A Victory for Mary Honeyball, a Defeat for Human Rights, Evidence-Based Policy and Dignified Political Debate
Yesterday the European Parliament backed measures which have been rejected as a violation of basic human rights by Amnesty, Human Rights Watch and UNAIDS. Mary Honeyball MEP’s report advocating the criminalization of the purchase of sex were widely criticized by the experts, including sex workers, academics, human rights activists and a variety of NGOs throughout Europe, who repeatedly presented her with solid evidence demonstrating that her proposals would further marginalize and stigmatize sex workers and ultimately cause them harm.
Despite the overwhelming evidence Ms. Honeyball charged ahead on a moral crusade to eradicate sex work at whatever cost. Despite sensible evidence based responses from both the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats she utilised the Labour Party machinery and her colleagues in the so-called Group of the Progressive Alliance lined up behind her to support her regressive, authoritarian proposals.
Her recent media appearances could easily be edited together to form a montage of discredited studies and misleadingly quotes statistics which have no basis in reality. She hasn’t even been consistent in her use of misquoted or misunderstood figures. Some specific examples can be found in a Total Politics article I wrote with some colleagues.