The Experience of Prostitution: Recordings of the webinar

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

PRESS RELEASE: Independent Review into controversial Holbeck red-light zone in Leeds failed to consider equality implications & made claims NOT backed up by data

After pressure from local residents, last year Leeds City Council commissioned a so-called ‘Independent Review’ into the operation of the decriminalised red-light zone in Holbeck, Leeds – officially known as the ‘Managed Approach’. This was undertaken by the University of Huddersfield and their final report was released on Friday, 10 July 2020.

The report claims that the Managed Approach is a significant success. However, the Nordic Model Now! campaign group has identified numerous flaws in the report. 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

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

Who says decriminalised red-light districts are safer for women?

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

Minimizing the harms of prostitution

This is the text of a short talk Anna Fisher gave at a Public Policy Exchange event, called “The Future of Sex Work in the UK: Working in Partnership to Support Sex Workers and Minimise Harm,” on Wednesday 19 September 2018.

When the state sanctions prostitution as work, it institutionalises male domination and female suffering, and motivation to address women’s poverty and fix the broken benefits system is lost – because prostitution is institutionalised as welfare for poor women. Read More