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punter992005

Appg Report On Prostitution

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Thought I'd make a separate thread for this as it's probably deserving of one...

 

http://appgprostitution.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/shifting-the-burden.pdf

 

Only scanned through the report, not read it in detail but....

 

I'm becoming less and less worried the more I look into it. The chair of the report is Gavin Shuker, who's an Evangelical Christian. The co-chair, or secretary is Fiona MacTaggart whose opinions are well known on this forum. So right there it's clearly a pre-determined outcome as to what they're going to come up with. Then you look at the report itself and it's abundantly clear that it's just a group of like minded politicians who've got together to try and outlaw prostitution, although some of those within the committee do seem to have been on our side before such as Keith Vaz.

 

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmallparty/register/prostitution-and-the-global-sex-trade.htm

 

If you look at page 8 of the report, which sets out how it views the current legal situation, and the committee's "prejudices" for want of a better word, it's full of the same rhetoric we see all the time about prostitution being "violence against women", and about the payment for sex enforcing "gender imbalance" and all the other usual feminist claptrap. 

 

Page 19 - they've quoted from Niki Adams, but extremely selectively; I'm sure it would be quite clear to anyone who heard evidence from her that she's against criminalisation of clients, but they manage to use her name in support of their goals.

They've also got a quote from a woman who claims she's never met a prostitute who's not been raped at some point. Throughout it seems to be full of selective quotes from people who are already in the illegal part of prostitution e.g. street prostitution or people who were forced.

 

Some of the recommendations within the report seem reasonable - for example raising the age of strict liability for paying for sex with a child from 13 to 16. In other words you can make a mistake with a 16 year old, but not with a 15 year old prostitute. They also seem open to a re-defining of the definition of brothel so that women can work together in the same premises without it being a brothel. But given that their overall goal is a law against payment for sex in general I think that it's mostly filler for their main goal of outlawing paid sex.

Edited by punter992005
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It's on the front page of the Independent today and also Gavin Shuker was interviewed on Woman's Hour this morning. He is a former Evangelical Christian (Pentecostal) pastor and he talks the language of Radical Feminists. It's a clear example of how religious groups and Radical Feminists are 'singing from the same hymn sheet'.

 
Here's what he had to say "There's always going to be a small group of people for whom it's a choice that they've made actively, but for the vast majority of women involved in prostitution it's a choice that's been made for them or a choice they're trapped in."
 
To which presenter Jane Garvey replied "And surely - you would imagine - that the vast majority of men who choose to pay for sex will know that the women who are doing it don't want to be there or there are a string of reasons why they find themselves in that position." No pun intended I'm sure.
 
The point is that the vast majority of men who choose to pay for sex are well aware of what all the research shows - that in Britain coercion is very rare. Neither is there any credible research to show that women are trapped in prostitution.
 
He goes on to say "The challenge is to men's attitudes of buying sex and in countries where they've successfully changed the law and made a difference to the prevalence of selling sex that's what they've done. They've tackled it head on and said it's unacceptable to purchase sex and our law's going to back that up rather than the other way around."
 
He's obviously referring to Sweden and some other Nordic countries. It's generally agreed that the law criminalizing the purchasers of sex in Sweden has had no effect at all on the majority of sex workers. It has had some effect in reducing on-street sex work but that has always been a small part of the sex work industry and in Britain we have done much better through the use of ASBOs. Also, the law should reflect people's opinions and not try to change them.
 
He also says "Prostitution is a form of violence against women and girls." This is just Radical Feminist propaganda and there is no evidence for it whatsoever.
 
He's obviously swallowed the Radical Feminist creed hook, line and sinker. He's just propagating Radical Feminist lies that have no foundation in reality. "What you're confronted by though when you go into this with a genuinely open mind and you take more than 400 different submissions is you're confronted by alarmingly similar and consistent reports of the nature in which women have come into that trade. Many of which have come in under the age of 18 before they are able to even legally consent, with alarming numbers of care leavers, people that have been sexually exploited as a child, people that have been sexually exploited for money under the age of 18. Now if we're not going to take a serious look at our law in light of that ... then I think we need our heads looking at."

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"genuinely open mind..." - yeah, right. There was never any doubt what he was going to come up with, the title of the report is "Shifting the burden" FFS, which is another feminist mantra. They talk, in the report, of women being targeted and men walking away...where? How? Men and women are equally breaking the law in street prostitution, and in off-street prostitution the women are just as free as the men, with the exception of where there's confusion as to collectives of women and the definition of brothel-keeping. So all he has to do is address that and there's no disparity whatsoever.

 

I've also noticed that Ruth Jacobs, who's prominently quoted throughout the report is actually AGAINST the Swedish Model

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/ruth-jacobs/prostitution-laws_b_4851224.html

 

So they've taken her quotes, ignored her conclusions, and decided that the Swedish/Nordic model really is for the best. Now if that's not evidence of bias, I don't know what is.

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It's good of punter992005 to provide the link to the report in question.

 

What is now needed is a line-by-line response. Some (only some) of the issues identified and the responses suggested thereto may perhaps be welcomed by some of the folk on this board.

 

But I'm sure the essential thrust, namely to criminalise the purchaser of sexual services, will be laughed out of court not least because there are not enough prison spaces nor Police resources to deal with such legislation. I don't believe it will ever achieve a majority in Parliament anyway. Nevetheless the case needs to be made, praying in aid all the basic common sense with which WGs are hugely endowed, the scepticism of punters like me urged on by their understanding of their own sexuality and the cogent argument already deployed by so many other contributors to this site.

 

The legislation in this country is somewhat of a mess and I'd agree needs a bit of 'fixing' principally to provide more safety to individuals currently providing, in a not-unlawful manner, sexual services as well as to widen the opportunity for providers to work, albeit in small groups, to provide similarly safe opportunity to earn a crust.

 

This no doubt will run and run but I for one am utterly tired of reading newspaper reports including pictures of WGs chatting through punter's car windows. The entire debate needs, oh my God how it needs, raising to a new and more enlightening level.

Uncle Pokey

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Well here's a radical thought.

 

Why not provide better support, recognition and assistance to those women who have been abused as children?

 

Criminalising the client isn't going to take away their abuse, nor the effects of it. All it's going to do is turn you into a shameful victim again. Get it tackled before those women who don't have a choice don't have a choice. Same applies to traffickers and pimps.

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I've just skim read the first few pages of this report, they start with 9 recommendations. It's only the 9th recommendation on the list that is to criminalise the purchaser of sex. Remainder seem to be setting up exit schemes, concentrating on reducing violent crimes towards women, taking away the offence of soliciting.

 

Have I missed something here(like reading the remainder of it)?

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It's just a pity more sex work positive responses were sent. If a few more escorts actually bothered to fill out the questionnaire there would be less of the 'small minority' who enjoy sex work thing spouted.  

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I've just skim read the first few pages of this report, they start with 9 recommendations. It's only the 9th recommendation on the list that is to criminalise the purchaser of sex. Remainder seem to be setting up exit schemes, concentrating on reducing violent crimes towards women, taking away the offence of soliciting.

 

Have I missed something here(like reading the remainder of it)?

 

1)The title is "shifting the burden".

2)Page 8, still in the introductory stages and you've got all the usual "prostitution = violence against women" arguments.

3)Page 9 - the very first recommendation states that all laws should now focus on the buyer. So yes the specific recommendation for a crime of purchasing sex is number 9 on the list, but from the first to the last page, it's all about how all women are victims and all men are abusers and is all leading up to that conclusion. 

4)Page 10, in their terms of reference it states that "tackling demand" was one of the main focus points of the investigation i.e penalising the punter

5)Page 20 - when trying to say that Section 14 of the 2009 act isn't enough, they claim that the phrase "Forced, threatened, deceived or otherwise coerced" doesn't encompass everything sufficiently (although strangely they miss out the "threats and deception" aspect of the clause in order to make it appear narrower than it is.Then they give two examples where the women were NOT coerced. They made the decision themselves and were not sex slaves. They picked the job for the same reasons many people pick a job. They seem, without explicitly saying it, to want to prosecute men who pay women who don't necessarily love the job, who've picked the job because there's nothing else out there or because they're messed in the head and prostitution is simply the latest in a long line of bad decisions. FFS, we've all done jobs out of desperation, I've walked away from lousy jobs myself, went back to McDonalds in desperation when I hit financial problems, and ended up in my current job because it was out there and paid better than all the other jobs I was getting turned down for. They seem to say, in this report, that a woman ending up in prostiution for similar reasons, is grounds for the evil man being prosecuted. They also basically say that the police are having trouble finding all that "pesky evidence stuff", so we should criminalise where there's no victim. 

 

N.b Nowhere in the report does it suggest there should be a presumption of coercion with the client having the opportunity to prove she WAS willing. This would at least be an indication of honest intentions. But no, they very clearly state they want a law against the purchase of sex, which due to existing legislation cannot be used to arrest anyone other than those engaging in sex with over 18s who aren't forced and aren't standing on street corners. And you'll be nicked even if she gets on the stand and says she was perfectly happy with the arrangement.

Edited by punter992005

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Thus taking OUR choice away.

 

Yes the 'burden shifting' thing had confused me. The only burden tends to be social stigma and making us all into victims, maintains the stigma or at least nicely packages it away. Somewhere else.

 

Thanks 992005.

Edited by Strawberry

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Thus taking OUR choice away.

 

Yes the 'burden shifting' thing had confused me. The only burden tends to be social stigma and making us all into victims, maintains the stigma or at least nicely packages it away. Somewhere else.

 

Thanks 992005.

 

Well, for clarity, it means shifting the burden of legislation to entirely on the man. The report says that apparently us men are dancing around free to do what we want and the women are the ones who are arrested. But women can only be arrested on the street, where of course men can be too. So apart from the ambiguity re:brothels and women working together (which they're attempting to address in the report) there's no disparity at all. Yet they seek to now make men entirely responsible. So if I were to book with you I'm a criminal, but you can advertise for customers and be caught with me and you're home free. Now that's unfair.

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So right there it's clearly a pre-determined outcome as to what they're going to come up with. 

Indeed. And this was predicted a year ago by a blogger - http://andystrange.org.uk/2013/02/gavin-shuker-and-the-law-on-prostitution/

 

It's worrying, though, that there does seem to be more to the support for these proposals than the constituents of that Parliamentary committee might suggest. 

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/nordic-model-prostitution-approved-by-european-parliament-1438009  (my highlighting)

 

A vote at the European Parliament that supports the 'Nordic Model' of prostitution has been voted through with a large majority.

Put forward by Labour London MEP Mary Honeyball, the model of prostitution law criminalises the client instead of the sex worker.

At the vote, 343 members voted in favour of the report, 139 against and 105 people abstained. Commenting on the outcome, Honeyball said: "Today's outcome represents a vital signal from MEPs that we cannot continue to tolerate the exploitation of women. Rather than blanket legalization, parliament has backed the more nuanced approach already practised in Sweden as a means of tackling prostitution. This punishes men who treat women's bodies as a commodity, without criminalising women who are driven into sex work.

"The idea that prostitution is the 'oldest profession' leads some to think we should accept it as a fact of life – that all we can do is regulate it a little better. This course of action leads to an increase in prostitution levels, normalising the purchase of sex and ingraining the inequalities which sustain the sex industry.

"The outcome of today's vote symbolises the changing attitudes of EU countries on this issue, and the desire of member states to learn from one another. I hope today's result will encourage member states including the UK to be radical and ambitious enough to go Swedish."

 

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A result of criminalising punters would be that women would be free to trade as chefs, hairdressers, landscape gardeners, prostitutes or any other trade. Men would free to employ women as chefs, hairdressers, landscape gardeners or any other trade but not as prostitutes. It's simply bizarre...! :wacko:

 

One thing that is rather worrying, though...if, as seems at least possible, Labour win the next election, that would put the likes of Harman, MacTaggart et al. in a position of more power to implement their twisted idea of 'justice'. :(

 

 

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It's just a pity more sex work positive responses were sent. If a few more escorts actually bothered to fill out the questionnaire there would be less of the 'small minority' who enjoy sex work thing spouted.  

What the general public don't realize is that all of the British researchers - all of them - believe that coercion is rare in Britain and that by far the majority of sex workers choose this way of making money. Dr Belinda Brooks-Gordon, Dr Brooke Magnanti, Dr Nick Mai. What happened to their research? Why was it all ignored? By the way I can recommend Brooke Magnanti's book The Sex Myth in the way it deals with the false statistics.

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Incidence of reported rape up 58% in Sweden in the first 10 years or so since outlawing sex purchasing.

Now you'd be foolish to assume that is all because of testosterone having no legal outlet, or because police resources are being misdirected, but it doesn't look like a the outcome of a successful model to me.

 

In general rates of violence and assault have also been nudging upwards in Sweden , while in many countries such as the UK the trend for this has been slightly downwards in the last 10 years.

 

It's entirely speculative, but could it be that reducing what the antis view as consenting to being raped with money being given to the economic 'victim', is correlated with an increase in the sort of rape where there is no money paid at all.

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bongo,

 

The suggestion that clients of legitimate prostitutes would otherwise be raping women if it were not legal is utterly outrageous and does nothing to further our cause.

 

I feel your statistics have been cherry-picked to validate your assertion.

 

Just because prostitution has been outlawed doesn't mean it is unavailable, so at least to me I can't see that the type of men who would be seeing prostitutes would become rapists instead - sorry, that's just nonsensical.

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I don't think bongo was saying that punters would be raping women if sex work wasn't available, he was just saying that the Swedish laws aren't creating the sort of society that people were hoping for.

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I'm guilty as charged of cherry-picking statistics. It's almost impossible to unpick cause and effect unless you can play God, and create control populations with separate liberal and illiberal laws and stop people from one region travelling to the other region.

 

The stats I chose could be dismantled easily by someone with the time and knowledge, but consider this article about Sweden which shows that shifting attitudes and willingness to report rapes have contributed to the rise, but even then the person being quoted, Klara Selin is reported as conceding that 'she doesn't deny that there has been some real increase in the number of attacks taking place - a concern also outlined in an Amnesty International report in 2010'

 

Germany publishes comprehensive data on annual numbers for "rape and aggravated sexual coercion (Sects. 177 (2, 3 and 4), 178 PC)" on their ministry of justice web-site.

2002: 8615

2003: 8766

2004: 8831

2005: 8133

2006: 7511

2007: 7292

2008: 7314

2009: 7724

2010: 7724

2011: 7539

2012: 8031

2013 - expected to be reported mid-2014

 

Legalisation occurred in 2002, and in the first two years after nothing much changed in this one solitary measure of a healthy society safe for women, but after that there has been slight reduction despite a growing population and high immigration. General levels of violence in Germany have reduced also.

 

Btw, I'm not making an assertion. You'd have to be crazy to claim conclusively that there is a cause and effect. I'm just guessing.

But I'd rather live in a country where the politicians make really good guesses, than stupid ones.

Edited by bongo

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This site has data over 4 years out, but it can still be used to produce some nice looking graphs like this.

 

Homicide rate is one measure among many of whether a society is safe. In 1999 Sweden was clear cut one of the safest countries in Europe. Ten years on and they were slightly less safe than Germany and only just safer than Netherlands ( the two countries which are regarded by antis as headline fails in dealing with 'the problem' whatever that means ).

So why have other countries made such relative progress?

I've put UK on the graph too ( big spike in 2002 as the Shipman murders were attributed to that year ).

 

One thing you'd expect under a Swedish model is a slight increase in bent coppers ( incentive to take payments from harlots in return for letting them be perhaps ), and greater gender inequality of income ( it does pay more than NMW, smiles ), but numbers would be low and hard to find. Crime stats though are usually recorded the same way year on year, and the numbers sufficiently large to make for interesting comparison imv.

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bongo,

 

The suggestion that clients of legitimate prostitutes would otherwise be raping women if it were not legal is utterly outrageous and does nothing to further our cause.

 

I feel your statistics have been cherry-picked to validate your assertion.

 

Here's a little more on this question:

 

The academics have been here before 10 years ago. A 2004 analysis, has found an inverse correlation between rape occurrences and availability of prostitution.

That's not quite the same as an inverse correlation between rape occurrences and laws permitting sexy workers to operate from the same premises, but it's close, and the conclusions are still very interesting for people who want a progressive society imv.

 

Occasionally, someone who wants sex-purchasing outlawed will ask the question: 'Would you want your daughter to be a prostitute?' and they think they have you trapped as this is a Yes/No question, and is anyone seriously going to say Yes? As there's only one answer left it's really a non-question.

 

One way to deal with it though, if asked, is to say that a parent would want their daughter to be able to decide for herself.

 

If she decides she wants nothing to do with prostitution, you still want her to live in a safe society which is likely to have lower levels of rape violence and violence in general.

If she decides she wants to be a sex-worker, you want her to be able to work as safely as possible.

 

On the data we have the so-called Swedish or assymetric model is a lose/lose whichever direction the daughter in this example takes.

Edited by bongo

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Wednesday the ECP started a campaign against the APPG criminalization of clients with a public meeting in Parliament.  They have produced a short video.  They also introduced an opinion poll that does not support the criminalization of clients.

 

The exact wording for the poll was:

Currently in the UK under certain circumstances, it is legal for men and women to pay for sex. There are some people that wish to make it illegal for the user to pay for sex. Do you think such a criminalisation is a good idea or not?

In response 51% agreed that ‘No, paying for sex should not be criminalized.’ 31% agreed that ‘Yes, it should be illegal to pay for sex.’ The other 18% had no opinion.

There was little difference between the sexes with 53% of men and 49% of women opposing criminalisation. Under a third of both sexes were in favour. The social class analysis revealed little difference between the AB, C1 and C2 groups: between 51-53% opposed criminalisation. 47% of the lowest social category – the DE group – opposed criminalisation with 33% in favour. People in part-time and full-time work were slightly more opposed to criminalisation than those not employed.

Professor Francome commented:

‘The evidence from the Poll shows that such criminalisation would not have the support of the general public. I think it would be a mistake for Parliament to interfere with people’s personal decisions about their sex lives or occupations.’

The parliamentary meeting on Wednesday

 

 

http://youtu.be/7Jx0O3dNQsU

 

Sex workers from across the UK and rest of Europe crammed into a select committee room in the House of Commons to argue against plans to change prostitution laws that would criminalise clients.

Buying and selling sex

Recently an all-Party Parliamentary Group called for the British prostitute laws to be overhauled so that women selling sex are no longer criminalised but buying sex is against the law. In other words, buying sex would become illegal, but selling sex would no longer be a criminal offence.

A similar law is being planned in Europe along the lines of countries such as Norway and Sweden where clients are criminalised for buying sex.

Lives at risk

The English Collective of Prostitution (ECP) has criticised the proposals stating that criminalising clients would not stop prostitution nor will it stop the criminalisation of women. But it would make it more dangerous and stigmatising for sex workers and put lives at risk.

The parliamentary meeting was hosted by Labour MP John McDonnell and organised by the English Collective of Prostitutes and the People’s Parliament

Opinion Poll

On the day of the meeting an opinion poll revealed that over half the UK public opposed criminalisation of prostitution.  Conducted by GfK for the Campaign for Radical Sociology, the poll also found that only three in ten nationwide were in favour.  In London it was only one in four

Edited by elrond

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