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Often in discussion on sex work law and policy I see sex workers and allies, who know SESTA-FOSTA, the Nordic model, and criminalisation, harms sex workers, grappling for data or research to support their words.
This is a collection of research from academics or respected organisations on documenting the harms of sex work criminalisation, SESTA-FOSTA and Nordic model implementation. Hopefully it might provide a handy resource for sex workers and their allies when needing to demonstrate and support their case.
Here is a regularly updated reference list, arranged in alphabetical order, which opens as a Pdf. Please feel free to use and share - Link
(work in progress)
Below is an unsorted selection of research evidence from the reference list above.
Crago A. L. (2008). Our Lives Matter: Sex Workers Unite for Health and Rights. Open Society Institute Public Health Program - Link
Cunningham S., Shah M. (2014). Decriminalizing indoor prostitution: implications for sexual violence and public health. The national bureau of economic research (NBER) working paper 20281 - Link
Howard S. (2018). Better health for sex workers: which legal model causes least harm? British Medical Journal 361:k2609 - Link
Levy J., Jakobsson P. (2014). Sweden’s abolitionist discourse and law: Effects on the dynamics of Swedish sex work and on the lives of Sweden’s sex workers. Criminology & Criminal Justice - Link
Supplementary written evidence submitted by National Ugly Mugs. (2016) Home Affairs Committee Prostitution inquiry PRO0244 - Link
Abel G., Fitzgerald L., Brunton C. (2007) The impact of the Prostitution Reform Act on the health and safety practices of sex workers: report to the Prostitution Law Review Committee. Health Research Council and Ministry of Justice, New Zealand - Link
Amnesty International (2016) Amnesty International policy on state obligations to respect, protect and fulfil the human rights of sex workers - Link
Danna, D (2012) ‘Client-Only Criminalization in the City of Stockholm: A Local Research on the Application of the “Swedish Model” of Prostitution Policy’, in Sexuality Research and Social Policy 9(1), 80-93 - Link
Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW). (2011). Moving Beyond ‘Supply and Demand’ Catchphrases: Assessing the uses and limitations of demand-based approaches in Anti-Trafficking - Link
Hester M., Westmarland N. (2004). Tackling Street Prostitution: towards an holistic approach. Home Office Research Study 279 - Link (I dislike many aspects of this article, but the gist that better results come from listening to and working with sex workers instead of using police and law, is a good noise to make).
Jordan J. (2005). Sex Industry in New Zealand: A Literature Review. Commissioned by the Ministry of Justice to provide an assessment of the state of the sex industry in New Zealand - Link
Chu S. K. H., Glass R. (2013-14). Sex Work Law Reform in Canada: considering problems with the ‘Nordic Model’. Alberta Law Review 51:101-124 - Link
Krüsi A., Pacey K., Bird L., Taylor C., Chettiar J., Allan S., Bennett D., Montaner J. S., Kerr T., Shannon K. (2014). Criminalisation of clients: reproducing vulnerabilities for violence and poor health among street-based sex workers in Canada—a qualitative study. British Medical Journal Open 4(6):e005191 - Link
Kulick D. (2003). Sex in the New Europe: The Criminalization of Clients and Swedish Fear of Penetration. Anthropological Theory 3(2):199–218 - Link
Lyon, W. (2014). Client criminalisation and sex workers’ right to health. Hibernian Law Journal 58 - Link
Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Police Affairs. (2004). Purchasing Sexual Services in Sweden and the Netherlands. A Report by a Working Group on the legal regulation of the purchase of sexual services - Link
O’Connell Davidson J. (2003). Sleeping with the enemy? Some problems with feminist abolitionist calls to penalise those who buy commercial sex. Social Policy and Society 2(1):55-63 - Link
National Union of Students. (2016). Student sex worker research - Link
ScotPep. (2015). The Swedish Model: a briefing - Link
Scoular J., Carline A. (2014). A critical account of a “creeping neo-abolitionism”: Regulating prostitution in England and Wales. Criminology and Criminal Justice 14(5), 608-626 - Link
World Health Organisation. (2012). Prevention and treatment of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections for sex workers in low- and middle-income countries: Recommendations for a public health approach - Link
World Health Organisation. (2013). Implementing Comprehensive HIV/STI Programmes with Sex Workers: practical approaches from collaborative interventions - Link
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and UNAIDS. (2012). Sex Work and the Law in Asia and the Pacific. Evidence based report for policy making in 48 countries of the Asia-Pacific region - Link Note: the words below are centred in the context of Fiji, but the dynamics of criminalisation apply everywhere.
UNDP. (2012). HIV and the Law: Risks, Rights, and Health. Final report of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law - Link
Jordan A. (2012). The Swedish Law to Criminalise Clients: A Failed Experiment in Social Engineering. Program on Human Trafficking and Forced Labor. Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law: American University Washington College of Law. 4:1-17 - Link
Dodillet S., Östergren P. (2011). The Swedish Sex Purchase Act: Claimed Success and Documented Effects. International Workshop: Decriminalizing Prostitution and Beyond: Practical Experiences and Challenges - Link
Wallace B. (2009). The Ban on Purchasing Sex in Sweden: The so-called ‘Swedish Model’. Office of the Australian Prostitution Licensing Authority - Link
Scoular J., O'Neill M. (2007). Regulating Prostitution: Social Inclusion, Responsibilization and the Politics of Prostitution Reform. British Journal of Criminology 47(5):764–778 - Link
Östergren P. (2004). Sexworkers Critique of Swedish Prostitution Policy - Link
Danna, D. (2007). Report on the city of Stockholm, in Prostitution and Public Life in Four European Capitals - Link
Crago A., Arnott J. (2009). Rights Not Rescue: A Report on Female, Male, and transgender Sex Workers’ Human Rights in Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa. Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa/Open Society Institute’s Sexual Health & Rights Project - Link
Brooks-Gordon B. (2010). Bellwether Citizens: The Regulation of Male Clients of Sex Workers. Journal of Law and Society 37(1):145-170 - Link
International Committee on the Rights of Sexworkers in Europe. (2014). 560 NGOs & 94 academics signed letters to the members of the European Parliament asking them to reject a report by MEP Mary Honeyball, which asks EU Member States to consider the criminalisation of the clients of sex workers - Link
Huschke S., Shirlow P., Schubotz D., Ward E., Probst U., Ní Dhónaill C. (2014). Research into Prostitution in Northern Ireland. Queen’s University Belfast: Commissioned by the Department of Justice - Link
Subrahmanian R. (2008). Sexual Politics and Social Policy: Swedish Policy Reviewed. In: Kabeer N., Stark A., Edda Magnus E. Global Perspectives on Gender Equality: Reversing the Gaze. New York: Routledge - Link