Why does sex work need to be decriminalised, not just legalised?

Oct 28, 2022

The criminalisation of sex work, sex workers and/or their clients needlessly harms vulnerable people. Advocating against evidence based policy, abolitionists have falsely touted the legalisation of sex work as the best way to achieve harm minimisation. However, creating a narrow path of ‘legal’ sex work necessitates the creation of illegal sex work which presents the same issues that we have now. The so-called ‘Nordic’ model (aka the “Entrapment model”, “Swedish Model” or “Equality Model”) that some nations in Europe have adopted, does not criminalise providers but instead targets clients. This model has been proposed in some areas of the United States and Europe in an attempt to create safer working conditions for providers. However, it has been shown to exacerbate dangerous issues for workers, as clients are forced to break the law and workers could be targeted for encouraging criminal behaviour. Clients, having already broken the law to engage a provider, are more likely to commit further crimes or take advantage of vulnerable workers.

Extensive research has proven that decriminalisation is the most effective way of not only reducing violence against sex workers but also victims of exploitation as legislation and policing efforts can be channelled more effectively. Advocates backing the decriminalisation of sex work include Amnesty InternationalACLUHuman Rights WatchFreedom Network USA [PDF]Human Rights CampaignUNAIDS [PDF]The World Bank [PDF] and the World Health Organisation. We encourage you to learn from the linked resources, call out misinformation and hold politicians to account when they choose to uphold harmful legislation.

Source - tryst.link

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