Female Asylum Seekers in the UK at Risk of Exploitation, Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery

Female asylum seekers in the UK are extremely vulnerable to sex trafficking and exploitation. Recent reports have revealed the horrific reality of the official systems that are meant to protect them and yet new immigration laws are likely to make this situation far worse. Read More

Leeds City Council: It’s time you listened well to Holbeck

Voice of Holbeck, a coalition of community groups, has today released its ‘Listening Well’ report about local residents’ experiences of the decriminalised red-light area in Holbeck, Leeds. The area is also known as the ‘Managed Zone’ because it is part of the Leeds-wide ‘Managed Approach’ to prostitution, but as one young person who contributed to the report, said: “It is not managed at all, we are approached.” Read More

About time! Women’s criminal records for soliciting will no longer always be disclosed

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

Abolishing surrogacy would take real political courage

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

Wahine Toa Rising launches brilliant new website

This week, Wahine Toa Rising, a New Zealand grassroots organisation led by sex trade survivors, launched its website. Here members of the organisation explain what it is about.

“Wahine Toa Rising is a voice for vulnerable, exploited women and children in Aotearoa/ New Zealand, who are overrepresented in the sex trade. Like us, they deserve to know they are WORTHY, VALUED, HEARD, SEEN, and LOVED.” Read More

What price for ruining the lives of 100s of young women?

Sex trade survivor, Dana Levy, writes from Israel about a sex trafficker, dubbed the ‘greatest pimp in Israel’s history,’ who trafficked hundreds of vulnerable young women and has recently been granted early release from jail. She asks, why does society place so little value on the lives of poor young women? Read More

NMN response to the ‘Independent Review’ of the Holbeck red-light zone in Leeds

This is the Nordic Model Now! response to the ‘Independent Review’ commissioned by Leeds City Council into the operation of the red-light district in Holbeck (known as the ‘Managed Approach’), where street prostitution is permitted to operate more or less free from interference during certain hours.

We point out many very basic failings in the report and show that, far from proving that the scheme has been a huge success as it claims, the reviewers made claims that are not supported by the data, and they seem to have been unable to read between the lines or to consider the wider context and the very serious equality impacts on women and children. Read More

Israel becomes the 8th Nordic Model country as it implements its Prohibition of Consumption of Prostitution Services Act

I’ve been waiting for thirty years for this moment. The Prohibition of Consumption of Prostitution Services Act will be enforced in Israel on 10 July 2020. The law imposes fines for consuming prostitution and attempting to pay for it. The aim is to reduce prostitution by prohibiting the purchase of sex as part of an integrated process that includes public education, and the expansion of services for the population in prostitution – including trauma-informed care and practical help to rebuild their lives, while recognizing the harmful nature of prostitution and the damage it causes. Read More

A Very Yorkshire Brothel or A Dereliction of Duty?

This is a letter of complaint that we have sent today to the ITV complaints department about its recent ‘documentary’ series entitled, A Very Yorkshire Brothel. We are also preparing a shorter version to submit to Ofcom. If you are also concerned that a British TV channel is presenting an extremely biased picture of prostitution for amusement under the guise of being a documentary, we encourage you to also submit a complaint. You are welcome to copy and paste from our letter. Read More

Statement on the Committee on Standards’ report on Keith Vaz

In September 2016, a complaint was brought against Keith Vaz MP who was then the chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee (HASC). The complaint hinged on Vaz’s conflict of interests – he was witnessed buying sex and offering to buy cocaine for another person to use shortly after chairing inquiries into prostitution and psychoactive drugs. In this article we respond to the House of Commons Committee on Standards’ report into the matter. Read More

Unison NDMC 2019: Vote AGAINST Motion 25 “HIV/AIDS and decriminalisation for disabled people’s safety”

Motion 25 “HIV/AIDS and decriminalisation for disabled people’s safety” at the Unison National Disabled Members Conference (NDMC) 2019 seeks to overturn Unison’s longstanding support for the Nordic Model approach to prostitution and replace it with support for full decriminalisation of the sex trade. In this article, we go through the motion, showing that it relies on partial facts, poor-quality research, and distortion of the bigger picture. We hope that this will help delegates and Unison members understand what is at stake and why we recommend you vote against the motion. Read More

Dismissing our arguments as ‘lies’, and other misconduct

Earlier this year, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Congress voted overwhelmingly for a motion that requires the RCN Council to lobby Governments across the UK for the “decriminalisation of prostitution.” We believe this was a terrible mistake and that the debate was biased and those promoting the motion behaved improperly.

We therefore wrote a letter, jointly with Stand Against Sexual Exploitation (SASE), to the members of the RCN Council setting out why they might want to revisit the matter. We offered to meet with them to discuss the issues in more depth and we asked for a response by the end of August. We have not had a single reply and so we are publishing the letter here. Read More

Statement on the recent jailing of women in Ireland for brothel keeping

Under a headline that accuses supporters of the Nordic Model of ‘co-signing the imprisonment of women,’ Molly Smith reports in The Independent that two migrant women were given nine-month prison sentences in the Republic of Ireland for selling sex from an apartment they shared. This article explains that the headline is both misleading and unfair, because we have always made it clear that we are opposed to women being criminalised for their own prostitution. Read More

Statement on Universal Credit and ‘survival sex’

There has been considerable coverage in the media recently of benefit sanctions, and delays and shortfalls in Universal Credit, driving women into what is being called ‘survival sex,’ but which is in fact prostitution. We do not accept that prostitution becomes something different depending on what caused your engagement in it. This statement briefly explains our position. Read More

Open letter to the RCN

50 groups and organisations, and more than 400 individuals, have added their name to an open letter calling on the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) to reject the motion calling for the ‘decriminalisation of prostitution’ at its upcoming 2019 Congress. We are concerned that many people will incorrectly assume the motion means the decriminalisation only of those directly engaged in prostitution and not of the entire sex trade, including pimps, brothel keepers and sex buyers (punters). Read More

Unison Conference 2019: Vote AGAINST Motion 108 “Decriminalisation for Safety”

Motion 108 “Decriminalisation for safety” at the Unison Delegate Conference 2019 seeks to overturn Unison’s longstanding support for the Nordic Model approach to prostitution and replace it with support for full decriminalisation of the sex trade, including profiteers (pimps, brothel keepers, and procurers) and punters (sex buyers), on the basis that this is safer for “sex workers.” This article goes through the motion, showing that it relies on partial facts, poor-quality research, and distortion of the bigger picture. Read More

Nordic Model Now! signs the VictimFocus Charter pledge

We are proud to announce that we have signed the VictimFocus charter pledge. Set up by Jessica Eaton, the charter is “the first set of standards for professionals, organisations and individuals to combat victim blaming in abuse and trauma.” As a campaigning group, some aspects of the charter are not applicable to our work – we don’t do case work, for example. However, as a whole it is directly relevant, because trauma, abuse and crime are rife in the sex trade. Read More

Unison Conference 2018: Vote AGAINST Motion 127 “Decriminalisation for Safety”

A motion to the Unison Delegate Conference 2018, seeks to overturn Unison’s longstanding support for the Nordic Model approach to prostitution and replace it with support for full decriminalisation of the sex trade, including profiteers and sex buyers, on the basis that this is safer for “sex workers.” This article goes through the motion showing that it relies on partial facts, poor-quality research, and distortion of the bigger picture. We hope that this will help delegates and Unison members understand what is at stake and why we recommend you vote against the motion. Read More