Discussion of the weaknesses and incorrect assumptions that underly the policy of full decriminalisation of ‘sex work’ recommended by the WHO and other UN bodies. Read More
Infographics based on a new paper examining the New Zealand government’s studies into the results of decriminalising prostitution. Read More
A data scientist shows that the official studies into the results of NZ’s fully decriminalised prostitution system provide unequivocal evidence that it has been a total failure. Read More
A review of Brook Anderson’s novel, ‘Object of Desire’, which is set in 2031, four years after India fully decriminalises prostitution. Read More
On the 20-year anniversary of the Prostitution Reform Act 2003 (PRA), which introduced a fully decriminalised system of prostitution in New Zealand, Wahine Toa Rising reflects on its dismal record. Read More
A brief introduction, plus the key policy approaches to prostitution.
Tsitsi Matekaire discusses how a women’s movement for full decriminalisation of the sex trade developed in post-colonial Africa and how it diverts attention from addressing the root causes of sexual exploitation: poverty, inequality, gender-based violence, and men’s demand for prostitution. Read More
Steve explains why he realised that decriminalisation is not an appropriate response to prostitution and Ben explains why, as a disabled man, the idea that disabled men are entitled to prostitution is abhorrent. Read More
A powerful and moving talk from Ally-Marie Diamond about the realities of the decriminalised system of prostitution in New Zealand and its disastrous impact on Māori and Pasifika women and girls. Read More
Access to recordings and transcripts of the talks at the ‘Students for sale: Tools for resistance’ conference on Saturday 15 October 2022. Read More
Based on her 20 years in New Zealand’s brothels, Chelsea Geddes gives the lowdown on how ‘sex work decrim’ works in practice. Read More
Chelsea Geddes draws on her more than 20 years in New Zealand’s legal brothels, to explain how the full decrim prostitution system works out in practice. Read More
Download a free PDF or buy printed copies of our new 32-page A5-sized booklet setting out the pros and cons of full decrim of the sex trade vs. the Nordic Model. Read More
Yes, pimps and other capitalists benefit from a thriving sex industry, and so do men, but why do so many young women also cheerlead the “sex work is real work” propaganda and full decriminalisation of this toxic and sexist industry? Read More
Tara Ryan, a survivor of the sex trade, explains cogently and succinctly why she fully supports the Nordic Model and not full decriminalisation. Read More
Our letter to the Vagina Museum in response to the letter they sent to Keir Starmer MP asking him to support the full decriminalisation of the sex trade. Read More
Based on decades of policing Germany’s legalised prostitution system, Helmut Sporer blasts claims against the Nordic Model out of the water. This article summarises his arguments and explains why they are relevant to the UK and elsewhere. Read More
This is an edited transcript of the webinar we held on Sunday 24 January 2021. Read More
This page provides access to the recording and transcript of our ‘Prostitution policy: The Nordic Model or full decriminalization? What do sex trade survivors say?’ webinar that was held on 24 January 2021.
The theme of the webinar was the debate about the Sexual Exploitation Bill that Dame Diana Johnson recently tabled in the UK Parliament. If passed, this would establish a Nordic Model approach to prostitution legislation and policy in England and Wales. 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
When HARRIET EVANS fell into difficulties with her housing, and universal credit was too little to live on, she turned to prostitution as a way of keeping a roof over her head. Here she explains how the Nordic Model could have helped her and others in the sex industry.
“‘Sex work’ as a valid form of income redefines ‘consent.’ Full decriminalisation colludes with the notion that a woman’s consent is negotiable; it can be bought; it can be ignored.” Read More
‘Siobhan’ sent us this #MeToo account of her experiences in the legal sex trade in New Zealand and Australia through our Share Your Story page. This provides a space for women to tell their stories in their own words.
“These deliberate attempts by punters to mess with my head have affected me much, much more than the multitude of times I was physically and sexually assaulted in prostitution. I still ruminate about the veiled insults they made about my worth, my looks and my character… I thought I had low self-esteem at 17, but prostitution has absolutely destroyed it.” Read More
Ally-Marie Diamond is of Maori/Pacific Islander heritage and grew up in New Zealand, where she was groomed into prostitution. In this engaging post, she explains how she came to be an activist for the Nordic Model and why she believes it is the best approach to prostitution policy and legislation. Read More
This article looks at the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP)’s position on the prostitution of children and young adults, and shows how it serves to condone the paid rape of children. Read More
Ally-Marie Diamond is a sex trade survivor and activist, who grew up in New Zealand and now lives in Australia. This is the final part (slightly edited) of a speech she gave last year to the South Australian and Northern Territory parliaments when they were debating bills for Full Decriminalisation of the sex trade. Read More
Before we consider options for prostitution law and policy, we need a full understanding of how prostitution affects both the women and men involved, and the wider society. This article provides a brief summary of the impacts of prostitution and shows that prostitution is part of a wider systemic problem and that it therefore requires a systemic solution. The article goes on to show that the Nordic Model approach provides such a systemic solution – unlike full decriminalisation which would exacerbate the very problems that we need to solve. Read More
In this important article, Esther, who was herself in prostitution, draws parallels between methods of mass control and subjection introduced during the industrial revolution and the control of women and their widespread subjection to practices of sexual torture during the current technological revolution. She exposes the hypocrisy of the human rights organisations and capitalists who argue for the blanket decriminalisation of the sex trade, which would open up legal mega-brothels such as are found in Germany, and draws on her own experience to argue that the sex industry is rife with racism, sexism and classism, preys on the most powerless women and girls and is inherently traumatising. Legalising brothels benefits only the punters and the profiteers, not the women. Read More
This article looks at evidence from Germany and New Zealand that legalising or decriminalising the prostitution of adults creates a façade behind which the prostitution (or paid rape) of children can thrive and weakens men’s individual and collective resistance to sexually abusing children. This suggests that opening up the commercial sex industry will always have profound child safeguarding implications – and gives the lie to assertions to the contrary. Read More
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
Drawing on her own lived experience, Jade looks at the ‘everyday reality’ of prostitution for women operating under three key models of prostitution law and policy – legalisation, full decriminalisation, and partial decriminalisation (aka the Nordic Model), and asks which model is safest for the women involved. Read More
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
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
Ever since she saw rows of male Labour Party members voting against a motion that backed the Nordic Model approach to prostitution, the author of this piece has been talking to those men in her head. She’s finally written down what she wants to say to them. Men on the left, please listen. Read More
How do we #MakeAllWomenSafe in prostitution? Is that even possible? Read More
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
We’ve just taken delivery of a batch of flyers we’ve had printed to give out at the Unison National Delegate Conference next week (18-21 June 2019). They briefly explain that Motion 108: ‘Decriminalisation for safety’ seeks to overturn Unison’s longstanding support for the Nordic Model and replace it with full decriminalisation of the sex trade, which implicitly decriminalises pimps, brothel keepers and punters. Read More
This is our statement on the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Congress voting yesterday to lobby for the full decriminalisation of the sex trade. Read More
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
Legally sanctioned brothels only benefit the pimps, says nurse and campaigner Ellen Grogan. The RCN’s May congress in Liverpool will vote on a motion calling on the college to lobby politicians to decriminalise prostitution. Here, campaigner on the issue Ellen Grogan argues against a fully decriminalised sex trade. Read More
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
Dana Levy, who was herself in prostitution in Israel for a number of years, responds to Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng’s recent article in Teen Vogue entitled “Why Sex Work Is Real Work.” Read More
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
Before voting at the RCN Congress in May 2019, nurses need to understand what “decriminalisation of prostitution” really means. We believe that most would expect it to mean the decriminalisation of those engaged in prostitution and not of pimps and brothel keepers as well, which would open the way for multi-storey brothels that can serve hundreds of men simultaneously like they have in Germany. This page provides information about the flyers we’ve produced to help nurses understand the practical implications of the motion and how you can order some to give out to nurses you know or in your local hospital. Read More
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
‘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
A kerb-crawler attempting to pay a woman £10 to hand over her baby shows the Leeds ‘managed prostitution zone’ is a failed experiment. This shouldn’t surprise us because anything that legitimises prostitution implicitly legitimises one-sided sex and the commodification of women. Read More
In this post, Chelsea, a radical feminist who has had many years’ experience of prostitution in the legal brothels in New Zealand (NZ) answers some of the questions she’s tired of hearing – not only ‘Why does radical feminism exclude sex workers?’ [it doesn’t] but also, ‘Isn’t it paternalising to say men can be held accountable but women can’t?’ ‘Aren’t prostitutes in danger from the police? So wouldn’t it be better to hire security instead?’ and ‘How are prostitutes supposed to make any money if buying [sex] is illegal?’ Read More
Chelsea Geddes has had many years experience in the legal brothels in New Zealand, whose fully decriminalised approach to the sex trade is often held up as the most enlightened solution to prostitution. In this article, she begs to disagree and explains that, on the contrary, it has made punters more demanding and entitled, and has done nothing to make conditions safer for the women like herself. Read More
This article explains briefly what “decriminalisation of prostitution” or “decriminalisation of sex work” means in practice. This supplements the bullet points on our RCN Congress 2019 flyers (and the white flyers we have given out elsewhere) with further information, links to research studies, etc.
We refer to “decriminalisation of prostitution” as “full decriminalisation” to distinguish it from the Nordic Model which decriminalises those (mostly women and girls) who are engaged in prostitution but not the other actors. Read More
This piece, by Alice Glass, is timely in the light of the recent cancelling of an event about prostitution that was to be co-hosted by a UK university and an organisation that provides services to people involved in prostitution, after complaints from students that it didn’t feature “sex worker” voices – even though a woman who had experienced many years of prostitution was billed to speak. Alice Glass, who herself survived ten years in prostitution, asks who are the “sex workers” who must be allowed to speak? Read More