History

A brief history

The English Collective of Prostitutes is a self-help organisation of sex workers, working both on the street and in premises, with a national network throughout the UK. We campaign for the decriminalisation of prostitution, for sex workers’ rights and safety, and for resources to enable people to get out of prostitution if they want to.

1975 The “Girls’ Union”

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Inspired by church occupations and a strike of sex workers in France, two immigrant women living in England formed the English Collective of Prostitutes to campaign for the abolition of the prostitution laws.

1979 The Protection of Prostitutes Bill

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On 6 March, Maureen Colquhoun MP introduced the Protection of Prostitutes Bill. The English Collective of Prostitutes “applauded and shrieked their approval from the visitors’ gallery”.

1981 Know Your Rights

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Our A-Z was the first time the laws were put down by sex workers in our own words, for our own defence.

1981 Know Your Rights

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With an advertising company we ran a poster campaign for decriminalisation.

1982 Hookers in the house of the lord

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Following in the footsteps of sex workers in France who occupied churches across the country to protest serial murders and police abuse, we occupied the Holy Cross Church, King’s Cross for 12 days.

1992 Advertising campaign

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With an advertising company we ran a poster campaign for decriminalisation.

1995 First private prosecution for rape

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With the support of ECP and Women Against Rape, two sex workers brought a private prosecution putting a rapist behind bars.

12000 Soho sex workers strike

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Sex workers in the ECP working in Soho go on strike on International Women’s Day and take legal action to stop the closure of flats.

12000 Soho sex workers strike

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Following the murders of five young women in Ipswich, we initiated the Safety First Coalition – to decriminalise sex work and prioritise safety.

2013 Soho raids

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We mobilised against mass police raids and prevented the closure of flats in Soho, Central London.

2016 Victory against deportations

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Migrant sex workers in the ECP fought Brexit-inspired deportation orders.

2017 International Women’s Strike

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We organised with the International Women’s Strike and drafted the global declaration from the sex worker movement with Empower, Thailand.

2017 End violence against sex workers

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With Sex Worker Advocacy and Resistant Movement (SWARM) we gathered outside Parliament to build a memorial on International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers for sex workers who have lost their lives.

We are part of the international sex worker-led movement for

DECRIMINALISATION

For more information and to pledge your support for sex workers safety please visit

www.pledgedecrim.com