Stormont Bans Paying for Sex Work

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Date:

Today in the North of Ireland it will become illegal for people to pay for sex work.

In spite of protests by sex workers and their allies Stormont has ignored their voices.

Despite 98% of sex workers who were surveyed by the Department of Justice last year coming out against the bill, 81 MLAs (out of 108) voted in favour of it. This represents a complete contempt towards sex workers as they struggle for labour rights.

The new law is extremely irresponsible and it will do nothing to protect sex workers; it will only drive them further underground and put them in more danger. Banning the purchase of sex isn't going to stop it happening and it would be foolish to think so.

Sex work is work. The body has been to women in a patriarchal capitalist society what the factory has historically been for male workers: the primary ground for their exploitation and resistance, bodily autonomy goes further than the demand for abortion.

It would be hypocritical at best to fight for workers' rights when that type of work suits us, or fits our society's criteria for work and then for us to call for another type of work to be criminalized.

Sex workers need rights, not rescue.