Don’t outlaw sex workers’ consent! Policy Brief in response to law proposal to criminalise sex work in Spain

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In response to the Spanish Socialist Government’s proposed law to criminalise sex work, ESWA developed a report that has been backed by EATG and ten more European organisations

Following the announcement made on October 17th by the Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, during his party’s congress about his very personal commitment to “abolish prostitution”, the European Sex Workers’ Rights Alliance (ESWA) launches today its Briefing Paper ‘Don’t outlaw sex workers’ consent!’


The Briefing Paper is endorsed by 11 European civil society networks experts in the fields of human rights, anti-trafficking, migrants’ rights, anti-racism, HIV, sexual health and reproductive rights and LGBTI rights, concerned about the attempt to invalidate the consent of sex workers in Spain and the potential impact of criminalisation of sex work on sex workers’ human rights.


The signatory organisations of this Briefing Paper firmly oppose the criminalisation of sex work (sex workers, clients or third parties). Criminalisaion of sex work is globally recognised as increasing the vulnerability of sex workers to violence, exploitation and HIV. Criminalisation of sex work is also inconsistent with a women’s rights and feminist approach as it denies the capacity for action and decision-making to a social group mainly made up of women. Using criminal laws to address sex work does not support sex workers and does not protect the actual victims of the crime of human trafficking.


The organisations endorsing the Briefing Paper urge the Ministry of Equality of the Government of Spain and the Spanish Socialist Workers Party to withdraw the articles that refer to prostitution from the draft organise law on the integral guarantee of sexual freedom. It also recommend avoiding any attempt to criminalise the consensual exchange of sex in exchange for money by adults and that in the future, any policy and lawmakers sit down and talk with organised sex workers when It is intended to legislate on their work.


In addition to these and other recommendations, this document presents data and contrasted sources on the damage that twenty-two years of Swedish Model have inflicted on the lives of sex workers wherever it has been applied, as well as the opinions of the signatory organisations regarding the decriminalisation of sex work and the inclusion of sex workers at the table as valid interlocutors.


The pledge to support the demand is open for signatures here.


Source : ESWA

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