Opposing MEPs call for a uniform Nordic prostitution model in Europe

Nordic prostitution model

Again, European MEPs try to advocate for a Nordic prostitution model in all EU countries that would criminalise buyers of sexual services. For this purpose, members of the European parliament have been working on a new prostitution report, which includes a motion for a resolution on the regulation of prostitution in the EU: its cross-border implications and impact on gender equality and women’s rights. The draft report written by German MEP Maria Noichl regrettably includes several non-evidence based (false) claims about human trafficking and prostitution, while also conflating both issues frequently.

Claims made include that ‘prostitution, its exploitation, and trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation is increasing; that the demand for prostitution leads to human trafficking and that in countries where prostitution is legal, trafficking increases. Another misconception in the report and in the discussions is that sex workers, people working and consenting to work in prositution, cannot be victim of human trafficking and that protection measure would only benefit sex workers and not victims of human trafficking. La Strada International is promoting working rights in all regulated and non-regulated sector, strongly believing that all workers in these sectors would benefits from rights.

The prostition report now waits for the (FEMM) Committee’s decision with an amendments deadline on 9 of February. It is hoped that the report in its current form will not be adopted by the Committee. We call upon MEPs not to conflate violence against women and human traffikcing with prostitution an dnot to misuse the negotiations around the important proposal for a Directive on Violence against Women and the revision of the EU Trafficking Directive for this demand (anti) prostitution approach.

On 31 of January, La Strada International as member of the European Coalition on Sex Workers’ Rights and Inclusion, spoke with members of the S & D and at public Round table hosted by MEP Monika Vana ‘The future of sex work How to ensure sex worker’s rights in Europe’ . Different European Human Rights Networks and former OSCE and UN Special Rapporteurs Helga Konrad and Maria Grazia Giammarinaro spoke out against the Nordic criminalisation model.

The organisations who make up the are: Aids Action Europe (AAE), Amnesty International, Correlation European Harm Reduction Network (Correlation EHRN), European Aids Treatment Group (EATG), European Digital Rights (EDRi), European Network Against Racism (ENAR), European Sex Workers’ Rights Alliance (ESWA), Equinox – Racial Justice Initiative, Fair Trials, Human Rights Watch, International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network (IPPF EN), International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association Europe (ILGA-Europe), La Strada International (LSI), Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM), and Transgender Europe (TGEU).