Decriminalise sex work – model motion for Labour Parties

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Please put this motion to your CLP/branch Labour Party. For a briefing from the Labour for Decriminalisation campaign explaining the issues, see here.


Decriminalise sex work

This Labour Party branch/CLP notes

1. Sex work takes place via phone, webcam, stripping, pole-dancing, modelling and porn and from escort agencies, flats, streets, parks, saunas, massage parlours, peep shows, BDSM venues, private parties and home.
2. Selling sex itself is not illegal, but many laws criminalise associated activities that leave sex workers vulnerable and deprived of basic rights.
3. When sex workers receive criminal records for offences relating to their work, it makes it even harder for them to find other employment, keeping them in the industry.
4. Sex workers are increasingly organising alongside other workers within the trade union movement.
5. A number of international human rights organisations support the full decriminalisation of sex work including Amnesty International, Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women; Human Rights Watch; UNAIDS; the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health; Transgender Europe; ILGA-Europe and the World Health Organisation.

This Labour Party branch/CLP believes

1. Sex work is work. While it is gendered, stigmatised and often precarious work, it is work that pays the rent, bills, and puts food on the table for thousands of families across the UK.
2. Criminalisation makes sex work dangerous. Current laws means that sex workers are unable to legally work together to increase safety, and are discouraged from reporting crimes committed against them for fear of being arrested themselves.
3. People have the right to work in the sex industry without threat of criminal sanctions or police harassment.
4. Instead of attempting to eradicate the sex industry through further empowering the police and immigration enforcement, we need other workers to support sex workers in their demands for safety, labour rights and dignity at work.
5. Decriminalisation means sex workers can report suspected cases of trafficking to police without self incrimination. Anti-trafficking and anti-slavery law must not obliterate the right of adult individuals to gain livelihoods selling sex.

This Labour Party branch/CLP resolves

1. To support and campaign for the full decriminalisation of sex work.
2. To support the unionisation of sex workers and to respect their demands for labour rights and to improve their working conditions, including occupational safety and health.
3. To campaign against any attempt to introduce the criminalisation of clients, often referred to as the Nordic Model, or any law criminalising the advertisement of sexual services (similar to FOSTA/SESTA) in the UK.
4. To forward this motion on to the National Labour Policy Forum.

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