A decision due soon from the European Parliament could trigger a wave of legislative change about how sex work is policed in Europe. Following a debate scheduled Monday about a report submitted by UK politician Mary Honeyball, politicians from around Europe must decide Wednesday whether they should adopt her position and formally recommend that European states criminalize the act of buying sex.
Often referred to as the Swedish or the Nordic model, this criminalization approach is becoming an increasingly applauded policy—by everyone except sex workers and the people who work with them.
“Most societies who work with sex workers are against criminalizing the work. It’s a very ideological approach and not practical,” Luca Stevenson, coordinator of the International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe (ICRSE), told RH Reality Check. “But it’s the well-funded, politically connected state organizations that can be the loudest.”
More from Maddy French on the EU Parliament and the human rights of sex workers and their clients…