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European Parliament Plenary Vote 27/2/14 On Report On Sexual Exploitation And Prostitution

88 posts in this topic

Do we have a thread on this already?

 

If you've been following the Report by Mary Honeyball MEPs vote on it this Thursday. If they vote in favour then the EU will recommend the "Swedish model" be implemented throughout Europe.

 

I emailed my MEPs (and voiced my concerns about the Swedish model itself and also how flawed Honeyball's report was), there are 2 responses so far here they are if anyone is interested:

 

 

Thank you for your recent email regarding the European Parliament Plenary vote of Thursday 27th February 2014 on the report on sexual exploitation and prostitution.

 

I understand your concerns on this matter.  As an SNP MEP I am aligned to the Greens/EFA political grouping in the European Parliament, who will discuss their final voting position on the sexual exploitation and prostitution report at a meeting in Strasbourg on the 24th February 2014.  I will communicate your opinions on this report to my group colleagues, and will keep your views in mind as I finalise my position on this issue.

 

Thank you for bringing this matter to my attention.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Ian Hudghton MEP

 

 

Dear constituent,

Thank you for your e-mail to Struan Stevenson MEP.   

The report on sexual exploitation and prostitution conflates sex workers and victims of human trafficking which makes it difficult to help those who have been forced into the sex trade, while failing to create a safe environment for those who choose to work as prostitutes. To address these concerns, Struan's Conservative colleague, Marina Yannakoudakis MEP, has put forward an alternative motion for a resolution as she does not agree with the conceit that women cannot choose to be prostitutes. She is unhappy that some women decide to sell their bodies, but realises that cracking down on prostitution is not going to eradicate the trade, it will merely obscure it.

By driving the trade further underground it means that prostitutes’ lives will become more dangerous. They are more likely to be victims of violence or to be at greater risk of sexually transmitted diseases including HIV. You may be interested to know that La Strada International, a major NGO addressing the trafficking of persons in Europe, along with over 500 organisations, wrote to MEPs asking them to vote against the report on sexual exploitation and prostitution. And that the World Health Organisation has said that this report would limit sex workers' access to condoms and other measures that prevent HIV.

Ms Yannakoudakis' alternative motion for a resolution will not only address the important issues such as human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children, but also seeks to create a safe environment for those sex workers who have chosen their path. It aims to protect all women in the sex industry whether they are there by choice or by coercion.

We have worked with MEPs from across the political spectrum because we believe this to be such an important issue.    

I hope you find this information helpful and please do not hesitate to get in contact with us regarding any future queries you may have.


Best wishes,

Catriona Meehan

 

Good responses. One is on our side and one is keeping an open mind.

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WTF has this got to do with the EU.

They cant help sticking their noses in where its not wanted.

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Interestingly, many NGOs and Researchers are demanding rejection of Honeyball's handiwork!

http://www.sexworkeurope.org/news/general-news/560-ngos-and-75-researchers-demand-members-european-parliament-reject-ms-honeyball

AFAIK it is a non binding resolution but obviously will carry huge moral weight!

An up to date Guardian article -

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/24/europe-vote-swedish-model-prostitution

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This is such a huge issue, The vote is tomorrow. I am predicting Marinia Yannakoudakis's alternative motion will get through.  

 

Honeyball has been doing the rounds on TV and Radio spouting her ridiculous views and statistics, many which have been publicly challenged., I think she will be seriously discredited (as Rhoda was in Scotland).

 

Here is one of many letters/articles written stating what is wrong with her report- http://www.totalpolitics.com/print/428222/a-response-to-mary-honeyball.thtml

 

The APPG report is out on March 3rd and due to the biased bollocks that was will probably recommend criminalisation of clients here in the UK. Then the fight really gets started! 

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Well I hope we have all signed the petition

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I thought the vote was tomorrow as well but apparently it was today.

 

343 in favour of Honeyballs' report, 139 against, 105 abstentions.

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I thought the vote was tomorrow as well but apparently it was today.

 

343 in favour of Honeyballs' report, 139 against, 105 abstentions.

Yes, its true. Belinda Brooks-Gordon's comments in this article say it all about the underhand tactics and downright untruths Honeyball used to win the vote, and goes on to say people like Honeyball are the reason she quit politics.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/alex-bryce/sex-work-law_b_4858815.html

 

The vote is non-binding, so I hope the leaders of the EU countries realise that wasting limited police resources on consenting adults having sex is unworkable when there are far more serious matters police forces in the EU can be dealing with.

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Apologies, credit where credit's due. Although Belinda Brooks-Gordon is mentioned in the article I linked to above, the comments I was referring to come from the author of the article, Alex Bryce.

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So, we await the APPG report as Lydia says and get ready to kick some ass. 

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343 in favour of Honeyballs' report, 139 against, 105 abstentions.

So those MEPs in favour outnumbered those against by about 2.5 to 1.

 

In the interests of national promotion, and also so that you don't have to, I looked at how the UK MEPs voted ( excluding no shows and abstentions ):

LABOUR: Mary Honeyball FOR

LABOUR: Stephen Hughes FOR

LABOUR: Brian Simpson AGAINST

DUP: Diane Dodds FOR

BRITISH DEM: Andrew Brons FOR

SINN FÉIN: Martina Anderson FOR

PLAID CYMRU: Jill Evans AGAINST

GREEN: Jean Lambert AGAINST

GREEN: Keith Taylor AGAINST

SNP: Ian Hudghton AGAINST

SNP: Alyn Smith AGAINST

UKIP: Roger Helmer AGAINST

LIB DEM: Catherine Bearder FOR

LIB DEM: Sharon Bowles AGAINST

LIB DEM: Chris Davies AGAINST

LIB DEM: Andrew Duff AGAINST

LIB DEM: Fiona Hall AGAINST

LIB DEM: Baroness Ludford AGAINST

LIB DEM: George Lyon AGAINST

LIB DEM: Bill Newton Dunn FOR

LIB DEM: Phil Bennion AGAINST

LIB DEM: Rebecca Taylor AGAINST

May have missed one possibly.

 

Totals: FOR 7, AGAINST 15.

So the wonderful Union Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland went about 2:1 the other way from the European politicians.

Why should this be?

I don't know, and it matters not a jot as power in the EU does not belong to its parliament, but this is still one of the world's best countries.

 

Curiously none of the Conservative MEPs voted either 'for' or 'against', possibly as they want to get behind their own Marina Yannakoudakis at a later date. And only one other Labour MEP went with Mary Honeyball.

 

God save the Queen, Crimestoppers, Redline, Gaye Dalton, Laura Lee and Tunnocks wafers!

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So those MEPs in favour outnumbered those against by about 2.5 to 1.

 

In the interests of national promotion, and also so that you don't have to, I looked at how the UK MEPs voted ( excluding no shows and abstentions ):

 

Thanks Bongo. Given that the next European elections are only a few months away on 22 May, I checked your list against the list of Euro MPs for my region. Three of them appear on your list (two AGAINST and one FOR) and I plan to cast my votes in May accordingly.

 

For anyone wanting to check who their current "local" MEPs are, you can find a complete list at 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_members_of_the_European_Parliament_for_the_United_Kingdom,_2009%E2%80%9314  

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Yes thanks Bongo several things of interest stood out for me here. First as you say overall the UK MEPs who voted did so two to one against, so that’s good, though why did all the Tories abstain? And how will they vote in the future in a vote in the UK parliament?

 

I notice that the DUP and SINN FÉIN both voted for (about the only bloody thing they can agree on! And it’s for the Swedish model!) So not good for Northern Ireland I think!

 

Interesting that both the SNP and PLAID CYMRU both voted against when especially in Scotland there are both strong religious and extreme feminist pressures there for a ban so that’s some good news.

 

UKIP voted against and with their increasing presence that hopefully is a good sign too.

 

I was shocked to see any LIBERAL DEMs voting for as I seem to remember they were the most anti of all the main parties during the last attempt to criminalise the clients under the last LABOUR government.

 

Finally some people seem to assume that if LABOUR win the next election the Swedish model will follow as a foregone conclusion, well as you say one LABOUR voted against (in an unrepresentative sample of three!) but it does give us a peak at what votes might look like in the UK parliaments on this issue.

Edited by RM Man

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Yes thanks Bongo several things of interest stood out for me here. First as you say overall the UK MEPs who voted did so two to one against, so that’s good, though why did all the Tories abstain? And how will they vote in the future in a vote in the UK parliament?

 

I notice that the DUP and SINN FÉIN both voted for (about the only bloody thing they can agree on! And it’s for the Swedish model!) So not good for Northern Ireland I think!

 

Interesting that both the SNP and PLAID CYMRU both voted against when especially in Scotland there are both strong religious and extreme feminist pressures there for a ban so that’s some good news.

 

UKIP voted against and with their increasing presence that hopefully is a good sign too.

 

I was shocked to see any LIBERAL DEMs voting for as I seem to remember they were the most anti of all the main parties during the last attempt to criminalise the clients under the last LABOUR government.

 

Finally some people seem to assume that if LABOUR win the next election the Swedish model will follow as a foregone conclusion, well as you say one LABOUR voted against (in an unrepresentative sample of three!) but it does give us a peak at what votes might look like in the UK parliaments on this issue.

I've emailed someone from this list thanking them for voting against..

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Does anyone know what has been watered down?

 

"I regret the watering down of this text, compared to the version that was adopted in our committee," said Swedish MEP and Chair of Parliament's Women's Rights Committee, Mikael Gustafsson. "However, as a firm believer in gender equality and women's rights I am happy that MEPs have highlighted that the Nordic model of criminalising the buyers of sexual services is an effective way to combat trafficking and reduce prostitution and abuse."

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I've emailed someone from this list thanking them for voting against..

 

That’s a very good idea as it lets them know that some people such as yourself who is an escort are VERY much against these measures.

 

I have signed on line petitions and even emailed various people on the issue but coming from you a working escort I’m sure carries more clout.

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Another reply

 

 

Dear Constituent,

Thank you for your email regarding the report 'Sexual Exploitation and Prostitution and its Impact on gender equality’ (The Honeyball report). As you may be aware, the European Parliament voted to adopt the recommendations of this report as a resolution in plenary on Wednesday. In voting this way, the parliament simultaneously rejected the alternative motion for resolution that had been put forward.

I received a great deal of input on this issue from a number of different perspectives. After reading the report, and upon reflection, I decided to vote against the resolution supporting the adoption of the Honeyball Report and in favour of the alternative motion for a resolution, available here:

 

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=AMD&format=WORD&reference=A7-0071/2014&secondRef=001-001&language=EN

For me, deciding how to vote on this specific occasion represented a very tough call. How best to deal with the range of issues stemming from prostitution is an exceptionally complex question with no straightforward answer.

On balance however, I took the view that the evidence provided by the Swedish model is far from conclusive in terms of ascertaining whether or not the approach outlined by the report is the best position for the parliament to take. Indeed I believe that more evidence is required in order to judge which model is most effective for combating trafficking for sexual exploitation.

In making this decision, I sought to give precedence in my thinking to the safety of sex workers above all else. I fear that criminalisation, which risks forcing prostitution underground, could exacerbate rather than solve the problems associated with prostitution.

The above being said, while I am disappointed that the alternative motion was not passed I am still optimistic that political progress will continue to be made in tackling these very serious issues and ultimately, I believe that individual member states remain best placed in terms of assessing the legislative options that best suit the situation in that particular member state.

I thank you for your interest and for contacting me. Given your interest in the work of the office, I will if I may add you to our email list.  Your email is of course kept strictly confidential. We are registered under the Data Protection Act and you can opt out at any time.

King regards,

Alyn Smith MEP

Edited by YourSlave

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Yes thanks Bongo several things of interest stood out for me here. First as you say overall the UK MEPs who voted did so two to one against, so that’s good, though why did all the Tories abstain? And how will they vote in the future in a vote in the UK parliament?

 

I notice that the DUP and SINN FÉIN both voted for (about the only bloody thing they can agree on! And it’s for the Swedish model!) So not good for Northern Ireland I think!

 

Interesting that both the SNP and PLAID CYMRU both voted against when especially in Scotland there are both strong religious and extreme feminist pressures there for a ban so that’s some good news.

 

UKIP voted against and with their increasing presence that hopefully is a good sign too.

 

I was shocked to see any LIBERAL DEMs voting for as I seem to remember they were the most anti of all the main parties during the last attempt to criminalise the clients under the last LABOUR government.

 

Finally some people seem to assume that if LABOUR win the next election the Swedish model will follow as a foregone conclusion, well as you say one LABOUR voted against (in an unrepresentative sample of three!) but it does give us a peak at what votes might look like in the UK parliaments on this issue.

 

 

It isn't just DUP and SINN FÉIN making strange bedfellows in the FOR camp.

 

From Bongo's post I notice that Mary Honeyball and Andrew Brons similarly voted FOR.  Whilst Andrew Brons is listed as a "BRITISH DEM" unless my memory has failed I'm certain that he was elected to the European Parliament as a BNP MP.  Anyone who indulges in this world of paid for sex between consenting adults who has previously voted for the BNP might like to reconsider.

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You're very much right TheVicar about Mr Brons. He has been in the National Front, then MEP for the BNP and although he has 'resigned the whip' now and is in a new party.

 

I think I could just about survive in a country with a criminalised punter model with dart-board value fines for getting naughty with a willing harlot.

I reckon if the BNP had their way, their tarriff of fines and punishments for us would be appalling, based on my limited knowledge that they favour corporal punishment available in schools and capital punishment for some murders. They wouldn't be tolerant of the harlots either imv.

 

I have no answer to your questions RM Man - we can only judge politicians on form they have shown, and just hope for the best in terms of what they may do in the future. The few meaningful counted votes of UK MEPs is very much a cropping of a bigger picture, but apart from Northern Ireland, we in UK should be optimistic.

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Well spotted Vicar! And right again bongo Brons was elected on a BNP ticket then had a tiff with Nick Griffin (BNP party leader) then went his own way. Interestingly the extreme Right and Left do seem to make strange bed fellows as you say on this subject for their own ideological reasons, (probably something to do with British family values with one and unequal distribution of wealth with the other!).

 

However due to the first past the post system used in British elections it’s highly unlikely any of them will be in Westminster any time soon. In my opinion UKIP or the Greens are the only ‘small’ parties that COULD possibly gain any seats at Westminster in the next election (and on this occasion they both voted against). However in the Scottish, Welsh, and N. Ireland and European assemblies due to top up lists and proportional representation and whatever else they use other small parties do sometimes gain seats such as Mr Brons in the European parliament.

 

Now some politicians (such as Mary Honey ball) will go with their ideologies totally blinked to the actual facts, however most mainstream politicians/parties (unless it’s strict party policy/ideology) will go with something if it gets them votes and leave well alone if it will lose them votes. So the more they are ‘lobbied’ in a certain direction the more likely they are to go in that direction, just look at the responses to ‘your slaves’ e-mails above. Imagine the response if they had only been lobbied by the ‘For’ pressure groups! So the secret is keep signing the on line petitions, keep supporting the groups/individuals supporting clients and sex workers and generally bending politicians ears!

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So those MEPs in favour outnumbered those against by about 2.5 to 1.

 

In the interests of national promotion, and also so that you don't have to, I looked at how the UK MEPs voted ( excluding no shows and abstentions ):

LABOUR: Mary Honeyball FOR

LABOUR: Stephen Hughes FOR

LABOUR: Brian Simpson AGAINST

DUP: Diane Dodds FOR

BRITISH DEM: Andrew Brons FOR

SINN FÉIN: Martina Anderson FOR

PLAID CYMRU: Jill Evans AGAINST

GREEN: Jean Lambert AGAINST

GREEN: Keith Taylor AGAINST

SNP: Ian Hudghton AGAINST

SNP: Alyn Smith AGAINST

UKIP: Roger Helmer AGAINST

LIB DEM: Catherine Bearder FOR

LIB DEM: Sharon Bowles AGAINST

LIB DEM: Chris Davies AGAINST

LIB DEM: Andrew Duff AGAINST

LIB DEM: Fiona Hall AGAINST

LIB DEM: Baroness Ludford AGAINST

LIB DEM: George Lyon AGAINST

LIB DEM: Bill Newton Dunn FOR

LIB DEM: Phil Bennion AGAINST

LIB DEM: Rebecca Taylor AGAINST

May have missed one possibly.

 

Totals: FOR 7, AGAINST 15.

So the wonderful Union Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland went about 2:1 the other way from the European politicians.

Why should this be?

I don't know, and it matters not a jot as power in the EU does not belong to its parliament, but this is still one of the world's best countries.

 

Curiously none of the Conservative MEPs voted either 'for' or 'against', possibly as they want to get behind their own Marina Yannakoudakis at a later date. And only one other Labour MEP went with Mary Honeyball.

 

God save the Queen, Crimestoppers, Redline, Gaye Dalton, Laura Lee and Tunnocks wafers!

Thanks bongo.

 

Can you please give us the link to the voting roll for the whole parliament? It would be interesting to see how the MEPs from the more tolerant countries (Germany, Holland, Austria, Belgium, Spain, etc) voted.  

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+1

 

So the secret is keep signing the on line petitions, keep supporting the groups/individuals supporting clients and sex workers and generally bending politicians ears!

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Finally some people seem to assume that if LABOUR win the next election the Swedish model will follow as a foregone conclusion, well as you say one LABOUR voted against (in an unrepresentative sample of three!) but it does give us a peak at what votes might look like in the UK parliaments on this issue.

 

I certainly don't trust them on this issue.

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The Swedish results in the Honeyball proposal were as follows:

FOR: 18

Schlyter
Schmidt
Farm
Hokmark
Lovin
Paulsen
Westlund
Wikstrom
Corazza Bildt
Fjellner
Hedh
Ibrisagic
Ludvigsson
Svensson
Ulvskog
Gustafsson
Johansson
Nilsson

AGAINST: 1

Engstrom

 

Mr Engstrom is either a very naughty boy ( he's a member of the Pirate party, for real ) or he's a very brave man like Henry Fonda in the opener to 12 Angry Men. His e-mail address is christian.engstroem@europarl.europa.eu if anyone wants to say bravo to him and wish him well.

 

The Republic of Ireland MEPs voted FOR by 12:0

 

In reply to Bond's question, this is the full country breakdown in the vote.

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Another reply:

 

After reading the report, and upon reflection, I decided to vote against the resolution supporting the adoption of the Honeyball Report and in favour of the alternative motion for a resolution, available here:

 

http://www.europarl....001&language=EN

Cheers for that YourSlave

The UK group got behind that amendment big-time ( which I read as targetting under-aged abuses, coercion, trafficking but acknowledging voluntary agency of WGs exists and not criminalising their customers ) . It didn't pass though. This was the country break-down for that amendment. It's incredible how far apart the politicians are between say UK and Sweden.

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