Why don’t you support decriminalisation of the sex industry?

Why don’t you support decriminalisation of the sex industry?


The sex trade is a form of systemic violence against vulnerable women and girls fuelled by male demand. Legitimising the sex industry through legalisation or decriminalisation communicates that men have a right to paid sexual access to women’s bodies, and that it is acceptable to make an underclass of women available for men’s sexual use.

Decriminalising pimping, brothel keeping and sex buying is a gift to those who profit from the sexual exploitation of women. It leads to an increase in sex trafficking (as more women have to be imported to meet the growing demand) and poorer conditions for the women in the industry, while emboldening buyers.

We work closely with sex trade survivors and seek to amplify their voices. These women reject the term “sex work” and describe prostitution as paid rape. We stand with survivors in calling for the Nordic/Equality model, which has been endorsed by the European Parliament as best practice for tackling trafficking and gender inequality. The Nordic model decriminalises those providing sexual services and supports them to exit the trade, while the buyers, pimps and exploiters are criminalised. “Without men’s demand for and use of women and girls for sexual exploitation, the global prostitution industry would not be able to flourish and expand.” - Gunilla Ekberg

See also: 

Collective Shout Submission, Review into Decriminalisation of Sex Work  

Prostitution Narratives: Stories of Survival in the Sex Trade’, ed Caroline Norma & Melinda Tankard Reist, Spinifex Press, 2016.

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