Busting Myths About Sex Work Decriminalisation

Everyone knows that we here at Escort Ireland want sex work decriminalisation. We have stated for a number of years that this is the best, safest method of managing the industry, and we are backed up by voices such as Amnesty International. However, it is true to say that there are many myths about this plan, with anti-sex work groups purveying them in the press and on social media. Whether they are doing this out of ignorance, or instead instigating a campaign of deliberate misinformation is open to debate.

Midsection of woman wearing basque and stockings

Well today we are going to look at these myths and, for the benefit of anyone reading this, bust them. So, without further ado. Here we go.

1) Decriminalising Sex Work Would Lead To an Increase in Human Trafficking

Well, no. No trafficking laws will be changed, and by choosing this route trafficking can actually be combated more effectively.

Why is this you may ask? By taking away the threat of arrest, sex workers will be able to be allies in ending trafficking, and more trafficking victims will likely come forward knowing they aren’t going to face action.

2) Decriminalising Sex Work Will Make More People Do it

Once again, no. People are doing it anyway, so the current system isn’t stopping it. In fact, by criminalising sex workers, you encourage some to stay in the industry longer than they wish to as they will have to put their convictions on their C.V. This hampers their chances of getting a different job.

3) Decriminalising Will Encourage Pimps

In fact, if women know that they aren’t going to get into trouble, they will be empowered to run their own businesses as it is all out in the open. By pushing it underground, nefarious character are able to get involved who otherwise wouldn’t be.

4) Decriminalising Increases Demand by Clients

Demand is there anyway, so there will be no magical surge with decriminalisation. Clients already know where the escorts sites are, or the local brothel, and don’t need this measure to help them.

What will happen with it being pushed underground is that some of those clients will take advantage of the secrecy to abuse sex workers. By decriminalising it, better security measures can be put in place to help the women involved.

5) By Decriminalising it, you Say it is OK

This couldn’t be further from the truth. People are free to feel that sex work is vile; that is a human right. All you are doing by making this move is admitting that it happens and finding the best way to keep those who will be doing it anyway, safe. By putting everything in clear view, you are able to do that.

The other option is to push it underground and make the vulnerable more vulnerable. I have always felt that SOME anti-sex work groups see attacks on sex workers as a necessary evil to disincentive people working in the industry. Whatever the motivation, the affect is the same. More attacks, less of which are reported.

We hope the move is made sooner rather than later, and in the meantime, we won’t stop fighting for it.

Martin Ward
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