Publications

Legitimising Prostitution (ie Pimps & Punters)

The sex trade lobby states prostitution ‘is just work’, stigma is the real issue for those selling sex and any other harm can be minimised through regulation. It calls not just for those selling sex to be decriminalised but for pimps and punters too. This legitimisation takes the form of ‘full decriminalisation’ or ‘legalisation’. See if you can spot the difference in this report! Either way, these are the (predicitable) consequences:

Globally

Evidence across the globe shows that legitimising the sex trade makes it more harmful, not less, with increases in abuse, trafficking, child rape prostitution & more:

Legalising prostitution increases trafficking
Study across 150 countries

Legitimising prostitution increases trafficking
EU report

Why legalising increases abuse
Economic theory and the sex trade

Sex Trafficking harder to prevent when prostitution legitimised

Myths of Prostitution (interviews with survivors)

 

Country-by-Country

Australia
Some states have ‘legalised’, some ‘decriminalised’ prostitution

Overview: How legitimising the sex trade has failed

Book: ‘Making Sex Work’ in Australia

Simone Watson (survivor/campaigner) explains the harms of the Australian system

 

Germany

Prostitution Legalised (pimps/punters decriminalised, state makes money from it).
Previously Decriminalised (pimps/punters decriminalised, state made no money from it) :

Deaths with 1/2 million in state brothels

Yearly murders/Attempted murders

Review of Murders of Women in Prostitution

The truth about Germany’s Mega Brothel

Germany – a key destination for traffickers

Germany – Exploitation and Trafficking

German sex trade – an overview

90% of the prostituted are migrant women

 

Holland
Prostitution legalised

Brothels ‘A failed social experiment’: Mayor of Amsterdam

Holland to criminalise men who buy trafficked women

Trafficking in Holland

Holland moves to end sex trade entirely

 

Ipswich pre 2006
Penalise the prostituted/legitimise the industry
Both approaches tried. 5 women murdered by serial killer

 

Leeds
Prostitution allowed in a ‘managed zone’, in Holbeck

Holbeck: A case study of hell

Rapes, murders, assaults

The reality of the zone

Women selling sex criminalised, not punters 

Leeds shuts the ‘Managed Zone’ after 6 years of failure  [2021]

 

Nevada
Prostitution Legalised

A hub for sex trafficking & murder

 

New Zealand
Prostitution ‘fully decriminalised’ (ie pimps & punters decriminalised, not just those who sell sex, with little state control)

Overview

A destination for trafficking & child rape prostitution

A hub for human trafficking

Indigenous women and children the target for traffickers

How Law has increased harm for the prostituted

Analysis of Child sex trafficking in New Zealand

Survivor speaks out against decriminalising pimps

Prime Minister ‘Law hasn’t worked’ [2012]

 

Switzerland
Prostitution (including pimps and punters) legalised 80 years ago, this includes ‘drive thru’ brothels

The Brutal Reality of 80 years of legalisation

A hub for sex trafficking

 

UK
Although pimping, brothel keeping and kerb crawling are illegal, this is essentially ignored with brothels, saunas, massage parlous and escort agencies operating openly UK-wide. Lap dancing (an entry point to prostitution) is fully legitimised as is ‘sugaring’, webcamming and other branches of the industry

UK – a ‘trafficking hub’ for Romanian women

Most women in lap dancing  then sell sex (Home Office, 2019 p27)

[/su_spoiler] [/su_accordion]

 

The Wider Impact

Prostitution isn’t just about those in prostitution – it affects us all.

Sex buyers more likely to rape women (prostituted or otherwise)

Sex buyers have increased criminal/violence tendencies against women

Acceptance of prostitution correlates to assessment of sexual harassment 

 

 

The Nordic Model: Exit & Prevent

[Video: Alan Caton, OBE, explains the success of the Nordic Model in Ipswich]

Many human rights groups see prostitution as inherently and overwhelmingly harmful. So they advocate for ending the demand for prostitution (surprisingly easily achieved), criminalising pimps and supporting women out – the ‘Nordic Model’.

Abolitionists call for all prostituted people to be supported out, pimps criminalised and punters deterred.  Where properly implemented, this is hugely successful:

The ‘Nordic’ Model
Criminalise pimps/punters support prostituted out

Comparison of different systems

Decriminalising pimps vs criminalising pimps
70 prostituted women murdered in Germany; zero in Sweden

European Commission
Report on tackling trafficking

 

Country-by-Country
Research indicates that, when properly implemented, the Nordic Model is a resounding success:

Canada
Introduces Nordic Model in 2014 after serial killer targeted native women in the sex trade
Ineffective as Law not properly implemented

Ipswich
Introduces Nordic Model in 2006 following serial murders of women in sex trade
Street Prostitution eradicated

France
Introduces Nordic Model in 2016
Nearly 400 exit programmes out of prostitution 
Review shows Law effective when implemented properly

Israel
Introduces Nordic Model in 2020. Prior to that reported pimps keep most of the earnings

Ireland
Introduces Nordic Model in 2017
Early evidence shows shift to criminalise buyers not sellers (p 12-13)

Sweden
Introduces Nordic Model in 1999
Large decrease in trafficking, child rape prostitution, violence

The Sex Trade & Covid

Clearly selling sex puts you at high risk of Covid (and multiple other risks). Where the sex trade has been legitimised, it is  those  till desperately selling sex who are criminalised for ‘rule breaking’.  Meanwhile, ‘Sex Worker Unions’  lead the call for the industry to re-open, even during the midst of the pandemic, instead of demanding women are helped out of a totally unviable industry.

‘use bleach and disinfectant’

Canada: Covid outbreak at strip club

Germany: Mega brothel shuts

Germany: Those who sell sex criminalised during lock down

Leeds: Those who sell sex criminalised, not pimps or punters

Switzerland: Sex industry re-opened before contact sport

Ireland: Exploitation as usual

Comprehensive review: The sex trade during Covid

Sex Buyers during Covid

 

 

Prostitution Inevitable?

The ‘oldest oppression’ is often described as inevitable and unstoppable, so the best we can do is ‘manage’ it. But the reason for its very existence – men’s demand – can actually easily be eradicated, essentially over night.

Chicago: 90% men deterred by being publicly exposed

France: 80% buyers ‘would never do it again’ after hearing testimony of survivors

Ipswich 2006: policing, zero tolerance, CCTV eradicates kerb crawling within 1 year

Scotland: Up to 90% sex buyers deterred merely by fines/points off driving license

UK: How to bust the business model of trafficking 

 

 

The Human Cost of the Sex Trade

Abuse prior to entry
50% were homeless

70% spent time in care

70% abused as children

45% sexually abused as children

 

 

Abuse in the sex trade

20-40% globally of those selling sex started as adolescents

up to 50% of women in prostitution started when under 18

95% of women in street prostitution are Class A drug users

70% have PTSD on a par with a torture victim

Women in prostitution with children likely to be separated from them 

Mortality rate up to 12 times higher than average

Women in prostitution up to 18 times more likely to be murdered

‘Women in prostitution 10 times more likely to be murdered than a soldier’

90% of women want to escape prostitution across the globe

The Financial Cost of the Sex Trade

The financial costs of prostitution are astronomical to those in it as well as the state (from the increased cost of social care to the huge criminal costs that go hand-in-hand with the industry)

 

Cost to Women in the Industry: Long term negative impact on earnings over a lifetime (p20)

France – Prostitution costs the state €1.3 billion/year 

UK – Prostitution costs the State £2 billion/year (p20)

Leeds – Prostitution ‘zone’ costs £200,000/year (p24)

Leeds – Campaigners estimate the zones costs more than £400,000/year

 

The Cost of Ending Prostitution

Ending the sex trade – getting women out and eliminating demand, is hugely cost effective. It is infinitely cheaper than enabling prostitution. The above infographic still probably doesn’t cover the full cost of prostitution (the organised crime, county lines, drugs, corruption of democracy etc).

Ipswich -Eradicating Street Prostitution: £7,000 per woman per year

France €2.35 million seized within 4 years from pimps, reallocated to victims

UK – APPG Prostitution 2:1 Return on Investment in exit support & ending demand

 

 

The Buyers

Image via Elly Arrow

Apparently it’s not pimps or punters that kill, drive women to suicide or lead to dissociation & PTSD. No, it’s stigma. Apparently decriminalising pimps and punters ends stigma. But sex buyers in countries that have done this have appalling attitudes towards the women they buy. Legitimising the sex trade does just that – legitimises the sex trade, ie the pimps, the punters, the traffickers & their attitudes, not the women who are bought and sold

Germany’s Punters

Victoria, Australia

Sex Buyers during Covid

 

Sex Trade Advocates

‘Sex worker’ ‘unions’, human rights groups, academics, funders, even ‘sex work’ outreach groups, anti-trafficking NGOs and ‘Marxists’ are falling over themselves to support the sex trade:

‘Sex Worker’ ‘Unions’ – full of Pimps

Intenational ‘Sex Worker’ Union (NSWP): Led by Pimp and convicted Sex Trafficker

NSWP Mexico: Chairwoman jailed for sex trafficking

‘Sex Worker’ Unions: Full of pimps, not the prostituted

Australia: ‘Erotic Services Provider Union’: Led by a convicted pimp

France: ‘Sex Workers’ group (STRASS): ‘a handful of members’

Germany: Sex Worker Union (BesD): Represents 0.01% of those who sell sex

Holland: ‘Sex Worker’ Group (Red Thread):  Led by academics who minimise harm

Spain: ‘Sex Worker’ Group (Ambit Dona): None of it members had been in prostitution

UK International Union of Sex Workers (IUSW): Run by a pimp

 

‘Sex Workers’ in other Unions?

Not only are those selling sex not represented by ‘sex worker unions’, they do not join mainstream unions either. That is because joining a union makes it even harder to do the one think they really want – get out

Germany: Trade Union: Membership opened to prostituted – a handful joined

Germany: 1 million in prostitution, 1% registered with Trade Unions

Spain: Existing Trade Union: Membership opened to prostituted – not one joined

Survivor, Hushke Mau: ‘Join a Union & it is impossible to get out of this ‘job”

 

‘Sex Worker’ ‘Unions’ – Advocate for Pimps

International [NSWP]: Claims their sex trafficker leader is ‘human rights defender’

Sex Worker’ Unions: Murders ignored in places where pimps decriminalised

Sex Worker’ Unions: Uses domestic violence murder to claim ‘stigma kills’

‘Sex Worker’ groups: No support for wiping criminal records for the prostituted

German: Sex Worker support group (SUBWAY): ‘Goal is not to get people out of prostitution’

India: ‘Sex Worker’ NGO (SANGRAM): Cut off from US funding for enabling pimps

New Zealand: (NZPC): Lies & misinformation given to those who sell sex

Survivor speaks out against ‘Sex Worker Unions’

 

Other Unions
The ‘Sex Worker Unions’ (run by and for pimps) have been busy advocating other unions to support them (ie pimps) and to themselves then lobby for pimps to be decriminalised. Clever, eh?

UK: Junior Doctors: Policy is to lobby BMA to support decriminalising pimps

UK: Nurses Union: Now advocates for decriminalising pimps

UK: GMB, ASLEF, TUC Union: Tactics used by the pimp lobby to ‘woo’ Trade Unions

 

 

‘Human Rights’ Advocates

The 2021 list of NGOs and individuals taken in by the pimp lobby

UN Aids/UN Women: Adopts policies of known pimp and (since jailed) sex trafficker

UN: Calls for decriminalising pimps & punters

WHO: ‘decriminalise pimps & punters to reduce spread of HIV’

#MeToo and #TimesUp: ‘Survivor’s Agenda’ views pimps as business men

Amnesty International: Policies dictated by UK’s largest pimp

Global Fund for Women: pro prostitution*

CARE International: appears to endorse prostitution*

Human Rights Watch: wants to decriminalise pimps*

Open Society Initiative: Staunchly pro-decriminalising pimps*

*from Julie Bindel’s ‘The Pimping of Prostitution’ Chap 7

 

Political Institutions

EU: European Commission – States can add prostitution ‘revenue’ to GDP

Holland: Government founded & funds ‘Red Thread’, a pro pimp NGO

UK: Governments and others: In Denial

UK: Government: Chair of enquiry into prostitution is a sex buyer

UK: Move to introduce Nordic Model defeated after intense lobby by pimp lobby

UK: Lib Dems Party Policy Pro-pimp/porn/sex trafficking &  Anti-age verification

UK: Scottish Lib Dems: Vote (in 2019) by 2:1 to continue pimp decriminalisation policy

UK: Green Party Policy: Pro porn/prostitution

UK: Caroline Lucas Green Party Leader: Until 2016, against decriminalising pimps

USA: Green Party: Pimps/punters criminalised & prostituted supported out

Germany: Green party: Wants prostitution available ‘on prescription’

 

 

Political Systems – from the Left to the Liberals

The founding philosophies of the Left (Marx) and Liberals (John Stuart Mill) are fundamentally opposed to prostitution, yet today’s Left (socialists, anti capitalists, anarchists, Marxists) and Liberals avidly support ‘the oldest oppression’

Trafficking rises exponential after collapse in Socialism

Survivors’ open letter to the Left’s love of ‘sex work’

Anti-capitalist but not when it comes to pimps

Prostitution – where anarchists went wrong

Prostitution replacing Welfare?

Pimp lobby – same tactics as Slave Trade

 

Bank Rollers

George Soros: ‘Bankrolling’ the pimp lobby *

Bill & Melinda Gates:eg $1 million to Indian ‘sex worker union’ *

New Zealand State: Funds pro pimp ‘Prostitute Collective’

56 NGOS have funded £8million to pro prostitution projects. Top funders*:

-Ford Foundation: giving, on average, grants of £100,000

-American Jewish World Service: providing £1/2million per year

-Mama Cash

-Open Society Initiative

*from Julie Bindel’s ‘The Pimping of Prostitution’ Chap 7

 

Child ‘Sex Workers’

The sex trade lobby has done such a good job that not only does it define children who are raped by men for money as ‘sex workers’, but so do those it has lobbied.

‘Sex Worker’ Unions: Advocate for child ‘sex work’

Unicef:  Uses term ‘child sex worker’

UN Advisor: Advocates for teen prostitution

Europe: ‘Sex Worker’ network (TAMPEP): States pimped teenagers are ‘sex workers’

German: Sex Worker support group (SUBWAY):  States underage boys are ‘sex workers’ who ‘turn tricks’

New Zealand Prostitute Collective (NZPC): Prostituted children are ‘workers’ ‘selling a service’

New Zealand Govt: Children are ‘sex workers’, minimal penalties for their buyers

New Zealand Govt: Thinks glamourisation of prostitution does not encourage girls to enter

UK: Lib Dems: Policy until 2017 was to allow 16 years olds to make porn, still opposes any porn age restrictions

 

Pornogander

The sex trade lobby misrepresents the industry, stifle those who oppose it, including survivors, whilst promoting the industry’s agenda. The mass media (and social media) then acts as little more than its mouth piece. Survivors invariably testify that media normalising and glamorisation of the sex trade plays a significant role in the ‘choice’ to enter it:

Media pornogander

Lies & manipulation

Survivors on Media Glamourisation

Leeds’ Review of its Prostitution ‘Managed Zone’
More Lies & Manipulation

New York Times: Lies and misinformation

Germany TV & celebs promote ‘peado’ prostitution

Germany – numerous TV shows promote brothels

UK – TV shows promote brothels (‘A Very British Brothel’)

UK- TV promotional shows (‘A Very Yorkshire Brothel’)

 

What Sex as Work means

 

Germany: Woman sued for not giving punter orgasm

Germany: Green party wants prostitution available ‘on prescription’

Australia/Denmark: Men can access prostitution on the public health system

Towns cannot say no to a brothel in countries that legitimise prostitution

The Myth of Unionisation

Porn/Sex Trade pornogander in schools

Lib Dem suggests ‘sex work’ at school career days

Leicester University ‘promotes’ prostitution to its students

Sex Ads Everywhere 

 

Forms of Prostitution

There might be many different forms of ‘selling sex’ but the entire industry plays by the same rule book & the harm done to those who sell and to the rest of society is the same

 

Indoor Prostitution

No safer than street prostitution

Harm of indoor prostitution

 

Webcamming

The Reality – by a survivor

The Truth about ‘Only Fans’

Webcam death by asphyxiation

Myths & Harms of online Sex ‘Work’

Online Fans – an experiment in online grooming

 

‘High Class’ Escorts

It’s often stated that ‘high class’ escorts can make a fortune with little risk. Really? (don’t forget, the men who buy them will be particularly entitled ‘Harvey Weinsteins’)

By a survivor

 

‘Sugaring’

Home Office Report: Sex is almost always part of the exchange P10 

 

‘Rooms for Sex’

UK – men take full advantage of the pandemic

Canada

More

The Racism of Prostitution 

Atlanta Spas murders highlight the racism of prostitution

Male charity workers have long used prostitution

Google bans ads for all forms of prostitution

 

More Resources

CATW International

CEASE UK

Demand Change

Demand Abolition

ICOSE

Nordic Model Now

NCOSE

World without Exploitation 

‘The Pimping of Prostitution’ Julie Bindel

‘Making Sex Work: A Failed Experiment’ Mary Lucille Sullivan

 

Consultation Responses

Pornography

 

Holding Pornographers to Account 

Thailand bans porn as a violation of women’s rights

Nepal bans porn after 300% increase in rape

Pornhub investigated by Canadian Parliament

Credit Card companies ban payments to Pornhub

Pornhub forced to remove millions of abuse porn videos

Pornhub sued for £10millions by child rape victims

Twitter sued over child rape porn

Google reclassifying ads for pornography

 

What Survivors Say

Porn ‘star’ warns against the industry

10 ex porn ‘stars’ speak out

The horrific truth about porn

Pornographers

GirlsDoPorn – $12 million settlement for coercion

GirlsDoPorn – 100 more women claim abuse

Intimidation by porn producers

Porn ‘star’ faces multiple charges

 

‘Feminist’ Porn?

James Deen ‘feminist’ porn ‘star’- a rapist

James Deen, still a rapist

Feminist pornographer supports rape porn

 

Porn for Kids

10% 12-13 year olds addicted to porn [NSPCC]

 

Consultation Responses

Porn & Harassment in Public Spaces:  published by  Women & Equalities Committee [2018]

Porn and Sexual Violence APPG Sexual Violence [2018]   WARNING:UPSETTING CONTENTS

Stop Kids Accessing Online Porn:  Home Office Consultation [2016]

Body Image: Women & Equalities Committee – porn/sex trade must be considered [2020]

 

 

 

 

Pathways through Prostitution

 

Ireland

 

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