More on how to protest against Jacqui Smith’s proposals

Caroline's picture

Further to my post yesterday, I have some more information from the IUSW on how to protest against Jacqui Smith's proposals:

The second reading of the new bill is now on MONDAY THE 12TH.

We must get as many MPs as is possible to speak out against the governments proposals.

This is a draft letter from the IUSW.

Please will everyone concerned with this industry send this to your MP. If you need help finding out who your local MP is IM me and I will give you details. [or check out this site]

Clients can of course change the begining to something appropriate such as concerned member of the public.

This is urgent please do this asap.

I am writing to you as a resident of your constituency who is (a concerned member of the public)involved in the sex industry. The Policing and Crime Bill, that has its second reading on 12 January, contains proposals which will make people in the sex industry less safe and increase our social exclusion. The proposals make it more likely that street sex workers will be forced to work in greater isolation and as a consequence be hurt and killed, and less likely that victims of trafficking will come to the attention of the police. The proposals directly play into the hands of exploitative and violent criminals and traffickers by decreasing the ways to work safely and making sex workers less likely to call the police if they are the victims of crime and abuse.

The Home Office has failed to consult with sex workers’ organisations during the preparation of legislation (neither the International Union of Sex Workers or the English Collective of Prostitutes are considered to be stakeholders on this issue according to the Home Office report on Tackling the Demand for Prostitution of November 2008; neither is the uk Network of Sex Work Projects which provides frontline health and support services to people in the sex industry through 63 projects across the uk).

In addition, the proposals completely ignore an enormous range of academic research which shows that increased criminalisation has a negative effect: we need evidence based policy to create effective change and protect the vulnerable. The magnitude of the Home Office’s misinterpretation of evidence is shown in the Regulatory Impact Assessments associated with the Bill, which state that Pentameter 2 (a nationwide police operation) identified 800 brothels containing trafficked women. In fact, the police’s own figures for Pentameter 2 show raids on 822 premises located 250 victims of trafficking: the Home Office has confused the number of premises raided with the number of actual victims found.

I ask you to condemn these proposals during the second reading debate, and call for policy on the sex industry to treat our safety and human rights as the highest priority. This can only be achieved by meaningful consultation with those most effected: we are the experts in our own lives.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Like I said with the petition - if you’re in the UK and have an MP, please do get involved with this. If you’re not in the UK, please post this on your blog or website for your UK readers, or forward it in email - anything to spread the word.