Where a Sex Buyer Law has been enforced in Sweden, Norway and Iceland, countries renowned for their exemplary equality laws, this strategy has proven to reduce prostitution. Meanwhile the results of decriminalisation are verging on well-publicised apocalyptic levels of abuse in New Zealand, Nevada in the US, The Netherlands and Germany. We have the answers. Let's use them.
Prostitution is the commodification of the bodies of women of girls. It is born out of the ideology that women are second-class citizens raised to service men. Decriminalisation would reinforce that, declaring that women's rights must come last. If you think that is acceptable, you cannot stand for women's rights, you cannot stand for women's liberation and you cannot stand for equality.
Supporters of Lord Morrow's Bill eliminated from their agenda the safety of the very women they claim are vulnerable. They attempted to defame those who do not back the criminalisation of the purchase of sex as supporters of sex trafficking in order to undermine their arguments. They should have properly examined the available evidence and consulted with those to whom the legislation applies: sex workers themselves.
As a full-time journalist I'm constantly exposed to the shitty, bleak side of life. As a result, I've learned not to sentimentalise and that certainly benefits me in this role. Because there is no point in breaking down in tears while a sex worker tells you she has been raped or robbed or both. It doesn't help. What I can do is empathise. Provide a hug. Organise immediate, practical assistance such as food, clothes, medical care or arrange police intervention. Violence against sex workers is a huge problem and this is exacerbated by the fact that selling sex is, after all, illegal.
APPG on Prostitution and the Global Sex Trade Report "Shifting the Burden" Increases Violence Against Women
Women in the sex trade who are injecting drug users are the worst hit by their sex purchase ban. No harm reduction (condoms, lubrication etc.) for sex workers or drug users (needle exchanges) is provided in Sweden as it is erroneously believed to encourage sex work and drug use...
Activist Spotlight: Pye Jakobsson, Co-Founder of Rose Alliance, Sweden, and President of The Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP)
Since the mid-1990s, Pye Jakobsson from Stockholm, Sweden, has been a sex workers' rights activist and from the 1980s, she
The Swedish Model Criminalising the Purchase of Sex Is Dangerous: The European Parliament Should Have Rejected It
The sex purchase ban does not work in Sweden. But even if it did work there, in a wealthy country with a small population and a small number of people in prostitution, it will not work here in the UK. There are 80,000 people in prostitution here, mostly in poverty and 70% single mothers.
A Victory for Mary Honeyball But a Defeat for Human Rights, Evidence-Based Policy and Dignified Political Debate
Yesterday the European Parliament backed measures which have been rejected as a violation of basic human rights by Amnesty, Human Rights Watch and UNAIDS. Mary Honeyball MEP's report advocating the criminalisation of the purchase of sex were widely criticised... Despite the overwhelming evidence Ms. Honeyball charged ahead on a moral crusade to eradicate sex work at whatever cost.
A carefully orchestrated campaign to criminalise the buyer of sexual services is set to be centre staged this year. Emotions, prejudice, feminism, ideology and religion are creating a vortex, and revolving at its centre is the question as to whether selling and purchasing sexual services is right or wrong. Where are the rights of sex workers in this debate, have they been consulted and has their voice been heard?
Blanket criminalisation clearly isn't working. It doesn't address the core problem, and sometimes perpetuates it; prostitutes are convicted, criminalised, have less of a route out than before, and thus return to the sex industry. A subterranean economy is created, which is demeaning at best and dangerous at worst. So, if the current system is failing then where do we go from here? This is the question I've tried to answer through my work at the EU. There are two alternatives for the UK. The first is the well-publicised Dutch model, which legalises both being a sex worker and using one.