delve a little deeper....
I have just sent the following letter to my MP. If you click on the link to the ECP link there is more information on who to contact regarding this. This HAS to be fought.
You don't have to confess to being a sex worker or punter, (although personal reasons are very helpful) but enough response to this will help.
Dear Ms MacLeod
I am writing you regarding the clauses on prostitution in the Modern Slavery Bill 2014 which would make the purchase of sex illegal. These amendments to the Modern Slavery bill are a stealth way of making changes to a law which is very complicated and should not be agreed to without all the facts being known.
Sex work in many many cases is not part of modern slavery, Whilst coercion and the forceful trafficking of women for sex does exist the problem is much smaller than those in the anti sex work lobby would lead everyone to believe. The Modern Slavery bill is important in tackling these issues and there are already current laws in place that do protect those who are forced into prostitution or who are assaulted due to prostitution. The suggested amendments to the bill are not relevant to slavery and the reasoning's behind it are false and do not consider the impact on those who do sex work through choice.
Many of the claims that have been made about the impact of the 1999 Swedish law which criminalised clients are false and have no evidential basis. Fiona Mactaggart MP claimed that criminalising clients “has been shown to reduce sex trafficking ever since it was first adopted in Sweden in 1999”. There is no evidence cited to support this claim.
By making the purchase of sex illegal, a so called effort to 'end demand' will have a huge impact on the lives of sex workers. It is not something sex workers want and many of them are living in fear that their clients will be criminalised.
If this law passed it will be detrimental for escorts, less clients means less money and remember most escorts do this to support their families. It means women will be forced to be less fussy who they see, do services they don't want to and less likely to call the police if anything goes wrong.
A law criminalising clients has been introduced despite research done by Queen’s University Belfast for the Dept. of Justice which found that 90% of sex workers opposed the law and 61% specifically said it would make it more dangerous.
Wherever you sit regarding sex work morally, you can not escape the fact it happens and it will continue to happen. There is an estimated 80,00 prostitutes in the UK, if they were all to stop tomorrow what would they do to live on? Jobs are not easily available and many choose sex work because they can do it around their studies, childcare or mental health.
The issues regarding prostitution are not easily solved. There is no way that prostitution can be wiped out. What needs to happen is for those who are abusing or forcing women into this work are caught and punished, but also that sex work is made safer for men and women who freely choose to do it. This includes changing the laws regarding making it illegal for women to work together for safety.
If you haven't made your mind up on this issue or feel that paying for sex should be criminalised I urge you to take some time to look at the facts and listen to sex workers who know better than anyone else how to make their work safer.
This link from the English Collection of Prostitutes details the issues and concerns and addresses the fallacies that surround the issue.
In addition this document (despite being from the US it talks about sex work globally) gives additional reasons why sex work should not be criminalised.
I would also be happy to speak to you further if you would like to know more. I have lived in Hounslow borough for 15 years and am happy to provide you (in confidence) my address and phone number if you need it. Currently there are over 170 women advertising sexual services in Hounslow on one single website. These are your constituents and have no or little way of voicing their concerns I ask you to help stand up for them.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. I look forward to your response.