SashaB

Decriminalisation; The Only Way Forward - Guardian Films

8 posts in this topic

I have just put the phone down to Sarah O'Connel and felt compelled to come on here and appeal for your help.

Sarah O'Connel is a video journalist who has been commissioned by the Guardian online to create 4 x 12 minute films on prostitution and the argument for decriminalisation. The guardian website has some 37,000,000 members and is the second largest news website in the world, coming second only to the New York Times. Its reach is undoubtedly huge and for once we have the opportunity to tell it like it is.

I was put in touch with Sarah by Cari Mitchell from the ECP who assures me that after knowing Sarah for years, she is one of the good guys. I have had a lengthy conversation with her this evening and am personally reassured that she is genuine in her intentions and is adamant to cut through the propaganda and put forward a factual and clear argument for decriminalisation.

We all have the opportunity to put forward our side of the argument, not the rubbish many like to push out as fact. To do this however she needs your help. Sarah is hoping to speak to those working in the industry as escorts, agencies and parlour owners as well as clients who use the services of escorts. She is hoping to put forward an articulated argument that shows the industry the way we see it and wants to speak to anyone who would be happy to talk to her and give their experiences, in particular relation to safety, self protection and the reporting of crime be it reported, unreported, suspected or just fear of crime. For clients she would like to know how the new law has affected you, has it deterred you from visiting escorts or just from reporting any concerns you witness to authorities.

She wants your views on the pro’s and con’s of decriminalisation, to share ideas on how decriminalisation should and would work and for those out there who aren’t keen on legalisation, she wants to hear about your concerns about legalisation.. i.e. the possibility independents may need to register to some sort of list etc. All opinions as long as truthful are valid and she is hoping to show a balanced view without prejudice.

I’m meeting with Sarah on Tuesday in person to talk more about the piece and how I can help. She is prepared to guarantee anyone that speaks with her complete anonymity and isn’t looking to push anyone into anything they don’t wish to do. She would be grateful for your input if it’s nothing more than a confidential chat on the phone or your views expressed by email. The more people willing to take part in one way or another the better, it’s an exceptional opportunity and one it would be tragic to miss.

You can email Sarah at sarahc.oconnel@gmail.com

It’s by no means expected that everyone should agree in their views, she is hoping to show all sides based on fact not fiction and get people’s views and ideas on how decriminalisation or legalisation should work.

For anyone wishing to put forward thier views while maintaining board anonymity please feel free to put forward your ideas or suggestions here as Im sure Sarah will be coming to introduce herself in person over the coming weeks

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And this from the Guardian today... quite a balenced piece IMO

........with the caveat that it doesn't define 'trafficked' as meant. Per Palermo Protocols or not? Someone who is in debt bondage may voluntarily have entered into an agreement to be smuggled into the UK in return for a proportion of future earnings. This may be very unwise and it certainly leaves them very vulnerable but it doesn't make them either trafficked or coerced.

It is interesting that 3 punters have been cautioned. The questionable use of cautions in context has been discussed previously.

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Someone who is in debt bondage may voluntarily have entered into an agreement to be smuggled into the UK in return for a proportion of future earnings. This may be very unwise and it certainly leaves them very vulnerable but it doesn't make them either trafficked or coerced.

Not in relation to whats said in the article but isnt the problem with the term Trafficking per say that Trafficking itself can occur by simply aiding a persons travel from a to b. I only realised recently it was possible to traffic a person inside the UK and if police use the term trafficking as widely as its literal interpretation then the new figures are probably below estimate. Just becasue a person if trafficked however doesnt necesarily make them a victim and hence where the statistical problems are created... the term trafficking in itself needs adjustment.

As has been mentioned elsewhere it should really be x figure have been enslaved into the sex industry or for the purpose of prostitution rather than trafficked. Its typical one size fits all legislation and policing when the individual issues are quite seperate

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Not in relation to whats said in the article but isnt the problem with the term Trafficking per say that Trafficking itself can occur by simply aiding a persons travel from a to b. I only realised recently it was possible to traffic a person inside the UK and if police use the term trafficking as widely as its literal interpretation then the new figures are probably below estimate. Just becasue a person if trafficked however doesnt necesarily make them a victim and hence where the statistical problems are created... the term trafficking in itself needs adjustment.

As has been mentioned elsewhere it should really be x figure have been enslaved into the sex industry or for the purpose of prostitution rather than trafficked. Its typical one size fits all legislation and policing when the individual issues are quite seperate

For international Palermo Protocol definition of trafficking, see http://www.punternet.com/forum/showthread.php?t=20197. It is likely that the constabulary are using something much looser, with consequent inflation of the numbers.

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Not in relation to whats said in the article but isnt the problem with the term Trafficking per say that Trafficking itself can occur by simply aiding a persons travel from a to b.

I think that the problem is not with the term "Trafficking", that is fairly simple (the intentional arrangement or facilitation of the arrival in/travel within/departure from the UK) and is something that is done millions of times every day by millions of people, what is a problem IMHO is the qualification, or rather the lack of qualification, of the term "Trafficking", and that qualification is "for sexual exploitation". The Trafficking legislation (Sections 57 - 59 inclusive of SOA 2003) is all about sexual exploitation, the title of each section explicitly states "for sexual exploitation", the explanatory notes specifically state :-

A will only commit the offence if he intends that B should be the victim of an offence committed by A, or believes that B will be the victim of an offence committed by C. This will ensure that airline companies, road hauliers etc who are transporting someone without any such intent or belief are not captured.

Sadly the "for sexual exploitation" is rarely or never mentioned, even on here were we are supposed to at least have some inkling of what we are talking about.

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Im advised that Sarah's email is bouncing, I have text her and will post the correct address as soon as I have it

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