Letter to the Guardian… Sex Work


I thought my blog would be a great place to start collecting and sharing resources on sex work research and policy.

I have been critical of the Guardian for some time now, so I was delighted to read this Letter to the Guardian From Sex Work Organisations and Academics.

I have included an extract below:

“Sex workers and academics demand fairer representation of the debate on criminalisation of clients in Europe.

We are shocked by the recent series of articles published in the Guardian. Unrelated to any specific news, The Guardian published four articles in two days (11thand 12th December) in the Global development section, including an interactive map of Europe’s prostitution legal framework, one Comment piece and an Audio guide, all arguing in favour of the Swedish Model to criminalise clients.

This series of articles comes at a time where many sex workers are being arrested in Aberdeen, Bradford, Glasgow and London, and a week before the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, where many sex workers in Europe and around the world will come together to demand an end, not only to physical violence, but to state-sponsored violence including the criminalisation of our clients. The Swedish Model, receiving so much attention in your paper, runs counter to such a demand.

The quantity and quality of the articles and information presented manifest more as a propaganda effort for the Swedish Model, than factual reporting. Further research would show that the Swedish model has been demonstrated to be not only inefficient, but also dangerous to sex workers and has been opposed by a number of important international organisations including Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women, World Health Organization, United Nations Development Programme, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and many more. There is also a significant amount of peer reviewed evidence, by respected academics which questions this model as a model which supports the well being of sex workers“.

The ‘Swedish Model’ or ‘Nordic Model’ is frequently (and uncritically) heralded as a ‘cure’ to sex work, and I agree with this piece that the frequent coverage in the Guardian (as well as many others) is nothing short of propaganda.