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

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

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

Alice Glass 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

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

The Prostitution Industry and the Labour Movement

Frankie Green argues that by not taking a stand against prostitution, the Labour party leadership, leftwing parties and organisations have alienated and angered people. By condoning prostitution, they send out the message that it is acceptable to purchase women’s bodies, licensing a sexist, predatory masculinity. She argues that the Labour Movement must recognise prostitution as abuse and support the Nordic Model approach. Read More

Decriminalization and the Prostitution of British Law

Heather Brunskell-Evans examines options for prostitution law reform in the UK. She argues that full decriminalisation is predicated on outdated notions of the inevitability of men’s ‘need’ for sex and their concomitant ‘right’ to pay for the sexual use of women (or other men) as if they were a commodity, and that full decriminalisation’s vocal proponents make several erroneous claims. Instead she concludes that the Sex Buyer Law (aka the Nordic Model) is in line with 21st century ideals of equity and social justice. Read More