|CRIMINALISING CLIENTS UNDERMINES SEX WORKERS’ SAFETY & OTHER RIGHTS|
The English Collective of Prostitutes strongly oppose proposals being put forward today by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Prostitution to criminalise sex workers’ clients.Spokeswoman, Cari Mitchell, commented:
“Criminalising clients will not stop prostitution, nor will it stop the criminalisation of women. But it will make it more dangerous and stigmatising for sex workers.
We are appalled that at a time when unemployment benefit cuts and sanctions, lowering wages, increased homelessness, and debt are forcing more women, particularly mothers, into prostitution, the best that MPs can come up with is to increase criminalisation. These proposals will further divert police time and resources from investigating rape, trafficking and other violent crimes to policing consenting sex.”
The ECP will be attending the launch of the report today to object and demand that Parliament instead seriously consider the example of New Zealand where decriminalisation was introduced in 2003 with verifiable success.
The English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP) is a network of women who work or have worked in different areas of the sex industry campaigning for decriminalisation and safety. The ECP provides daily support to sex workers on a range of issues including fighting legal cases which challenge discrimination and establish prostitute women’s right to protection against violence.
[ii] “It is… difficult to discern any clear trend of development: has the extent of prostitution increased or decreased? The National Board of Health and Welfare 2008: 63
[iii] Claims that 80% of sex workers were trafficked were shown to be false http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2009/oct/20/trafficking-numbers-women-exaggerated
[iv] [iv] http://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/man-hunt-on-after-woman-24-is-stabbed-to-death-in-east-london-street-8921788.html