Reaction to Jeremy Corbyn's sex worker comment

Friday, 4 March 2016

There is an important difference between decriminalisation and the complacent acceptance of violence and exploitation, the Centre's Director Richard Garside said today.

His comments came in response to Jeremy Corbyn's reported remarks on the decriminalisation of sex work.

Mr Corbyn reportedly told students at Goldsmith's University in London:

'I am in favour of decriminalising the sex industry. I don't want people to be criminalised. I want to be [in] a society where we don't automatically criminalise people. Let's do things a bit differently and in a bit more civilised way.'

Reacting to Mr Corbyn's reported remarks, Richard Garside said:

'I share Mr Corbyn's preference for a society that does not automatically criminalise people. Criminalisation results in much unnecessary harm and misery.

'Decriminalisation does not mean that it is OK for men to sexually abuse women and girls.

'The buying and selling of women and girls for male sexual gratification is a revolting and abusive feature of our society, and of many others.

'Those who claim that sex workers "consent" to their sexual exploitation ignore the violence and lack of realistic alternatives faced by women and girls trapped in the sex trade.

'Tackling the sexual exploitation of women and girls means tackling male violence and the male sense of entitlement to the access and control of women and their bodies.'