Motion to GMB Congress 2006
MOTION FOR SUBMISSION TO GMB CONGRESS 2006
DECRIMINALISATION OF PROSTITUTION
We call on Congress to oppose a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to prostitution and the criminalisation of sex workers’ clients. To improve the situation for all those in the industry and the communities in which they operate, we urge Congress to lobby government for the full and complete decriminalisation of prostitution.
The Home Office’s recently announced strategy on prostitution consists mainly of a ‘zero tolerance’ approach towards street prostitution and kerb crawling; it is based on the government’s incorrect perception of prostitution as exploitation and anti-social behaviour. Prostitution is work.
There is a vast body of research that shows that the kind of approach the Home Office is proposing is counterproductive, and actually increases levels of violence and harm. Further criminalisation of commercial sex (either selling or buying), drives the industry further underground and puts workers at risk. These approaches have not been successful in either preventing or abolishing prostitution – they merely move street-based sex work from one place to another. Forced to use more isolated areas, workers are at greater risk of violence and abuse. If clients are criminalised, workers have less opportunity to negotiate safe sex and ensure their own physical safety.
We oppose the notion that women are victimised by their experience of sex work. Policy concerned with coerced sex work should address the offences related to coercion and those who have been coerced – irrespective of gender.
LONDON ENTERTAINMENT & I.U.S.W. BRANCH