Resources

NSWP member organisation the English Collective of Prostitutes and Dr Laura Connelly from the University of Salford have published new research that looks at EU Migrant Sex Work in the UK Post-Referendum.  

The research, conducted in 2019, shows that violence, xenophobia and threats of deportation against migrant sex workers from the European Union have risen since the EU Referendum.

Key findings from the research include:

This paper by PICUM discusses the impact of criminalisation on the human rights and dignity of undocumented migrant sex workers in Europe. It outlines the main legal frameworks affecting sex workers, and highlights how these intersect with other frameworks criminalising migrants in Europe.

As part of its programme 'Rights not Rescue: Sex Work, Migration, Exploitation and Trafficking', ICRSE has published 'Trafficking 101: a community resource for sex workers' rights activists'.

The International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe have published the briefing paper Surveilled. Exploited. Deported. Rights Violations Against Migrant Sex Workers in Europe and Central Asia. It explores how criminalisation of migration, criminalisation of sex work and lack of economic and employment opportunities make migrant sex workers vulnerable to exploitation, violence and other human rights violations. It also provides key recommendations to ensure the rights of migrant sex workers are protected.

This briefing paper calls for the decriminalisation of sex work and sets out TAMPEP International’s arguments against the abolitionist feminist lobby groups that work to decriminalisation.

Download this resource: TAMPEP Briefing Paper 2015

In 1999, the Swedish government embarked on an experiment in social engineering1 to end men’s practice of purchasing commercial sexual services. The government enacted a new law criminalizing the purchase (but not the sale) of sex (Swedish Penal Code). It hoped that the fear of arrest and increased public stigma would convince men to change their sexual behaviour. The government also hoped that the law would force the estimated 1,850 to 3,000 women who sold sex in Sweden at that time to find another line of work.

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This resource reflects on a Dutch proposal that would increase the legal minimum age for sex workers from 18 to 21. It aims to understand what is the role of ‘age’ in shaping social protection policies regarding sex work in The Netherlands by analysing the discourses on the meaning of age, shaped by those involved in the design and implementation of policies related to sex work in The Netherlands. The resource seeks to answer the following questions:

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This report deals with the various forms of exploitation experienced by migrant women in the labour market and how legislation designed to police immigration and prevent trafficking often fails to protect these vulnerable women. The report also examines the role of the media in objectifying migrant women through their often negative, stereotypical portrayals.

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This Report aims to summarize the arguments for and against the criminalisation of the purchase of sexual services. It first describes the experiences of Swedish and Dutch legal regulation relating to the purchase of sexual services. In Sweden, there is a wish to abolish sex work by way of criminalising the client. In the Netherlands, sex work is allowed within certain limits (only involuntary sex work comes under criminal rules).

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This article looks at how legalisation came to the netherlands; what it was intended to do, and what the impact has been on sex workers. In order to answer these lines of enquiry, the article examines what discourses frame the major actors in this debate, starting with a historical overview of Dutch sex work policies throughout the 20th century. Having established the socio-political backdrop of the Netherlands' approach to legalised sex work, the resource discusses how legalisation (or regulationism) "did not solve a number of serious problems in the sex industry".

Academic study of discourse and campaigns in the run-up to the 2012 European Football Championship finals as the basis for advising decision-makers. (Executive Summary)

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Academic study of discourse and campaigns in the run-up to the 2012 European Football Championship finals as the basis for advising decision-makers.

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This study was published by International Organisation for Migration (IOM) with financial support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and was conducted between June and September 2006. Prior to the World Cup in Germany in 2006, there was considerable international concern that this event would contribute to a sharp increase in trafficking for sexual exploitation.  Media reports suggested that sex work would increase and that up to 40,000 women might be trafficked. This report investigates whether the number of victims of human trafficking for sexual exploitation increased during the World Cup 2006. 

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Prevention and fight against trafficking in human beings — A European Union strategy since 1996

RAPID The Press and Communication Service of the European Commission
Tuesday, September 17, 2002

Each year, at world level, hundreds of thousands of women and children are being moved across international borders by trafficking rings. The European Union has been actively engaged since 1996 in developing a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach towards the prevention of and fight against trafficking in human beings. Here are a few examples of the way this strategy has been implemented over the last four years, going backwards in time.


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The European Union and its Member States generally acknowledge the positive value of international migration when it takes place in a regulated and predictable manner. They are alarmed, however, by irregular migratory movements. Indeed, in the face of the perceived threat posed by this phenomenon, States have introduced a series of measures to deter or prevent migrants from gaining unauthorised entry into their territories. The blanket enforcement of such measures makes it increasingly difficult for refugees and asylum-seekers to secure access to international protection. With this concern in mind, UNHCR must stress that the Action Plan contained in the Commission Communication on a Common Policy on Illegal Immigration and subsequently adopted by the Member States strike a proper balance between migration control priorities and refugee protection imperatives.

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An analysis on indoor sex work settings in seven European cities and a manual on examples of good practices in the work with sex workers. The manual has two objectives: To provide an analysis on local level of the indoor prostitution scene, and to present examples of good practice for service providers regarding the implementation of new outreach methodologies in order to encourage a broader development of comprehensive indoor outreach services.

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This is a leaflet on safety at work made for sex workers by sex workers and organisations from five EU countries. The leaflet is available in Bulgarian, English, French, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish. The leaflet targets sex workers working in hotels, apartments, brothels, clubs, bars, massage parlours, saunas, sex shops, and other indoor venues. The leaflet is the result of our local experiences. It presents advice and tips related to safety at work, and information on sex work legislation in Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy and Portugal.

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This is a leaflet on safety at work made for sex workers by sex workers and organisations from five EU countries. The leaflet is available in Bulgarian, English, French, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish. The leaflet targets sex workers working in hotels, apartments, brothels, clubs, bars, massage parlours, saunas, sex shops, and other indoor venues. The leaflet is the result of our local experiences. It presents advice and tips related to safety at work, and information on sex work legislation in Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy and Portugal.

Download this resource:

This is a leaflet on safety at work made for sex workers by sex workers and organisations from five EU countries. The leaflet is available in Bulgarian, English, French, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish. The leaflet targets sex workers working in hotels, apartments, brothels, clubs, bars, massage parlours, saunas, sex shops, and other indoor venues. The leaflet is the result of our local experiences. It presents advice and tips related to safety at work, and information on sex work legislation in Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy and Portugal.

Download this resource: