Resources: Europe

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This Report aims to summarize the arguments for and against the criminalisation of the purchase of sexual services. It first describes the experiences of Swedish and Dutch legal regulation relating to the purchase of sexual services. In Sweden, there is a wish to abolish sex work by way of criminalising the client. In the Netherlands, sex work is allowed within certain limits (only involuntary sex work comes under criminal rules).

The Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) have released a statement strongly condemning the recent EU Parliament vote on the flawed report prepared by MEP Mary Honeyball.

The International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe (ICRSE) has spearheaded a campaign to critically review the draft report by MEP Mary Honeyball which proposes the criminalisation of clients based on factually incorrect and misleading information. 86 academics have signed this letter of critique.

NSWP statement in response to the decision by The European Parliament Women's Rights and Gender Equality Committee's to support proposals to criminalise the clients of sex workers.

Silence on Violence: Improving Safety of Women - the policing of off-street sex work and trafficking in London

This report was written in the run-up to the Olympic Games, held in London 2012 and it considers two overacrhing areas related to womens' safety within sex work: the policing of sex trafficking, and within that the policing for the Olymipics; and the general policing of sex workers. The report focusses on off-street sex work as the evidence shows that it very rarely, if at all, involves trafficked women.

This NSWP Statement responds to attempts to criminalise the purchase of sex in France. We condemn these proposals which are ideologically driven rather than evidence-based, and incorrectly view sex work through the prism of ‘violence against women’ whilst also irresponsibly conflating trafficking with sex work.

The article explores the policy underpinning Sweden’s 1999 ban on the purchase of sexual services in the context of the social and health service sectors and the way that these sectors interact with sex workers. It argues that the rationale behind the sex purchase ban is difficult to reconcile with social policy outwith the 'merits' of criminal justice.

This article looks at how legalisation came to the netherlands; what it was intended to do, and what the impact has been on sex workers. In order to answer these lines of enquiry, the article examines what discourses frame the major actors in this debate, starting with a historical overview of Dutch sex work policies throughout the 20th century. Having established the socio-political backdrop of the Netherlands' approach to legalised sex work, the resource discusses how legalisation (or regulationism) "did not solve a number of serious problems in the sex industry".

Sex Worker Forum of Vienna, Austria - supplement to the Shadow CEDAW report submitted to the 54th Session of CEDAW February / March 2013.

You can download this 36 page PDF report above.

This resource is in English.