New review of ‘Nordic Model’ in Northern Ireland shows increased stigma and no decrease in demand

18 Sep 2019 17:09:51

The new research, commissioned by the Northern Ireland Department of Justice (DOJ) from Queen’s University Belfast, shows ‘no evidence’ that the law has led to a decrease in demand for sexual services, and has had a ‘limited deterrent effect on client behaviour’. The research also highlights increases in anti-social behavior and stigma towards sex workers, and higher anxiety and fear of crime among sex workers.

New research has been released analysing the impact of criminalisation of sex work in Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland criminalised the purchase of sexual services in 2015 through the Human Trafficking and Exploitation Act, and two or more sex workers working together are also criminalised.

The report shows that a majority of clients (53%) would continue to purchase sex ‘with the same frequency’ and that the law has made ‘no difference to how often [clients] purchase sex’.

The research suggests that ‘the legislation has contributed to a climate whereby sex workers feel further marginalised and stigmatised’ and sex workers now have a ‘heightened fear of crime’. 56% of sex workers reported they felt the law had made sex work less safe. The main report recommends an ‘immediate’ policy change to brothel keeping laws to end sex workers having to work alone, as this ‘would contribute to an overall feeling of safety among sex working populations’.

The change in the law was opposed by 98% of sex workers when it was introduced, and SWAI has also drawn attention to the negative impact on sex workers’ mental health caused by an increase in threatening behaviour.

Full article is under this link

Full report is under this link

Submitted by NSWP on 18th September 2019