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  • One in five students have considered doing sex work, primarily to cover the rising cost of living and study.
  • Tuition fees and interest rates on student loans have skyrocketed so that students are saddled with debts of on average £45,000.
  • Estimates show that up to 200,000 students are doing sex work.
  • Even though it’s legal to be a sex worker in the UK, it’s illegal to work together. This means sex workers are forced to choose between keeping themselves safe but face possible arrest and/ or putting themselves in danger but avoiding a criminal record.
  • Student sex workers risk being kicked off their course, evicted from accommodation and outed to fellow students and staff without their consent. Migrant and trans women as well as women of colour and mothers are particularly targeted.
  • The full decriminalisation of sex work has been proven to increase sex workers’ employment, legal, health and safety rights.
  • In contrast, the criminalisation of sex work including the criminalisation of clients (most commonly known as “The Nordic Model”) has been proven to undermine safety.



  • Check whether your university has a policy on sex work which supports decriminalisation.
  • Check the requirements for your course and accommodation: are there any behavioural or “fit for practice” policies?
  • Educate and inform students and staff about the injustice of the prostitution laws and the need for decriminalisation using ECP’s #MakeAllWomenSafe campaign and by inviting sex worker organisations to speak.

If you’re a student sex worker:

  • When seeking support from university staff, make it absolutely clear whether or not you want your status as a sex worker to be disclosed to anyone else.
  • Know your rights! See 



Student sex workers demand:

  • A university and student union policy supporting the decriminalisation of sex work as the best way to ensure sex worker and student health and safety.
  • Tailored support and resources for student sex workers.
  • An end to involuntary disclosures of students’ sex working status by staff when they are approached for advice or support.
  • The abolition of discriminatory “fit for practice” and “morality” policies and clauses in courses & accommodation, which may deem sex-working students as “unfit” for certain jobs or courses.
  • Restoration of maintenance grants for students with low incomes so that they have the choice of higher education without doing sex work.
  • Hardship funds and grants made available and accessible to sex workers and others engaged in informal sector survival work.



The ECP is a grassroots network of sex workers, mostly women, working both on the streets and indoors campaigning for decriminalisation and safety. We fight against being treated like criminals. We’ve helped sex workers win against charges of soliciting, brothel-keeping & controlling – the last two most often used against women who are working together for safety. Most sex workers are mothers doing their best for their children. We campaign against austerity cuts and for housing and other survival resources so that any of us can leave prostitution if and when we want.  


English Collective of Prostitutes

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

Tel: 020 7482 2496


Twitter: @ProstitutesColl

Facebook: @ProsColl

Instagram: @ecp_org

DOWNLOAD: Student Resource