Sex workers safety and rights

‘Sex workers safety and rights: Stop the criminalisation of sex workers’

Wednesday 26th March 6.30pm – 8.30pm in Committee Room 12, House of Commons

Tickets are available here

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International speakers:

Carina Edlund, Rose Alliance, Sweden

Ariane G, sex worker, Germany

Jenny O, Sex Workers Alliance of Ireland

Morgane Merteuil, STRASS, France

Molly Smith, Scotpep, Scotland

Luca Stevenson, International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe

 

REPORTS FROM: New Zealand which decriminalised sex work 11 years ago. Canada’s Supreme Court which ruled that criminalisation is in breach of sex workers’ human rights.

Plus:

Lori Bora, Soho Working Girls

Jean Johnson, Hampshire Women’s Institute

Clayton Littlewood, author

Lisa Longstaff, Women Against Rape

Nandi Lothar, All African Women’s Group

Toni Mac, Sex Worker Open University

Vera Rodriguez, dancer, x:talk

Didi Rossi, Queer Strike

Robert Jappie, Release

Paula Yanev, English Collective of Prostitutes

 

An All-Party Parliamentary Group has just recommended changing the prostitution laws to criminalise clients.  They are doing this without even releasing any analysis of the evidence they collected.

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.  ASBOs would continue to be used against sex workers who didn’t “rehabilitate”; they have already massively increased women’s imprisonment.

Sex workers from Sweden – who know first-hand the disastrous impact of such a law – and from a number of other European countries as well as England, Ireland and Scotland, will be speaking against this proposal.

There is widespread anger that MPs are promoting increased criminalisation when unemployment, benefit cuts and sanctions, zero hours contracts and other low paid jobs, and homelessness are driving more women, particularly mothers, into prostitution.

The existing prostitution laws force sex workers to work in isolation and danger.  Of the two women murdered in London in the last few months, one was working on the street and one was working indoors alone. Senior police officers recently acknowledged that operations to tackle the trade are ‘counterproductive’ and likely to put the lives of women at risk”.  Despite this mass raids against sex workers in Soho, London, have thrown scores of women out of the relative safety of their flats.  Arrests continue against sex workers on the street.

The proposals will further divert police time and resources from investigating rape, domestic violence, trafficking and other violent crimes reported to them, to policing consenting sex.  It will boost police crime figures, while doing nothing to protect victims of crime.  While the police have been found institutionally racist and corrupt, little is done about the individual officers who abuse their powers and sex workers vulnerability to steal during raids, demand free services, abuse immigrant women … To increase police powers will further encourage corruption and illegality.

 Organised alongside the English Collective of Prostitutes 

english collective of prostitues

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 Event supported by: Legal Action for Women, Women Against Rape