A Critique of the “Report on Prostitution and Sexual Exploitation and its Impact on Gender Equality” by Mary Honeyball, MEP

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The International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe (ICRSE) has spearheaded a campaign to critically review the draft report by MEP Mary Honeyball which proposes the criminalisation of clients based on factually incorrect and misleading information. Ninety-four academics have signed this letter of critique.

This resource is a letter and a counter-report written by Matthias Lehmann with input from Dr. Jay Levy, Dr. Nicola Mai, and Dr. Jane Pitcher to Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) analysing the lack of and misrepresentation of evidence in Mary Honeyball’s report. The letter and counter-report were made available to ICRSE by the author.

The letter states, “We are concerned that this report is not of an acceptable standard on which to base a vote that would have such a serious, and potentially dangerous, impact on already marginalised populations.” It continues, “The report by Ms Honeyball fails to address the problems and harms that can surround sex work and instead produces biased, inaccurate and disproven data. We believe that policies should be based on sound evidence and thus hope that you will vote against the motion to criminalise sex workers’ clients.”  

The counter-report noticed that, amongst other astounding errors, Mary Honeyball completely misinterpreted a joint report commissioned by the City of Amsterdam and the Dutch Ministry of Justice, embarrassingly “mistaking” data on coffee shops for data on brothels.
You can download this resource as 10 page PDF document above. This resource is in English.