Whether to outlaw or decriminalise prostitution remains one of feminism’s most enduring, and divisive, questions. Now, as the UK once again considers calls to adopt the Nordic model, Lauren Crosby Medlicott takes a look at both sides of the debate…As a feminist, what do I think about sex work?The answer to that question troubles many […]
Criminalisation of clients
Criminalisation, of sex workers or clients, undermines safety.
The law criminalising clients, first implemented in Sweden in 1999 and known as the “Nordic Model” is touted as feminist because it criminalises men (i.e. the clients) rather than women (i.e. the victims). But its effect on women has been disastrous. Sex workers face increased stigma, are more at risk of violence, and are less able to call on the protection of the police and the authoritie as this can lead to police harassment, the loss of custody over children, or deportation.
For more information please see our briefing No Nordic Model
Three years after the creation of the UK’s first boroughwide no-prostitution zone, Redbridge Council wants residents’ support to keep cracking down.However, while sex workers have “disappeared” from the once-notorious Ilford Lane, outreach groups fear they are just being displaced to more dangerous areas or into pop-up brothels.In 2018, a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) allowing […]
It is not presently illegal for individuals to buy or sell sex The government must not implement proposals to criminalise sex work through the controversial policing bill, campaign groups have warned. Dame Diana Johnson, Labour MP for Kingston upon Hull, has called for amendments to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill which would criminalise buying sex and the […]
A controversial new proposal could make paying for sex a criminal offence and protect women from violence, but workers, activists and charities argue it will have the opposite effect, writes Rachel HaganPaying for sex could become a criminal offence in England and Wales if parliament approves a new bill which has been put forward by Dame […]
A response to Nordic Model Now – Dame Diana Johnson’s Sexual Exploitation Bill: The DebateThe COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated in real-time the dangerous effects that reducing demand for sex work has on sex workers. Exclusion from government support means many sex workers face a near-impossible choice between continuing to work or attempting to survive on Universal […]
Diana Johnson’s Sexual Exploitation Bill comes back to parliament on 5 February. Its main provisions aim to “criminalise paying for sex” and target online sites where sex workers advertise. Criminalisation of clients undermines sex workers safety. The Bill includes provisions to decriminalise sex workers and provide services. We comment below on why these two measures, […]
Image: English Collective of ProstitutesAusterity cuts, the introduction of the harsh Universal Credit scheme and the Hostile Environment has driven more people to sex work to meet their basic needs. Despite this, sex work remains a criminalised profession that is not recognised as legitimate work. The pandemic further exposes the injustice caused to sex workers […]
Left Foot Forward: This proposed new law on sex work risks making the ‘hostile environment’ even worse
The hostile environment and exploitative capitalism fuels state violence against migrant sex workers, writes Rachel Trafford.“Police don’t ask us about trafficking – it is only about arrests.” Maria, a sex worker in the UK originally from Eastern Europe, knows the damage the current attitude of the state does for women working in the sex industry […]
By Rachel Trafford, Immigration Advice Service content writer Today is International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. Credit: SWARM Paying for sex could become a criminal offence in England and Wales if Parliament approves a new Bill which claims to protect women from sexual exploitation. But criminalisation will only further harm people who are already marginalised, argues Rachel […]
Dear Friends,On Wednesday 9 December, Dame Diana Johnson MP, introduced a Ten-Minute Rule motion to Parliament which aims to criminalise the purchase of sex. The legislation, known as the Nordic model, which is coming back to Parliament for its second reading on the 29 January, also seeks to criminalise online sites which sex workers use to advertise their work.Johnson is trying to […]