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SlickWilly

Corbyn Supports Decriminalisation of the sex industry.

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Yes the wonderful Jeremy Corbyn has very much come out in favour of decriminalisation of our hobby/job -

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/mar/04/jeremy-corbyn-decriminalise-sex-industry-prostitution

http://www.theguardian.com/voluntary-sector-network/2016/mar/04/jeremy-corbyn-right-decriminalising-sex-industry-way-forward

Bindel of course has to have a go at him -

http://www.theguardian.com/society/commentisfree/2016/mar/04/jeremy-corbyn-sex-trade-left-women-exploitation

Jackie McDonald has always been a great ally to us also!

Mrs. Balls and Mad Hattie must be having caniptions!

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I gather that the 'comments' received by the press indicated strong support for his views, too :)

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Shall we send him an email of support?

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Jeremy Corbyn's support for decriminalisation of sex work was the subject of a 10 minute slot on BBC Radio 5 Live's Stephen Nolan show last night, featuring "family rights activist" Lynette Burrrrows and Laura Lee.

You can follow the discussion at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b071t0kn#play. It starts at 01:14:47.

Lynette Burrows said that prostitution involved "women being bought and sold" and to Laura Lee she said "you have to sell your body to whoever comes along". Laura responded vigorously, although I would have loved it if she had been even more explicit and said "I don't sell my body, I sell a service which I provide using my body. At the end of every session I still own all of my body. None of it has been sold".

Amazingly Lynette Burrows said the fact that sex work is a dangerous trade is why it is not universally admired. You  know I always wondered why I hate firemen, bomb disposal experts, and the medics who attended to victims of the Ebola virus in West Africa. I am grateful to Lynette for explaining that one shouldn't admire people who are engaged in anything that might be dangerous, nor should we make any attempt to reduce any danger that they may face.

I think my only reservation about this programme item was its focus almost exclusively on the scenario of women who take up sex work because otherwise they would be starving and homeless, with the implication that they may actually hate the job but it's better than having no food and no home. It would be nice to hear more on radio and TV from some of the sex workers who make a comfortable and enjoyable living out of the work, sometimes doing other non-sex work as a parallel occupation. Many of these sex workers could follow other career paths if they wanted and would not be forced out on to the streets if they reduced or gave up their sex work. I certainly get the impression that there are lots of SWs on this board to whom that scenario applies, including of course Laura Lee herself, although this wasn't the direction in which she chose to direct the  discussion on last night's programme.  

Sadly we all know why it is difficult for people like this to publicly expose themselves to media scrutiny, so I will end this post with a huge "Hurrah!" to Laura Lee for managing what seems to me to be an almost superhuman feat of juggling between between her extensive advocacy and media work on the one hand and her "day job" and family commitments on the other. Respect :)

 

 

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19 hours ago, SlickWilly said:

Yes the wonderful Jeremy Corbyn has very much come out in favour of decriminalisation of our hobby/job -

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/mar/04/jeremy-corbyn-decriminalise-sex-industry-prostitution

http://www.theguardian.com/voluntary-sector-network/2016/mar/04/jeremy-corbyn-right-decriminalising-sex-industry-way-forward

Bindel of course has to have a go at him -

http://www.theguardian.com/society/commentisfree/2016/mar/04/jeremy-corbyn-sex-trade-left-women-exploitation

Jackie McDonald has always been a great ally to us also!

Mrs. Balls and Mad Hattie must be having caniptions!

Indeed they are:

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/mar/04/harriet-harman-jeremy-corbyn-decriminalisation-sex-industry

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Posted (edited)

On 04/03/2016 at 9:10 PM, SlickWilly said:

Yes the wonderful Jeremy Corbyn has very much come out in favour of decriminalisation of our hobby/job -

Mrs. Balls and Mad Hattie must be having caniptions!

Well Hattie's former research assistant Ayesha Hazarika was definitely having caniptions on Channel 4 News last night, as she did battle with a confident, articulate and passionate Niki Adams from the ECP. Niki managed to cram a lot of good messages into a very short allocated slot and I felt she definitely won the argument on points. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkrPNK

Edited by Carnival
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how do you decriminalise something thats legal?  same old jeremy, wanting to nationalise the railway when network rail (75% of the railway) is already publucally owned.

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And the Conservative Chancellor is hoping to sell off parts of Network Rail, and to sell longer leases to the operators. He needs the cash now, so he's selling the future, as so many do.

Network Rail may be 75% of the railways' infrastructure (I thought that it was effectively 100%) but let's not forget the train operators.I guess that it's they whom Corbyn would like to nationalise.

 

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6 hours ago, Coventrypunter said:

how do you decriminalise something thats legal?  same old jeremy, wanting to nationalise the railway when network rail (75% of the railway) is already publucally owned.

You decriminalise the parts of the sex work scene that aren't legal.

JC has used the word honestly and correctly, unlike the anti-prostitution campaigners who incorrectly and inaccurately use the word to suggest that they will decriminalise that which is already legal, omitting to mention that they will not only not decriminalise the currently illegal parts of the sex work scene but will additionally criminalise some parts that are currently legal.

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Jeremy Corbyn’s position on decriminalising sex work was discussed last week on the Jonathan Vernon-Smith phone-in show on BBC Three Counties Radio (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03jvzv9  from 1:34:20 – 1:55:05). Guest contributors were Gavin Shuker (Labour MP for Luton South), Rachel Moran from Space International, and Carrie Mitchell from the English Collective of Prostitutes.

 

As you can imagine, the discussion was extremely animated and Carrie Mitchell argued her case articulately and passionately. But what concerned me about this broadcast, and indeed about many similarly staged debates, was the barrage of statistics and assertions which were neither accompanied by a cited source nor challenged by anyone in the discussion.

 

Does anyone know if any organisation (ECP, IUSW etc) maintains a list of statistics and assertions  made by the antis, along with a tracking down of their source and an assessment of their validity or otherwise?

 

Here are some of the statistical and declarative salvos fired off by the two antis:

 

Gavin Shuker, Labour MP for Luton South

  • ·         Two thirds of the women who are trafficked into this country are trafficked for the purposes of sex .

This surely raises a number of questions including how do you define “trafficked” . In the past, for example,  Fiona McTaggart used research that defined any sex  worker who was not English as being trafficked.

  • ·         Half the people that go into prostitution start under the age of 18 (before they can even consent to it), a “huge number” are drug and alcohol users, a large proportion  were at some time in care.
  • ·        In countries that have decriminalised prostitution the scale of trafficking has gone up.
  • ·         This is an industry in which you are 11 times more likely to be raped or murdered than in the general population.

That seems to me to suggest we should do something to make it safer not criminalise it. Criminalising any trade where the murder rate is higher than average would leave us without a police force and possibly without an  army.

  • ·         Women who feel they are not being exploited in prostitution are the minority. For the vast majority the idea of choice isn’t present, coercion is an everyday reality, violence is real.
  • ·         The evidence is clear that if it were a criminal offence to purchase sex, about 80% of men that currently buy sex wouldn’t.
  • ·         The myth of the good punter, as opposed to the bad one that beats up murders and rapes, is a myth only perpetuated in the minds of men who want to convince themselves that what they are doing is not propping up a highly exploitative trade.

I really do wonder where the statistics are that demonstrate that the majority of purchasers of sexual services are violent rapists and murderers.

  • ·         Decriminalisation wouldn’t make women safer because if you look at the 160-170 murders of people involved in prostitution that we’ve seen just in the last 15 or 20 years in this country, very often there’s a cross-over with men that think it’s acceptable to rape and murder women in prostitution – guess what, they also thought it was acceptable in the wider population.

I simply can’t understand the logic here – can anyone?

  • ·         80,000 women are currently being abused and exploited in sex work at the moment.

 

Rachel Moran, from Space International

  • ·         At Space International we have women contacting us from New Zealand who are prostituting in brothels right now and also women who have managed to get out and what they tell us is that after decriminalisation the market immediately expanded. The New Zealand organisation Streetreach report a 400% rise in street prostitution in Auckland since the implementation of decriminalisation in 2003.
  • ·         There have been zero murders of women in Sweden by pimps or punters since the Nordic model  legislation was implemented yet in a shorter time frame in New Zealand there have been five brutal murders under their decriminalisation model.
  • ·         When you decriminalise an exploitative trade you immediately cut down the exit strategies out of that trade.
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1 hour ago, Carnival said:

J

 

Gavin Shuker, Labour MP for Luton South

 

  • ·         Two thirds of the women who are trafficked into this country are trafficked for the purposes of sex .

This surely raises a number of questions including how do you define “trafficked” . In the past, for example,  Fiona McTaggart used research that defined any sex  worker who was not English as being trafficked.

 

  • ·         Half the people that go into prostitution start under the age of 18 (before they can even consent to it), a “huge number” are drug and alcohol users, a large proportion  were at some time in care.

ALL OF THESE STARTING-AGE SCARE STATISTICS ARE TAKEN FROM HIGHLY SPECIFIC AREAS OF PROSTITUTION (SUCH AS TEENAGE STREETWORKERS) AND THEN APPLIED GENERALLY

  • ·        In countries that have decriminalised prostitution the scale of trafficking has gone up.
  • ·         This is an industry in which you are 11 times more likely to be raped or murdered than in the general population.
  • A QUITE EXTAORDINARILY IMPLAUSIBLE STATISTIC

That seems to me to suggest we should do something to make it safer not criminalise it. Criminalising any trade where the murder rate is higher than average would leave us without a police force and possibly without an  army.

 

  • ·         Women who feel they are not being exploited in prostitution are the minority. For the vast majority the idea of choice isn’t present, coercion is an everyday reality, violence is real.
  • ·         The evidence is clear that if it were a criminal offence to purchase sex, about 80% of men that currently buy sex wouldn’t.
  • AN ABSOLUTELY IRRELEVANT STATISTIC. TRUE OR NOT (IT MAY BE - MOST PEOPLE TRY TO AVOID BREAKING THE LAW), IT IS OF NO INTEREST. IT ASSUMES THAT THE AIM SHOULD BE TO REDUCE PROSTITUTION, RATHER THAN IMPROVE THE WORKING CONDITIONS OF THOSE IN THE INDUSTRY
  • ·         The myth of the good punter, as opposed to the bad one that beats up murders and rapes, is a myth only perpetuated in the minds of men who want to convince themselves that what they are doing is not propping up a highly exploitative trade.
  • AN OPEN-MINDED PERUSAL OF THIS FORUM SHOULD DEMONSTRATE THIS IS NOT A MYTH

I really do wonder where the statistics are that demonstrate that the majority of purchasers of sexual services are violent rapists and murderers.

 

  • ·         Decriminalisation wouldn’t make women safer because if you look at the 160-170 murders of people involved in prostitution that we’ve seen just in the last 15 or 20 years in this country, very often there’s a cross-over with men that think it’s acceptable to rape and murder women in prostitution – guess what, they also thought it was acceptable in the wider population.

I simply can’t understand the logic here – can anyone?

NO

 

  • ·         80,000 women are currently being abused and exploited in sex work at the moment.
  • 80,000 IS THE STANDARD FIGURE WHEELED OUT FOR THE NUMBER OF SEX WORKERS. THEY ARE, BY DEFINITION, ABUSED AND EXPLOITED. THEIR WHOLE ARGUMENT IS CIRCULAR

 

 

Rachel Moran, from Space International

 

  • ·         At Space International we have women contacting us from New Zealand who are prostituting in brothels right now and also women who have managed to get out and what they tell us is that after decriminalisation the market immediately expanded. The New Zealand organisation Streetreach report a 400% rise in street prostitution in Auckland since the implementation of decriminalisation in 2003.
  • I'D SAY IT WAS FAIRLY NATURAL FOR A MARKET TO EXPAND IF WHAT WAS PREVIOUSLY ILLEGAL BECOMES LEGAL. THIS IS NOT IN ITSELF AN ARGUMENT ONE WAY OR THE OTHER AS TO WHETHER IT SHOULD BE LEGAL OR ILLEGAL
  • ·         There have been zero murders of women in Sweden by pimps or punters since the Nordic model  legislation was implemented yet in a shorter time frame in New Zealand there have been five brutal murders under their decriminalisation model.
  • ·         When you decriminalise an exploitative trade you immediately cut down the exit strategies out of that trade.
  • WITH A GENEROUS WELFARE STATE SUCH AS OURS, BRIMMING WITH SOCIAL WORKERS READY TO RUN TO THE AID OF ANYONE IN DISTRESS, THIS SEEMS TO ME A MOST IMPLAUSIBLE ASSERTION

My comments (just instant reactions, without research) in bold following the odd claims made.

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In the response speech to the budget it was slipped in (can't remember if it was by MacDonnell or Corbyn), that the cuts affect women...........this is something he used in his speech when debating the criminalisation of the purchase of sex within the modern slavery bill in 2014. Back then he said that the emphasis shouldn't be on criminalising parts of prostitution, it should be on working out why some women feel forced into it - mentioning benefits, low pay, provision (or lack of) social housing.

It would seem this is something he's thought quite a lot about, and fits in with core socialism.

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Rachel Moran claimed:

·         At Space International we have women contacting us from New Zealand who are prostituting in brothels right now and also women who have managed to get out and what they tell us is that after decriminalisation the market immediately expanded. The New Zealand organisation Streetreach report a 400% rise in street prostitution in Auckland since the implementation of decriminalisation in 2003.

The New Zealand Justice department included a mention of this claim in their 2008 report:

http://www.justice.govt.nz/policy/commercial-property-and-regulatory/prostitution/prostitution-law-review-committee/publications/plrc-report/documents/report.pdf

Page 40: "this claim cannot be substantiated" - the full refutation runs to 4 paragraphs

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Rachel Moran claimed:

"·         There have been zero murders of women in Sweden by pimps or punters since the Nordic model  legislation was implemented

Well no shit Sherlock. There are no recorded murders in the years before the Nordic model was implemented. So being Sweden is the key here, a then safe homogeneous, high welfare, highly educated country, not the legal change. In fact you can find two tragic prostitution-related deaths since the Nordic model was implemented

Danguolė Rasalaitė and Petite Jasmine

And none before.

And this is an argument about which countries are best, it's about which law changes are best.

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Rachel Moran claimed:

"·         When you decriminalise an exploitative trade you immediately cut down the exit strategies out of that trade

That fails on logical grounds. Criminality of exploitation remains under decriminalisation. Decriminalisation allows one extra exit strategy not available under the Nordic model - that  you can make enough money to meet your economic goals and get out.

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13 minutes ago, bongo said:

Rachel Moran claimed:

"·         There have been zero murders of women in Sweden by pimps or punters since the Nordic model  legislation was implemented

Well no shit Sherlock. There are no recorded murders in the years before the Nordic model was implemented. So being Sweden is the key here, a then safe homogeneous, high welfare, highly educated country, not the legal change. In fact you can find two tragic prostitution-related deaths since the Nordic model was implemented

Danguolė Rasalaitė and Petite Jasmine

And none before.

And this is an argument about which countries are best, it's about which law changes are best.

of course sweden has a quite different problem with rapes and abuse of women,and that comes from a different sector of society, not punters.

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Thanks to everyone for your very helpful responses.

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36 minutes ago, Coventrypunter said:

of course sweden has a quite different problem with rapes and abuse of women,and that comes from a different sector of society, not punters.

Care to elaborate?

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Gavin Shuker claimed:

·        In countries that have decriminalised prostitution the scale of trafficking has gone up.

This is probably his side's best argument. If it were true.

It comes from a 2012 paper from Seo-Young Cho, Axel Dreher and Eric Neumayer published in the journal 'World Development', which says "countries with legalized prostitution have a statistically significantly larger reported incidence of human trafficking inflows. This holds true regardless of the model we use to estimate the equations and the variables we control for in the analysis.”

Alas for the researchers they made a massive blunder in taking data from pre-legalisation Germany, and treating it as when the environment was legal. It's been comprehensively debunked here:

http://feministire.com/2015/04/13/a-favourite-piece-of-research-for-swedish-model-advocates-throws-up-a-few-surprises/

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Gavin Shuker claimed:

·         Two thirds of the women who are trafficked into this country are trafficked for the purposes of sex .

This is broadly true. He's referring to 'adult women' ( so no men or girls ) and his data is from:

http://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/publications/national-referral-mechanism-statistics/676-national-referral-mechanism-statistics-end-of-year-summary-2015/file

under 'claimed exploitation type'.

About 21% of these result in a 'positive decision' and are therefore confirmed as being trafficked, and at this level the ratio falls to about 60%.

So Gavin Shuker is basically still correct on this - but what is his point?

It tells us nothing about which law change is best, decriminalisation, or demand-side criminalisation.

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1 hour ago, bongo said:

Rachel Moran claimed:

"·         When you decriminalise an exploitative trade you immediately cut down the exit strategies out of that trade

That fails on logical grounds. Criminality of exploitation remains under decriminalisation. Decriminalisation allows one extra exit strategy not available under the Nordic model - that  you can make enough money to meet your economic goals and get out.

Decriminalisation could be seen to reduce danger, and send a message that the business is ok. Thus women aren't pushed to exit via harm and/or potential for prosecution by safer working arrangements. 

Criminalising by association in my opinion,  based on  my experiences could make it more difficult for women to start to train for, and pursue other careers. 

The impression I get is that pro-nordics generally want the women to leave embittered, and take any job or benefits offered. A modern day Magdelene Laundry model springs to mind, and for many reasons. 

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Posted (edited)

Gavin Shuker claimed:

·         This is an industry in which you are 11 times more likely to be raped or murdered than in the general population.

Well which is it Gavin. Rape or murder?

I can find this:

Salfati, C. G. (2009). Prostitute Homicide: An Overview of the Literature and Comparison to Sexual and Non-Sexual Female Victim Homicide, pp. 51-68. In D. Canter, M. Ioannou, & D. Youngs (Eds.) which found the ratio is 12 in street prostitution.

Now Shuker wants to decriminalise street prostitution, but to maintain the criminality of all aspects of indoor prostitution that involve sharing premises for safety or hiring help. His point actually backs up the view of the ECP lady.

Edited by bongo

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It would be logical to make it safer. 

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