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Global News/Campaigns

This page will share national and international campaigns and news regarding the adult entertainment/sex industry

Message from Decrim now:

We are reaching out to ask you to join us in opposing the dangerous 'Sexual Exploitation' bill proposed by Diana Johnson MP. This bill advocates for the criminalisation of paying for sex and advertising of sexual services online.

Decrim Now is a coalition of sex workers and survivors of sexual violence advocating for our own rights. Third parties, bosses and clients are not part of our organisation, nor do we support them. We are often said to be voiceless: here we are speaking out.

Client criminalisation activists say that their bill will help victims of trafficking, and even sex workers. In fact, the opposite is true. Criminalising clients and banning advertising websites increases the sexual and economic exploitation of women, sex workers and trafficking victims.

The bill was first proposed to Parliament in a 10-minute bill reading on the 9th December 2020. Due to Covid-19 measures, it was postponed until further notice and is unlikely to make further progress. It is, however, only one of countless attacks on the rights of sex workers that we have experienced in recent years and it unlikely to be the last. Many difficult feelings surround this issue: even if you are on the fence, we ask that you read our Open Letter, which details why this is the case.

Link to the the Anti Nordic Model letter has been published on our website today! You can find it here:

In order to get the letter sent out to MPs, we have set up a tool which makes it easy for constituents to send it out to their MP with a personalised message. It can be accessed here:

If you need any more information about our campaign, please do not hesitate to get in touch. or access our website here.

Publication of the SEXHUM Policy Report

One of SEXHUM’s main aims is producing policy recommendations, at both local and global level, to improve migrant sex workers’ access to the correct support and identify best policies to prevent and combat trafficking and exploitation.

Concerns around trafficking and the exploitability of migrant sex workers are at the core of policy making and regulation of the sex industry as a whole.

By focusing on migrant sex workers, SEXHUM engaged in identifying best legislative and policy making practices for all sex workers, regardless of their migration status.

Access the report and their dedicated website here.

More news from SWAI (Sex Workers Alliance Ireland) below:


Jan 27, 2021

Sex Workers Alliance Ireland (SWAI) demands that the courts obey the blanket ban on deportations reinstated by the Taoiseach since Level 5 Covid restrictions began.

A 32-year-old Polish native with an 11-month old son was handed down a suspended sentence yesterday in Waterford court for facilitating prostitution. She was given the choice of a 1 year prison sentence in Ireland or leaving the Republic within the next 14 days, with a promise to not return for 5 years. Her resultant departure from Ireland – whilst not officially a deportation – flies in the face of the health advice that led the Taoiseach to reinstate the deportation moratorium.

The judge incorrectly stated that “the sale of sex is a crime”. He, however, acknowledged that no one involved had been coerced and that the sex work was an economic activity. Notably, there was mention of a man present whom it was believed the women in the apartment were “fearful” of, yet it was the new mother herself who was faced with any charge. The judge also mentioned that “Society has to be protected from this sort of behaviour” harkening back to an old Ireland where stigma and shame of sexuality subjugated women.

This is another case where the brunt of the so-called brothel-keeping laws are born by migrant sex workers, as highlighted by the brothel-keepers research. The brothel-keeping law means that even two workers working together for safety are working illegally which increases our precarity.

Kate McGrew, sex worker and director Sex Workers Alliance Ireland, stated: “We advocate for a decriminalised sex industry in order that sex workers can avail of safe and vetted work environments. It is due to the current criminalization, direct and by proxy, that sex workers are forced onto a black market where criminals are poised to take advantage of our lack of options.”

She continues: “Where we are concerned about the well-being of those in the sex industry, we must acknowledge that our ability to make safe decisions is curtailed by this criminal law.”

Kate McGrew, director of Sex Workers Alliance Ireland (SWAI) says “The Sex Workers Alliance Ireland (SWAI) applauds this brave sex worker who reported the crime and we call for an end to the criminalisation and stigmatisation that leaves this vulnerable population in the shadows.”

She continues “This occurred immediately in the wake of increased criminalisation of both this worker and her client. The change in law created an environment wherein our vulnerability was highlighted in the media, without providing any new protections for us whatsoever. The law increased criminalisation of people co-working, under “brothel-keeping” legislation, distancing us from authorities, and also forcing us to work alone if we were trying to work within legal parameters. Since the law changed in 2017 we have seen a 92% increase in violent crimes against us. This is yet another example.

SWAI calls for full decriminalisation of the sex industry. Were Ireland to repeal the criminalisation of brothel-keeping and the purchase of sex, we would see more sex workers engaging with the justice system. We will see better outcomes for sex workers when we have legal and vetted options within the industry. We will see better outcomes for sex workers as society begins to acknowledge the reality that sex work is an economic activity, and therefore sex workers are labourers deserving of protections afforded to all workers. Irish culture is moving in this direction, it is time that this be reflected at state and policy levels.

In the 2017 incident, the escort was obviously the victim of a violent crime. Yet, in Vickers’ statement the court heard that he brought the knife that he used to stab the victim because it was he himself who was afraid of “being robbed”. Sex workers are forced to work alone by our laws, which increased penalties for so-called brothel-keeping in 2017.

Sex workers are perpetually bound by the dichotomy of victim and criminal identities. Depending on the moment, either will be deployed against us and used to erase our perspective of our own experiences.”

Copyright © 2021 Sex Workers Alliance Ireland, All rights reserved.

SWAI - Sex Workers Alliance Ireland

SWAI are currently campaigning against the continuation of the Sexual Offences Law (2017) which resulted in the sex buyers' law or Swedish model, being adopted by the Republic of Ireland. There is currently a review process by the Government focusing on how the law has achieved and not achieved its aims.

SWAI state it has succeeded in prosecuting young migrant sex workers working together for safety; it has failed to lead to the arrests of traffickers; it has succeeded in increasing violence against sex workers by 92%; it has failed to decrease the number of people in sex work; it has succeeded in distancing sex workers from supports including Gardaí; it has failed to increase sex workers trust in the Gardaí (there was a near 20% decrease in workers who wished their reports of crime or violence to be passed on to Gardaí). It has not made Ireland a safer place for sex workers. It has failed.

SWAI are putting together their submission for the sex work review law, the deadline is the 11th September. Sex workers can complete their survey here to be included in their submission. Has your clients’ behaviour changed since the law changed?

Or take the Department of Justice survey here.

Watch a video here by Open Society Foundations where Kate, the director of SWAI, explains why Decriminalization—the removal of criminal penalties for buying and selling sex—is key to protecting sex workers from abuse and exploitation, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Red Umbrella Fund provides funding to sex worker-led organisations and networks that are:

  • based in any country in the world;

  • registered or unregistered;

  • led by women, men and/or trans

Applications are now open, apply below:

Decrim Now

Decrim Now are calling on the UK government to support the full decriminalisation of sex work.

Campaign statement here.

Amnesty International policy on state obligations to respect, protect and fulfil the human rights of sex workers (2016)

This policy has been developed in recognition of the high rates of human rights abuses experienced globally by individuals who engage in sex work; a term that Amnesty International uses only in regard to consensual exchanges between adults. It identifies the most prominent barriers to the realization of sex workers’ human rights and underlines states’ obligations to address them.

Read the policy here.

The Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) exists to uphold the voice of sex workers globally and connect regional networks advocating for the rights of female, male, and transgender sex workers.

Website here.

International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe

A sex worker-led network representing 103 organisations led by or working with sex workers in 32 countries in Europe and Central Asia, as well as more than 150 individuals including sex workers, academics, trade unionists, human-rights advocates, and women's rights and LGBT+ rights activists. Website here.


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