The Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) is an umbrella group of hundreds of organisations around the world that purport to represent ‘sex workers,’ while in fact supporting and lobbying for the full decriminalisation of the entire sex trade, including pimps and brothel keepers (who they call ‘third parties’). This article looks at 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
Huschke Mau, who was herself in prostitution for around 10 years, writes about the psychological and structural barriers that make it difficult, or even impossible, for women to exit prostitution and build a life for themselves outside. While some of the details are specific to Germany and its legalised prostitution system, the themes are more or less universal. Read More
The short Nordic Model Now! slideshow is a fully scripted presentation that provides a brief summary of the impacts of prostitution, showing that is part of a wider systemic problem, and that the Nordic Model approach provides a systemic solution – unlike full decriminalisation which would exacerbate the very problems that we need to solve. We provide downloads of the slideshow (in PowerPoint and PDF formats) and a full script (which can also be used as a handout). 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
A review of ‘Body for Rent’ by Anna Hendricks and Olivia Smit.
This is the true story of two girls being groomed, and then pimped into the windows of the famous De Wallen red light district in Amsterdam on the day they reach 18, the magical age that prostitution becomes legal in the Netherlands, and their subsequent years of struggle to get free. Underlying this story is another one: the power of the love and friendship between the two women, even under the most brutal circumstances and the best efforts of their pimp to drive a wedge between them. Read More
This article reviews the key research that has been undertaken on the results of the Nordic Model in the countries in which it has been implemented, and provides a summary of the findings. All of the studies show evidence of a significant reduction in men’s demand for prostitution. Although accurate estimates of the size of the population engaged in prostitution are difficult, the evidence suggests a reduction in the numbers involved over the medium and long term. Where the sex purchase ban is enforced, the sex trade becomes less viable and this discourages sex trafficking and pimping. 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 experiences in porn and prostitution, Esther asks that we break through our cultural denial and open our eyes to the brutal reality that easy access to online porn and anything goes prostitution has unleashed: The everyday sexual, bodily and psychic torture of women and girls throughout the world and the presentation of this to children as if it were normal sex and not fraught with danger, not only for the individual but for our very social fabric. Read More
In this article, Helena Brors discusses the 2015 Swedish book, Allt som är mitt: Våldtäkt, stigmatisering och upprättelse (which translates as: Everything that’s mine: Rape, stigmatisation and amends) by two ‘sex-positive feminists,’ Alexander Chamberland and Anna Svensson, and exposes in a brilliant and illuminating way many of the logical fallacies that both ‘sex-positive’ feminists and pro-sex trade lobbyists routinely make.
‘Jo’ sent us this powerful and moving open letter to all the sex buyers everywhere through our Share Your Story page.
“Behind your backs we share a very different reality. We are tired of the emotional labour you put us through, not only the fact that you feel entitled to our bodies, but also that you feel entitled to our souls too. We talk about how much easier a client is when he is fast, less demanding. I’m saying ”we” because I’m talking about the majority of prostitutes I talk with, as well as my own experience in the sex trade.”
Northern Ireland is failing to implement Clause 6 legislation to prosecute sex buyers and to provide a programme of support to help the (mostly) women out of prostitution. Nordic Model Now! reports on this and its serious criticism of the review of the operation of the law commissioned by the Northern Ireland Department of Justice. Read More
The NI Department of Justice has published a review of the criminalization of paying for sexual services in Northern Ireland (NI). In this article, we respond to that review and show that the law, and the Nordic Model approach of which it is a key part, has not been properly enforced or implemented; key institutions have maintained deep opposition; the lead researcher also opposed the approach and sought assistance from organisations that are similarly biased and/or have conflicting commercial interests; and the research utilised questionable and unreliable methodology. Despite all of this, an astonishing number of punters said that the new law will cause them to change their prostitution using behaviour.
This is the text of our submission to the Women & Equalities Select Committee’s inquiry into prostitution. Unfortunately the inquiry is now closed because parliament has been dissolved for a general election. However, the evidence collected will remain available for future consideration. Read More
Dana Levy is an Israeli prostitution survivor and abolitionist activist in Israel, where a Nordic Model-style law has recently been passed. In this article she provides a persuasive critique of the Swedish organisation, Fuckförbundet’s recent report on the impact of the 1999 Swedish Sex Purchase Act, entitled ‘Twenty years of failing sex workers.’ She shows that many of the claims in the report simply do not hold up to scrutiny. Read More
‘Jo’ sent us this #MeToo account of her experiences of the sex trade through our Share Your Story page. This provides a space for women to tell their stories in their own words.
“I would just sit on my bed afterwards, looking at the money, focusing on it, counting my savings every day to keep myself motivated, and counting how much more I would have to save to retire. To never return, to leave and to forget all that had happened in prostitution. Ever. To erase every single detail of my past.” Read More
These #MeToo accounts of women’s experiences of the sex trade came in through our Share Your Story page. This provides a space for women to tell their stories in their own words.
“I made money from it, but felt like I had been all used up doing something that completely went against my core values. That experience induced trauma and I ended up going through even worse trauma in the years following that. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone seeking a short fix. The damage it has done to me is irreparable.” Read More
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
Run entirely by unpaid volunteers, FiLiA is a national feminist conference that takes place annually in the UK. This year it was in Bradford on the weekend of 19 and 20 October. In this article we provide a very brief summary of some of the highlights of the weekend for us – focusing on critique of the sex trade. However, the conference covered many other feminist issues, which we don’t have room to cover here. Read More
In this article women who have not been in the sex trade themselves share how it has nevertheless affected their lives in various ways. We received these #MeToo accounts through our Share Your Story page. This provides a space for women to tell their stories in their own words.
“It always made me sick to my stomach, the way that one human buys another. To use her as his toilet and dump her back in the street after – only for another man to pick her up.” Read More
In this brilliant and important interview, Yağmur Arica talks to Francine Sporenda about how technological developments have hugely increased the scale of sexual exploitation that is taking place and the vast profits that are being made from it. Yağmur goes on to argue, persuasively, that the popularity of sex dolls or robots, which she calls ‘masturbatory dolls,’ can be interpreted as yet another backlash against the gains of the feminist movement, as we rapidly approach the terrifying end-point where, “One woman is as good as any other and a doll is as good as a woman.” Read More
October 5th is International Day of No Prostitution. In 2019 we are marking it by remembering the women who didn’t survive prostitution – including all the women whose disappearances and deaths were unmarked and unnoticed – as we resolve to not rest until the vicious system of prostitution is brought to an end. Read More
In this article, Dr Stoyle, the Secretariat of the Cross Party Group for Commercial Sexual Exploitation (CPG CSE) in the Scottish Parliament, reports on a Scottish parliamentary trip to Sweden to find out more about how the Swedish prostitution law works in practice. The trip took place on 22nd and 23rd August 2019. 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
A few years ago, feminists in Hungary ran a publicity campaign aimed at helping men to understand the harms of prostitution and how the money they pay for sexual access to women and girls drives the whole exploitative system, right up to the sex trafficking of children. The Hungarian women have generously given us permission to use the photo that was central to the campaign and translations of the key messages. We have created postcards and hope they will help start a conversation with men. Read More
By Scarlett X
As a survivor of commercial sexual exploitation, both within prostitution and the porn industry, I find the claim that decriminalisation of third parties such as pimps to be necessary to ‘keep all women safe’ absolutely ludicrous.
This is why. Read More
“The hardest ‘adjustment’ for me mentally was that prostitution wasn’t just about providing sex for a man paying you, it was about making them think you’ve orgasmed too and you really want to have sex with them for horny reasons, not cash reasons.” 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