Full Decriminalisation of Sex Work in the UK

Full Decriminalisation of Sex Work in the UK

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Carmen Ali started this petition to UK Government and

The current UK stance on sex work means that it is technically legal to be a full service sex worker in the UK, as long as you work alone, and do not solicit on the street. Working in a hotel or residence with another worker translates as brothel keeping, which is not currently permitted under UK law. This law does not make sense, as it reduces the safety of working in numbers and also exposes the ridiculousness of the law: it means that pornography production companies can legally operate, as all parties are being paid, yet if one person wants to pay two people for sex, then it suddenly becomes illegal. 

Some MPS and lobbying parties aim to go even further with restricting rights for sex workers by advocating for the Nordic Model. The Nordic Model criminalises the customer, but not the worker, but this model has been proven countless times to decrease safety for sex workers rather than increase it. Sex workers themselves are against the Nordic Model, but are rarely consulted when it comes to making these laws which affect their lives so much. 

When buying sex is criminalised, it implies there is something inherently wrong with engaging in sex work, and therefore increases stigma for the sex worker. Customers being criminalised for buying sex means they may be scared to report a crime they witness against a sex worker, or help with finding necessary medical attention for a sex worker they are with, for fear of being arrested.

Customers being criminalised means that the amount of customers that will visit sex workers decrease, and sex workers will not be able to earn as much money to support themselves and their families. If they decide to look for non sex work employment alongside sex work, or instead of sex work, the increased stigma of the Nordic Model will mean it is even harder to do this. 

Many MPs are unwilling to openly support the full decriminalisation of sex work, due to the stigma of sex work, despite the fact that many politicians are also consumers of sex work. 

A civilised society means treating sex workers with the equal rights and respect that all other forms of employment receive. It does not mean restricting sex worker rights due to the discomfort around sex. 

I hope that you will consider the voices of sex workers - a marginalised community who are so often not listened to. 

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