What: Sex workers launch pledge to decriminalise sex work for safety’s sake.
When: Thursday 23 July 12-2pm and 5-6pm.
Where: Twitter #pledgedecrim Follow @ProstitutesColl
Sign here. Issued by the Safety First Coalition, co-ordinated by the English Collective of Prostitutes.
Sex workers and supporters are launching a campaign to get people to pledge their support for the decriminalisation of prostitution.
Laura Watson from the English Collective of Prostitutes which is co-ordinating the campaign commented:“Decriminalisation of sex work is urgently needed. Hundreds of women, many of whom are mothers supporting children in these increasingly harsh times, are being criminalised and even imprisoned. Immigrant women are targeted for police raids and arrest. Women working together for safety are frequently prosecuted for brothel-keeping. Street workers face saturation policing yet are left unprotected from rape and other violence. Signing the pledge for decriminalisation and encouraging others to do the same will help stop such injustice and discrimination.”
The pledge shows how decriminalisation would: improve safety; enhance health; make it easier for sex workers to leave prostitution if they want; ensure that police resources can be freed up to tackle crimes like rape and trafficking; make it easier for sex workers to report violence and exploitation and fight to improve working conditions.
New Zealand successfully decriminalised prostitution in 2003: there was no increase in prostitution or trafficking; sex workers are able to work together, refuse any client, report violence and leave prostitution if they choose; drug users are treated as patients not criminals. A similar law could be introduced here. A visible groundswell of support for decriminalisation would help politicians find the courage to act.
People can sign the pledge for decriminalisation here and ask others to do the same.