Communication Workers Union Resolution for TUC Women’s Conference
DECRIMINALISATION OF PROSTITUTION
11 March to 13 March 2009.
Conference calls on the Government to decriminalise prostitution. While the activities of women who work as prostitutes are subject to criminal prosecution then they are less able to access support and help from agencies when they need this. The criminalisation of those who work in the sex industry also creates a division between working class women who are all combating poverty and sexism. We believe women who work as prostitutes are entitled to the support of women trade unionists not our collusion in their repression.
We support the unionisation of the sex industry.
Conference also strongly agrees that the police, the Crown Prosecution Service and associated agencies must rigorously enforce laws against rape and other violence – including sexual assault, GBH, false imprisonment, extortion, racist sexual assault – regardless of the victim’s status as a sex worker.
Women who have been trafficked must have confidence in the system to report violence without risk of deportation. The Government should consider the reallocation of money currently spent on prosecuting prostitute women, towards resources and services independent of the criminal justice system to ensure that sex workers’ rights are respected and to enable those who want to leave prostitution to do so.
Conference calls on the incoming TUC Women’s Committee to make this issue one of their main priorities and to also prepare and issue a report on any progress made to the next Women’s Conference in 2010.