The Holbeck red light zone: condoms, sex offenders and cars full of jeering men

Holbeck in Leeds has been dubbed the UK’s first and only ‘legal’ red light district and there have been claims that it proves that legalising or decriminalising the sex trade is the way to go. Many other local councils are watching carefully as they are tempted to introduce copy cat zones. But what is it really like? Does it really make things safe for the women? Has it ended the practice of giving women cautions, fines, ASBOs and prison sentences for prostitution-related activities? What do the local residents have to say? We visit the zone to find out for ourselves. Read More

Online Pimping: A New Dystopia

Just as the Internet has changed how we buy books, holidays and electronic items, so it has changed how prostitution is organised. Now the Internet is one of the main ways that punters connect with the women (and others) they pay to use sexually, and it has opened up whole new opportunities for pimps to make vast fortunes while creating a living hell for many of those advertised. Read More

The long road to abolition

A reflection on the transatlantic slave trade – what drove it, how it was justified, and the long road to its abolition – and the current battle between those who want to open up the sex trade to the free markets and those who want to abolish the sex trade and the entire system of prostitution.

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” – Nelson Mandela, 1995 Read More

An EMDR therapist on what she’s learned working with people who’ve experienced prostitution

Dana Levy is an Israeli prostitution survivor and campaigner for the Nordic Model in Israel, where a Nordic Model-style law has recently been passed. In this article, she talks to Dr Tal Croitoru, the CEO and founder of the Israeli network, EMDR Experts, about her EMDR work with people who’ve experienced prostitution. EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy treatment that was originally designed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories. Read More

The ‘independent’ review of the Modern Slavery Act ignores women’s human rights

The ‘Independent’ Review of the Modern Slavery Act (MSA) has published initial reports on their recommendations. In this article we respond to the report on the MSA’s legal application. We show that the ‘independent’ review abjectly failed to consider the full implications of the MSA’s incorrect definition of human trafficking on women and girls, and instead justified it by clutching at straws that would be laughable were the consequences for the most vulnerable women and girls not so grave. Read More

A Sexist Prism: National Police Guidance on Policing Prostitution

In January 2019, the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) released new national Guidance for ‘Policing Sex Work and Prostitution’ in England and Wales. While we welcome its emphasis on treating those involved in prostitution with respect and not as criminals, we have some major concerns about this Guidance, which we set out in this article. Read More

‘Women Wanted’ on Melbourne Streets

Advertising for the sex trade is prominent in Melbourne, Australia, where the sex trade has been legal since 1994. In this article, Jacqueline Gwynne explains how WOMEN WANTED flyers offering quick and easy cash lure women into the sex trade. This is what we could expect to see in the UK if the sex trade is fully decriminalised and prostitution is recognised as regular work. Read More

Women of colour against the sex trade

We report on the recent ‘Women of Colour Against the Sex Trade’ conference in London, UK, that was hosted by Space International and heard first-hand from black and ethnic minority survivors of the sex industry.

“In Dr Vednita Carter’s Black Minnesota neighbourhood, white middle class men cruise the streets in luxury cars, looking for Black girls and young women to pay to use and abuse sexually. This echoes back to the white man’s white god-given right to unlimited sexual access to Black women and girls during the long centuries of slavery.” Read More

What nurses need to know about the RCN motion to decriminalise prostitution

There is a motion calling for the “decriminalisation of prostitution” on the agenda at the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Congress in Liverpool on 19–23 May 2019. This article explains all you need to know before making a decision about how to vote on this motion or how you ask your branch representative to vote on your behalf. Read More

The problem with sex doll brothels

Many people who promote and support the sex industry insist that sex doll brothels are a good thing and they will not affect women involved in prostitution. In this short article, Chelsea, who has had many years’ experience in the legal brothels in New Zealand, responds to a piece promoting this viewpoint. She explains why it is mistaken and that in fact sex doll brothels spell disaster for prostituted women. Read More

A critical review of ‘Revolting Prostitutes: The fight for sex workers’ rights’ by Juno Mac and Molly Smith

‘Revolting Prostitutes: The fight for sex workers’ rights’ is a clever attempt to sell the full decriminalisation of the sex trade as the only enlightened solution to prostitution. But the authors are not as clever as they seem to think they are. In this review, we tease out key themes in the book and show why many are at best over-simplification and at worst misrepresentation of the facts. Read More

Prostitution law in Germany: Regulation for taxation

Francine Sporenda interviews Inge Kleine, a German feminist activist, about recent developments in the sex industry in Germany. The background is that in 2001 Germany passed new legislation around prostitution, called the Prostitutionsgesetz. It was implemented in 2002 and opened up and liberalised the law around prostitution, which was already legal. The prostitution law has now been tightened up, ostensibly to alleviate some of the negative consequences of the 2001/2002 law. But of course this is not the whole story, as Inge explains. Read More

A review of Exit! by Grizelda Grootboom

Exit! is the harrowing true story of Grizelda Grootboom’s journey into and through prostitution. Many people justify prostitution on the basis of the prostituted person’s choice. Grizelda’s story reveals the shallow irrelevance of this idea in a life blighted by childhood neglect and abandonment, rape, racism, poverty and lack of opportunity, coercion, betrayal and abduction. While Grizelda’s story is unique, there are many elements that are common to many of those who are prostituted worldwide. Read More

Can the preconditions for true consent ever exist in prostitution?

Dana Levy is a survivor of the sex industry, who supports and promotes the Nordic Model in Israel, where a Nordic Model-style law is making its way through the legislative process. The Knesset (the legislative branch of the Israeli government) approved the law on its first reading on 22 October 2018. The second and third readings are still ahead. In this article, she talks about the preconditions for consent and whether they can ever be present in prostitution. Read More