Who do you work with?:
We are a network of sex workers located throughout the UK. We work with anti-rape campaigners and organisations which oppose immigration and welfare laws that impoverish women to the point of destitution.
How are sex workers involved in your organisation?:
We are an organisation of women who work or have worked in different areas of the sex industry – both on the streets and indoors.
Which of NSWP priority areas does your organisation work on?:
Oppose the criminalisation and other legal oppression of sex work and support its recognition as work
Critique the trafficking paradigm that conflates representations of sex work, migration, and mobility
Advocate for universal access to health services, including primary health care, HIV and sexual and reproductive health services
Speak out about violence against sex workers, including violence from police, institutions, clients, and intimate partners, while challenging the myth that sex work is inherently gender-based violence
Oppose human rights abuses, including coercive programming, mandatory testing, raids and forced rehabilitation
Challenge stigma and discrimination against sex workers, their families and partners, and others involved in sex work
Advocate for the economic empowerment and social inclusion of sex workers as sex workers
What are the two main challenges that the sex workers you work with face:
1. Criminalisation which increases sex workers’ vulnerability to exploitation and violence, exposes us to stigma and discrimination and prevents us leaving prostitution if we want to. 2. High levels of rape and other violence. Sex workers are systematically denied protection by the police and courts. Violent men target sex workers knowing that most of us fear being exposed because of the risk of prosecution and (for those of us who are immigrants) deportation.
Describe other areas of your work:
Since 1975, we have been campaigning for the decriminalisation of prostitution, for sex workers’ rights and safety and for resources to enable women to leave prostitution if we want to. We oppose trafficking laws which target immigrant sex workers for arrest and deportation. We coordinate the Safety First Coalition and recently published a Know Your Rights sheet.