Niki and Laura discuss the impact of police hostility toward sex workers and why government legislation needs to change in order to protect those who work in the field.
Upload Date: Mar 26, 2021
Niki and Laura discuss the impact of police hostility toward sex workers and why government legislation needs to change in order to protect those who work in the field. The English Collective of Prostitutes campaigns for the decriminalization of prostitution, for sex workers' rights and safety, and for resources to enable people to get out of prostitution if they want to.
now the that the whole issue of caring work is really massively important and that the fact that caring work is unpaid for means that it's devalued in society. And I think there is a big and growing movement to change that, to say that caring should be central. The reproduction of the human race is really crucial for us. It's a very obvious connection because, you know, when we were paid for the work that we do raising Children and keeping society together, we wouldn't be pushed into prostitution in order to feed our Children. I mean the majority of sex workers and mothers, and that's a really primary motivation. It takes a lot to kind of go against the law, you know, to decide I'm going to be an illegal worker. Put yourself outside of society. Still kind of positioning. That's why I found it. Um, so interesting that such political engagement, But there has to be for people who are literally ostracized from so many areas of society just because of the way that they earn their money. Yeah, that's right. That is right. I mean, I think the other thing about when we started as an organization. There was a very big struggle of sex workers in France at the time. And there's a brilliant film actually about it, where the women are actually speaking about the situation and everything they say is true. Now, you know, they say, where mothers, you know, working to support our kids. We don't get protection from the police. You know, we we end up, you know, suffering violence and don't get any protection. The laws are criminalizing us. We get criminal records and we're trapped in prostitution. All those kind of issues. And they actually went into day, occupy churches throughout the whole country and really brought to public attention. I mean, we heard about it. Yeah, and that was kind of a big inspiration for us. Starting up. It was a very big movement, and there was a lot of clarity and power that came at that time. Really good at striking from, like, they are amazing at that. Are they revolution? No. The mothers that are involved in the John a really fantastic as well, you know, they've been kind of out there protesting police of violence and abuse. I think people and would be shocked and should be shocked by the way the police treat sex workers because it's a pretty bad situation. It's a bit like at the moment, every kind of act that sex work, every kind of contact that sex workers have with the police is hostile. Um, and you know, on the street, if you're working on the street or if you're working from a flat, the police are kind of constantly on your back, constantly arresting you, stopping you, raiding you and kind of training to the police. Get in terms of working with sex workers because also the legal position now. So the current legal state for someone selling sex by themselves in Britain is that it's it's decriminalized. No, it's not, it's not. It's not illegal to be a sex worker, but everything you fundamentally due to contact a client is illegal. And you know that's so working on the street is illegal. You get down for loitering and soliciting. You also increasingly get done under these new civil orders. You know all the kind of anti social behaviour orders public space protection orders which are very draconian. But it's also illegal to work together from premises. Yes, so That's something I found really surprising. Common sense, exactly. Someone for economic or safety reasons or both would share a premises exactly working. It just seems to be the most sensible thing in the world. But our law at the moment says that's brothel keeping, and everyone can then be keeping. Law is used mostly against women. Working for premises is not used against the people that are coercing or forcing people, because it doesn't mean, you know, you don't need any to prove any kind of force or coercion. To get a very serious sentences like seven years in prison is the maximum sentence keeping, yeah.