This article provides a very brief introduction to Dame Diana Johnson’s Sexual Exploitation Bill, which if passed as planned would introduce a Nordic Model approach to prostitution law and policy in England and Wales. The article then delves into some of the negative assertions about the Nordic Model that Lyn Brown MP made in the debate on the Bill’s first reading and shows that many are oversimplifications and/or are contradicted by the evidence. Read More
I have worked as a hairdresser for 20 years and for all that time I’ve had women involved in prostitution among my clients. Women who are so mentally and physically broken that everyday life can only be endured with drugs, which brings them into the next vicious circle. Women who are often in need of a hug and a listening ear… Read More
In this insightful article, Esther, who was herself in prostitution, reflects on the finding of the Médecins du Monde study that the income of people involved in prostitution in France has reduced since the Nordic Model law was introduced there in April 2016. She explains how such a reduction in income has been observed in several European countries and suggests it is related to the increase in the number of women entering the sex industry through “choice,” coercion, trafficking, and the fallout from the banking crisis from 2008 and the subsequent implementation of “austerity” policies – and the normalisation of BDSM practices through the mainstreaming of porn. Read More
In April 2018, Médecins du Monde published a study they had conducted into the operation of the Nordic Model-style law that was passed by the French National Assembly two years earlier. The 80-page report was entitled ‘What do sex workers think about the French Prostitution Act’ and it has been widely quoted as showing that the Nordic Model doesn’t work and makes things worse for “sex workers.” This post provides an English translation of a detailed critique of the study by Amicale du Nid, a French NGO. Read More
Dame Diana Johnson MP has introduced a Sexual Exploitation Bill into the British Parliament. If passed, this would establish a Nordic Model approach to prostitution law and policy in England and Wales. The Bill passed its first reading on 9 December 2020 and the second reading is scheduled for 29 January 2021.
If you live in the UK, please contact your MP to ask them to support women and VOTE FOR this Bill. We have created two options to help you do this… Read More
This article, by a group of people who have experienced prostitution in Sweden, explains why they formed the organisation #intedinhora (#notyourwhore) and why they back the Nordic Model approach to prostitution policy.
“We see prostitution as neither work nor sex, but as an oppression built upon oppression based on gender, race, class and/or age. We believe this, not despite our own experiences of being in the sex industry, but because of them.” Read More
In 2020, the UK Law Commission ran a consultation on “reforms to hate crime laws to make them fairer, and to protect women for the first time.” It also included a question about whether the hate crime legislation should be extended to include “sex workers” as a protected characteristic. Nordic Model Now! responded to the consultation and this post provides our full response.
This is an edited transcript of the discussion part of the ‘Prostitution: Work? … Or exploitation?’ webinar on Sunday 22 November 2020.
Siobhan: I just want to introduce our panel members. First we have Rebecca Mott. Rebecca used to do indoor prostitution of various types, all of which allow punters to be violent. She is now an Abolitionist, and has been blogging about her experiences for more than 12 years, explaining the conditions of prostitution and the impact of having trauma as an exited woman… Read More
This page provides access to recordings and transcripts of the talks from our ‘Prostitution: Work? … Or exploitation?’ webinar on 22 November 2020.
We hear over and over again that “sex work is normal work.” But is this really true or is the reality in fact much darker? In this webinar, women who have lived experience of prostitution examined this claim. Read More
This is a transcript of Megan King’s presentation at our ‘Prostitution: Work? … Or exploitation?’ webinar on Sunday 22 November 2020.
“I’m going to talk about the Nordic Model as the best approach to tackling prostitution. I’m Megan King. I speak as a survivor of the sex trade myself, initially being coerced into the trade and then I continued to sell sex off street independently, glamourizing my situation as a high-class escort, for a period of eight months across the south of England… Read More
New rules have come into force in the UK that will make life much easier for large numbers of women who have experienced street prostitution and are trying to rebuild their lives.
Provided she didn’t serve a custodial sentence and the convictions are more than 11 years old, criminal records for soliciting to sell sex under Section 1 of the Street Offences Act 1959 will no longer be automatically disclosed to employers – even on an enhanced DBS check… Read More
“I’m a survivor of familial sex trafficking. My father started sexually abusing me before I was even two years old and by age six, he was selling me to strangers for sex. This went on until I was about 16 years old.
He threatened my younger brother and me, saying he would kill our mother if we ever told anyone what he was doing… Read More
The Scottish Government is running a consultation on its prostitution policy. We would like to encourage all our supporters to respond to this consultation. You do not need to live in Scotland to respond.
This post provides two options to make it as easy as possible for you. You can either use a two-minute option to send a template response, or you can use our crib sheet to fill in the full consultation.
The deadline for responding is: Thursday 10 December 2020. Read More
The Scottish Government is running a consultation on its prostitution policy. The consultation is open until Thursday 10 December 2020. We would like to encourage all our supporters to respond to this consultation. You do not need to live in Scotland to respond.
This post provides the full text of the Nordic Model Now! response to the consultation, which you are welcome to use this as inspiration and/or to copy and paste from it. Because the consultation is fairly complex and, in some places, confusing, we are also providing shorter template responses in an attempt to make it as easy as possible to respond. Read More
A woman who wants to remain anonymous sent this powerful piece about her experiences in, and understanding of, prostitution through our Share Your Story page. This provides a space for women to tell of their experiences of the sex trade in their own words.
“Sex buyers, pimps and traffickers are delusional, narcissistic murderers of innocence that malevolently groom, then prey upon, people who are often victims of child molestation and sexual assault. These vulnerable people also tend to struggle with substance abuse, mental illness and most of all, financial insecurity… Read More
This is an edited transcript of Paula and Claire’s talk at the Experience of Prostitution webinar on Sunday 27 September 2020.
Paula and Claire are campaigners against the decriminalised red-light zone in the Holbeck area of Leeds. They are part of the Save Our Eyes community group. Read More
‘Sarah’ sent this harrowing and powerful piece about her experiences in prostitution through our Share Your Story page.
“Gagged and bound, I’m led down the steps into the basement. A group of men stand there and my legs begin to buckle beneath me. Surely, I’m not to be offered up to all of them? I’m horrified and afraid. But the question has already been answered in my mind and I know that my life will be changed forever… Read More
There are many popular myths about cam girls. The men who pay them often believe cam girls are lazy, superficial, money-hungry [insert gendered slur of your choice here]. A lot of women think the work will be sexually empowering, or at the very least, innocuous.
However, I once worked as a cam girl and got to find out first-hand what being one was actually like. I learned that all the myths about webcamming are not only false and misleading but dangerous. Here is the truth behind three of the biggest myths… Read More
This is an edited transcript of Linda Thompson’s talk at the Experience of Prostitution webinar on Sunday 27 September 2020.
“Hello everyone. My name is Linda Thompson and I am absolutely delighted to join the webinar today on the experience – no, the experiences – of prostitution.
I work for the Women’s Support Project. I am national coordinator on commercial sexual exploitation. I get funded by the Scottish Government to develop and deliver programmes of work to raise awareness of the harms and realities of commercial sexual exploitation as a form of violence against women… Read More
Last month Nordic Model Now! was asked to participate in a University of Exeter student debate on the proposition that “This house believes that sex work is real work.” As a group, we are ambivalent about taking part in such debates. On the one hand, they are seldom a conducive forum for understanding nuanced and complex issues – but on the other hand, if we don’t participate there is a risk that the audience won’t hear the feminist analysis of prostitution. No one else in the group was able to take part that night, so reluctantly I agreed. Read More
This is the text of our submission to a Sheffield University study on human trafficking and online sexual exploitation.
AdultWork and similar sites make it extraordinarily easy for sex traffickers to exploit the prostitution of vulnerable women and girls. In fact it is hard not to come to the conclusion that these sites have been specifically designed for this purpose. If the UK is serious about cracking down on human trafficking, it must hold websites that facilitate sex trafficking and who profiteer from women and girls’ prostitution to account, as it is obliged to under international law. Read More
This is a transcript of Rebecca Mott’s talk at the ‘Experience of Prostitution’ webinar on 27 September 2020.
“I was prostituted from the age of 14 until my early 20s. I will speak to what it is to be prostituted; to the conditions for the prostituted and the breaking down of their humanity.
To understand prostitution, we need to see deeper than the generalised language of it being a bad thing. Instead, I will speak about the mental and physical trauma of the prostituted…
This article by key members of the International Coalition for the Abolition of Surrogacy (ICASM) calls upon the Hague Conference on Private International Law to show real courage and political leadership and, rather than continuing with work to regulate surrogacy at the international level, instead to recognise surrogacy as the profound human rights abuse that it is and to work for its abolition.
ICASM has drawn up a draft international convention for the abolition of surrogacy. Read More
These powerful and moving pieces were sent to us through our Share Your Story page, which provides a space for women to tell of their experiences of the sex trade in their own words.
“I’m in the US. I have been prostituting for years off and on. I’ve been arrested four times. I have no job skills… Read More
This page provides access to recordings of the talks from our ‘Experience of Prostitution’ webinar on 27 September 2020. As transcripts of the talks become available, you will also be able to access them from this page.
This webinar aimed to provide an antidote to the notion that prostitution is empowering for women and that “sex work” is just a job, not much different from any other work. We heard from women who have lived prostitution, have extensive experience of working with women involved in it, and who see the impact of the infamous red-light zone in Holbeck, Leeds, on their local community. Read More
In this article, Israeli abolitionist activist, Luba Fein, discusses the recent announcement that signals the end of legal strip clubs in Israel and the long history of women’s activism behind it.
In September 2020, about two months after the Israeli Sex Purchase Ban came into force, the Tel Aviv municipality made a dramatic announcement: all the strip clubs in the city would be closed and no new clubs would receive a license. This meant the elimination of all the legal strip clubs in Israel, because Tel Aviv was the only place that still had them. Read More
This piece was sent in anonymously through our Share Your Story page, which provides a space for women to tell of their experiences of the sex trade in their own words.
“I am a 43 year-old Irish woman who was actively involved in prostitution for five years from 2008 to 2013. My involvement in the sex trade came about as a result of my chronic addiction to heroin. I was not a victim of trafficking, nor was I being controlled by a pimp… Read More
As a trafficking survivor who later went on to enter the UK porn industry, I have been following the recent media focus on trafficking in porn with a lot of interest, even though, as I have previously expressed, I am highly cautious of the influence of what is often termed the ‘religious right.’ Nevertheless I believe that calling for — as a bare minimum — greater regulation of sites such as PornHub to be a matter of urgency.
This is why… Read More
Far from being a success, the decriminalised red-light zone in Holbeck is a misogynistic sticking plaster over a cancerous lesion of male violence, organised crime, exploitation and female suffering. Read More
This is a transcript of Liz Purslow’s talk at the What’s wrong with surrogacy? webinar on 6 September 2020.
In this powerful talk, Liz looks at the health risks for women involved in surrogacy and the egg harvesting on which most surrogacy is predicated, along with the inevitable conflicts of interests and safeguarding issues that may arise. She asks, Should the NHS pay women to put themselves at risk of harm to breed babies for others? Read More