A sexual health specialist who helped trigger the Royal College Nursing’s lobbying efforts to decriminalise prostitution is urging against the adoption of the ‘Nordic Model’ – a policy which purports to only punish clients.
— Lou Cahill, RN (@Cahill_Lou) May 19, 2019
Mr Cahill told RightsInfo of her discontent with the ‘Nordic Model‘, a policy which claims to punish the buyers of sex work while purporting to decriminalise sex workers themselves.
Implemented in Sweden for more than 20 years, it was introduced in Northern Ireland in 2015 and is supported by a small but vocal group of campaigners, religious groups, and some MPs.
Ms Cahill told RightsInfo that the policy “doesn’t impact the number of sex workers because it fails to understand that people who enter the sex industry do so because of socio-economic reasons”.
“[These socio-economic reasons] will not be impacted by a reduced in demand,” she said.
She added: “Evidence from France, Ireland and other countries which have the Nordic Model, has shown that criminalising clients gives them more power over workers not less.
“This means that workers are forced into riskier situations.”
“The consequence has been been a significant increase in violence against sex workers, an increase in HIV and other STIs,” she continued.
The English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP), a national organisation of sex workers fighting for decriminalisation, commended the RCN’s decision.
Cari Mitchell, spokeswoman for the ECP and former nurse, said: “We commend the RCN for its support for decriminalisation of sex work and look forward to continuing our work with them to improve sex workers’ safety and health.”
Decriminalisation – The Facts
67 per cent of sex workers favour decriminalisation, along with 61 per cent of services.
A further 17.4 per cent of organisationsfavoured a legalised model, such as in The Netherlands,
The so-called Nordic model was preferred by just two sex workers and five organisations.