Event: Decriminalisation of prostitution the evidence – 3 November

Decriminalisation of Prostitution – the evidence

3 November 2015, Committee Room 11,
House of Commons,
SW1A 0AA, 11am-6pm

Allow 20 minutes to get through airport like security.

All welcome, no registration needed.


The English Collective of Prostitutes invites you to an evidence-gathering symposium.  The event will take place in the immediate aftermath of Amnesty International’s recent vote in support of decriminalisation, and its call on governments to review the prostitution laws and provide resources in the form of “state benefits, education and training and/or alternative employment” to help sex workers leave prostitution if they want.

The symposium comes at the request of MPs for well-referenced, easily accessible information on prostitution. You will see from the speakers listed below that we will be addressing key issues such as safety, health, the impact of criminalisation and austerity, policing, and the perceived connection between prostitution and trafficking.

We very much hope that you will be able to attend.

Yours sincerely,

Laura Watson

11am introduction – Niki Adams, English Collective Of Prostitutes

11.15am –1.10pm International speakers


Jenn Clamen, Stella, Canada, co-ordinator, Canadian Alliance for Sex Work Law Reform  ̶  2013 Supreme court ruling which struck down the prostitution laws.


Liz Hilton, Empower, Thailand  ̶  impact of criminalisation and forced rehabilitation on sex workers.


Rachel West, US PROStitutes Collective, USA  ̶  opposing racism in trafficking policy and discrimination in victim compensation.


Natalie Bennett, Leader, Green Party  ̶  policy on decriminalisation.


Mimi Hsieh and Iyoko Shojima, Collective for Sex Workers and Supporters in Taipei, Taiwan  ̶  impact of criminalisation.


Stewart Cunningham, SCOT-PEP, Scotland  ̶  impact of policing on sex workers’ health and safety and law reform.


Ntokozo Yingwana, Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce, South Africa ­ ̶. proposed decriminalisation law.

Sex Workers Alliance Ireland  ̶  organising against the criminalisation of clients.


Pye Jakobsson, Rose Alliance, Sweden  ̶  Sexköpslagen law which criminalised the buying of sex.


Catherine Healy, New Zealand Prostitutes Collective – 2003 Prostitution Reform Act which decriminalised prostitution.

1.10pm-2pm Lunch


Other evidence from


Dr. Belinda Brooks-Gordon, Birkbeck University – Calculating the Number of Sex Workers and their Contribution to the Non-observed Economy in the UK.


Dr Jane Pitcher, University of Strathclyde Impact of Laws on Indoor-based Sex Workers’ Safety and Conditions of Work.


Dr. Nicola Mai, University of Kingston Trafficking and Migrant Workers in the UK Sex Industry and the Impact of Criminalisation in France and the UK.


Dr. Jay LevyLessons of the Swedish Model and the Criminalisation of the Purchase of Sex.


Carolyn Henham, Advice and Support Worker, Basis Sex Work Project – impact on sex workers of austerity and the feminisation of poverty.    


Laura Watson, English Collective of Prostitutes raids, arrests, prosecutions and austerity throughout the UK.


Dr. Erin Sanders-McDonagh and Dr Lucy Neville, Middlesex University – Service Provision for Street Based Sex Workers. 


Pippa Grenfell, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine – The Health Harms of Sex Work Criminalisation.


Dr. Kate Hardy, Leeds University – The Mainstreaming of Lap Dancing.


Rosie Campbell, Alex Feis-Bryce and Dr. Teela Sanders, University of Leeds – Violence against Sex Workers and Issues for Internet Based Sex Workers.


Andrew Boff, Conservative member of the London Assembly – 2012 report, Silence on Violence: policing of off-street sex work and sex trafficking in London. 


Georgina Perry, Open Doors the policing of prostitution.


Dr. Colin Francome, Middlesex University – public opinion polls on prostitution.


Lisa Longstaff, Women Against Rape – the impact of criminalisation on women’s safety. 



4-4.15 Break


Representatives from


Hampshire Women’s Institute


Royal College of Nursing


Release drugs project


Paulina Nicol, organising against police raids


Jenny Pearl, working to support children


Mirabel Vasile, winning against loitering charges


Liberal Democrats


Scottish Nationalists


Amnesty International


 Catherine Healy, New Zealand Prostitutes Collective – successes of decriminalisation.

17.30pm closing remarks

The English Collective of Prostitutes is a network of women who work or have worked in different areas of the sex industry – both on the streets and indoors. Since 1975, we have been campaigning for decriminalisation, safety and for financial resources and other support so that any of us can leave prostitution if and when we want. In 2006 we initiated the Safety First Coalition which includes the Royal College of Nursing, Women Against Rape, church people, anti-poverty, drug and prison reform campaigners, residents from red light areas, and many other concerned organisations and individuals.  

English Collective of Prostitutes

Crossroads Women’s Centre, 25 Wolsey Mews, Kentish Town, London NW5 2DX

020 7482 2496, 07956 316 899

ecp@prostitutescollective.net www.prostitutescollective.net