Making the vulnerable more vulnerable? The contradictions of street prostitution policy

2009-04-16T13:44:45Z (GMT) by Phil Hubbard Jane Scoular
Over the last decade there has been considerable political debate in Britain concerning the efficacy of prostitution law. Sex work – at least in its visible and more traditional forms - is disappearing from Britain’s streets. The following chapter reviews recent policy debates in England and Wales and Scotland with a view to drawing out the fundamental contradiction at the heart of ongoing policy shifts; policies introduced with the intent of increasing sex worker safety and decreasing exploitation may actually be making women workers less safe. This chapter suggests that recent legal reform has exacerbated and accelerated the process of removing prostitutes from the streets and the implications in doing this and concludes by arguing for policies that don’t criminalise or push street prostitution out of sight, but allow it to occur as safely as possible.