Sex Workers Meeting
19th January 2002
A session held at the EUROPAP/ENMP Conference in Milton Keynes, UK
18th- 20th January 2002
Note: This document was presented during the conference and was met with a standing ovation from almost all (if not all) of the conference attendees.
It was agreed that the Swedish legal model (criminalising clients of prostitutes) was being touted by some as an exemplary model, however sex workers have spoken out against this.
All sex workers at the meeting voiced their objections to the model and agreed that there should be some direct action to protest this. It was suggested that the meeting demand of the Conference that the entire Conference official voice its objections to the Swedish model based on the following statement:
We the International Union of Sex Workers and the International Network for Sex Work Projects, sex workers and our supporters at the EUROPAP/ENMP Conference in Milton Keynes,
-Agree that this model of legislation is counterproductive and inhumane.
-That this model increases the vulnerability of sex workers in Sweden and increases levels of violence.
-In addition that the Swedish model and laws on prostitution violate not only the basic human rights of sex workers, but also the basic human rights of their clients.
We call on the government of Sweden to scrap its anti-sex work laws and to lead the way in Europe and decriminalise prostitution in Sweden.
We call on the Conference at Milton Keynes to condemn in the strongest terms the Swedish model in favour of a more appropriate legal reform.
Therefore we call on those who support this protest to stand in solidarity and in solidarity with sex workers in Sweden who are oppressed by the legislation.
Direct action sponsored by the International Union of Sex Workers will follow this Conference which will voice the condemnation of the Swedish laws in the form of protests at the Swedish Embassy in the United Kingdom.
The International Network for Sex Work Projects will facilitate an email campaign aimed at Swedish parliamentarians to condemn the laws.
The meeting ended with a demand for the first five minutes of the last plenary of the Milton Keynes Conference to voice these objections and to call on the Conference participants to join in this campaign. A direct action protest would be called for at that plenary.