NAWO Prostitution Policy

National Alliance of Women’s Organisations – Prostitution Policy

The National Alliance of Women’s Organisations (NAWO) recognises prostitution as a human rights violation and acknowledges that, globally, this violation weighs overwhelmingly more heavily on women and girls.

NAWO perceives prostitution to be a form of male violence, an affront to human dignity, a solid barrier to health and safety and both a cause and consequence of gender inequality.

NAWO holds this to be true of prostitution in all of its forms and further recommends that prostitution should be legislated by a model that recognises it damaging and harmful nature, both to society and to the individual.

The Swedish or ‘Nordic’ Model, which recognises prostitution as harmful and seeks to eradicate it, is the model endorsed by NAWO. The model comprises of three principal elements: the decriminalisation of prostituted persons, the criminalisation of exploitative parties, be they exploiting as a matter of sexual access or financial gain, and the provision of non-jugmental supports and services to prostituted persons.

NAWO will advocate publicly for this position and continue to work collaboratively with partners across the UK and Europe holding the same position, including the European Women’s Lobby, local and international frontline service providers and sex trade survivors organisations. This work will include public advocacy, awareness raising and working with civil society actors etc.

This work will be conducted in the spirit and with the aim of restoring dignity and opportunities to prostituted persons and will be done so within a gender neutral framework, recognising that while the majority of prostituted persons are female, there are also men, boys and trans persons exploited in the sex trade, and that the human rights of dignity and economic opportunity apply equally to everybody.