The Independent newspaper, today published results of a survey by the campaign group for sex workers which seeks to end violence against sex workers. The survey by National Ugly Mug (NUM) revealed approximately 96% of those surveyed said people should not be criminalised for buying sex from a consulting adult. A further 82% declared hey would feel less safe if such legislation was introduced.
Their concern is that criminalising the purchaser of sex will make clients more apprehensive therefore making the sex worker more vulnerable.
However, the Independent’s own editorial pointed out that prostitution is a dangerous business. As regular readers to my blog will be only to aware I have campaigned for some time about the need to reform legislation with regard to the treatment of sex workers.
Almost nobody begins a career as a sex worker through choice. As such these women remain vulnerable and legislators should seek the best way to protect them. I favour the Nordic model of prostitution which criminalises the purchaser rather than the seller of sex.
Increasingly we are realising that many sex workers in this country have been forced into carrying out the role and are in fact victims of trafficking so we have a duty to protect these women too.
Recently I wrote about a pilot project in an area of Leeds which had designated a zone for sex workers to work without fear of prosecution. The results of this laissez faire attitude were alarming, despite the murder of a sex worker within the zone it was deemed a success. Incredibly other police forces have signalled that they are considering replicating the model.
Sex workers need to be supported, criminalising them does not work and the burden of responsibly should be placed on those men who seek to use sex workers.
You can read the Independent’s editorial here.