon about the legalised sex industry in Germany and the impact of new regulations. Manuela is a sociologist and political activist in Germany. She co-founded “Abolition 2014 – Für eine Welt ohne Prostitution” and “LINKE für eine Welt ohne Prostitution.” She is a blogger at the radical feminist blog “Die Störenfriedas.”  Read More

Alice Glass challenges three common myths in the prostitution debate

In this article, Alice Glass brilliantly challenges three common myths in the prostitution debate: that “once the industry is fully decriminalized, prostitutes will form unions in order to fight for their workers’ rights”; that “if we don’t decriminalize prostitution it will be pushed further underground”; and that “only contemporary prostitutes should have a say in the debate, former prostitutes should not, it is no longer their business.” Read More

How a Nordic Model approach to tackling prostitution was implemented in Ipswich

This article explains how a Nordic Model approach to tackling prostitution was implemented in Ipswich, UK, after a series of brutal murders of prostituted women in the town. It includes an interview with Helen Hepburn, who was a project manager with a social work background, who managed the exiting services that were put in place. Read More

#MeToo, sexual harassment and prostitution: joining the dots and demanding change

The viral spread of the #MeToo hashtag over the last few weeks and the accompanying avalanche of women’s testimony of sexual harassment has spread to the British political establishment. In this article we draw parallels and connections between sexual harassment and assault, and prostitution, and we call for a new code of conduct for MPs and parliamentary staff that includes a prohibition against prostitution-buying as well as sexual harassment and assault, just as the UN does for its staff. Read More

Model CLP motion in support of the Nordic Model

In response to a number of requests, this page provides a model (template) motion (resolution) calling for support for the Nordic Model. It is suitable for bringing to your local Constituency Labour Party (CLP). Although designed for use in the Labour Party, you could adapt it for use in a trade union or other organisation. There is also a briefing paper packed full of facts and information you can use to back up the motion and include in any speech you give in support of the motion. Read More

Francine Sporenda interviews Huschke Mau about Germany’s legalised prostitution system

Huschke Mau is a survivor of Germany’s legalized prostitution system. In this article, Francine Sporenda interviews her, focusing on the recent changes in the prostitution law in Germany and why Germany is known as the “bordello of Europe.” Read More

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

This guest post 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. It 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