Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Urgent Action on Prostitution and Lapdancing before 3rd November- please forward to all lists

TAKE ACTION on Policing and Crime Bill to be debated in the House of Lords- 3rd November

Demand Change! is a joint campaign by Eaves and OBJECT which aims to promote an increased understanding of the myths and realities surrounding prostitution and calls for prostitution to be seen and widely understood as a form of violence against women.

Demand Change! calls on the Government to fulfil its multiple international and domestic obligations to tackle demand for prostitution. Current government proposals are a welcome step in this direction, and we fully support Clause 13 as a crucial step towards ending the exploitation of women and men through prostitution.

To see an end to exploitation through prostitution, we further urge the Government to adopt the ‘Nordic model’ which tackles demand for prostitution by decriminalising those who sell sexual acts whilst criminalising those who purchase them (as adopted by Sweden, Norway and Iceland) – as well as providing adequate resources to help people exit prostitution.

This will be a crucial step towards ending the exploitation and abuse experienced by many women and girls in prostitution.

For more info visit or email for PDF packs

This is a busy time for supporters as we are campaigning for reform on prostitution and lap dancing, both contained within the same Bill.

We are asking you to email peers and urge them to support Clause 13 of the Policing and Crime Bill, which will be debated in the House of Lords on 3rd November. Clause 13 criminalises the purchase of sexual services 'from those controlled for gain'. We ask you to act now as this Clause is in danger of being diluted or removed altogether.

The more personalised you can make your email the better. If you work for an organisation and can also send an organisational briefing this would be extremely persuasive.

MODEL LETTER ONE: Prostitution

Your Address


Support Clause 13 of the Policing and Crime Bill to tackle demand for sexual exploitation

I am writing to you in your capacity as a Member of the House of Lords who has previously shown an interest in the issue of exploitation through prostitution and trafficking. I am deeply concerned that measures aimed at tackling the demand for prostitution risk being weakened or removed altogether as they pass through the House of Lords. I ask that you support crucial measures to tackle the demand for exploitation through prostitution, as contained in Clause 13 (Part 2) of the Policing and Crime Bill which will have its Report Stage debate in the Lords late October/early November.

Prostitution is a human rights violation – which, whilst affecting some men and boys – is profoundly gendered and is defined by the United Nations as an act of violence against women. Whilst some women state prostitution is their choice and describe their experiences as empowering, such women are a small and privileged minority. There is a silent and silenced majority of women who feel unable to speak out about their experiences – which have far more in common with violence, abuse and despair than ‘empowerment’. Their voices must be heard and considered by any person overseeing policy in this area.

Moreover treating women merely as sexual objects through commercial sexual exploitation rather than as individuals contributes to attitudes underpinning gender-based discrimination and violence.

Yet the UK has historically failed to deal with the far-reaching human rights implications of prostitution. Despite the intrinsic harm of prostitution and the vulnerabilities of the women exploited through it, current legislation effectively gives men the right to buy sexual acts and exploit this vulnerability. Logically, there is no viability to supply without demand, and it is undoubtedly the demand for sexual acts from the empowered buyer (punter) that fuels sexual exploitation and the proliferation of the sex industry.

The UK has multiple international and domestic obligations to tackle demand for prostitution. However the law currently places the burden on those involved in prostitution – and not on those whose demand fuels the industry. I believe that a progressive society should put the interests of the most vulnerable first – and not continue to support a legal framework which facilitates the exploitation of vulnerability.

For all these reasons I urge you to support Clause 13 of the Policing and Crime Bill. This seeks to criminalise the purchase of sexual acts from a person ‘subject to force’. The measure is an important first step towards policies undertaken by Nordic countries which have criminalised the purchase of sex acts, whilst decriminalising those who sell them and assisting them to leave prostitution. This model has been proven to reduce demand for prostitution and trafficking – and has given women and girls the choice not to be exploited as commodities. In this context it is unsurprising that Nordic countries consistently top global gender equality and human rights polls.

Please help to shift the burden away from women and girls in prostitution to the punters whose demand drives a highly gendered form of sexual exploitation. I look forward to hearing from you on this important issue.

Yours Sincerely Your Name


Please email as a BCC (blind carbon copy), if possible, to the following peers:
(to do this you simply put your own email address in the Send box and paste the following emails into the BCC box),,,,,, ,,,,, ,,,,, ,,,,,,, ,,,, ,,,,,,, ,,

If you receive a reply please tell our partner's, EAVES, the nature of the response at: or Nisan Kesete, Eaves , Unit 2.03 Canterbury Court, Kennington Park , 1- 3 Brixton Road, London SW9 6DE

Thank you for taking action at this crucial stage.

Like to do more? :
Find out more about the DEMAND CHANGE campaign here
Support OBJECT with a donation here
Continue to receive OBJECT newsletters (not usually so frequently!), join OBJECT today


Reforms to license lap dancing clubs in the same way as sex shops is about to be debated in the Lords. We have until 3rd November to make sure the Lords adopt our proposals to make licensing compulsory, not voluntary, for local authorities and to make sure venues are not exempt if they hold lap dancing less than once a month!

Get Lobbying ! Send our model letter to one, or more (!), of the key peers we have targetted below.

Model Letter

Use our online model letter here or below.
Add any personal experiences of lap dancing venues and send to any of the peers listed below:

Your Address

Insert Peers Name Here
The House of Lords


Dear Peers Name

RE: Please take action to strengthen reforms to lap dancing club licencing

I write to you as a member of the House of Lords who has previously shown an interest in the poor licensing of lap dancing to ask you to take action in the Policing and Crime Bill Report Stage debate (Clause 26, Part 2) - on 3rd and 5th November - in order to improve proposed reforms.

As you know, the Government has proposed to allow lap dancing clubs to be licensed in the same way as sex shops and sex cinemas. This will give local communities greater control in the licensing of lap dancing clubs and place clubs under greater scrutiny – thus better protecting women in the industry and stemming the normalising of a branch of the sex industry.

However the Policing and Crime Bill proposals are seriously flawed on two counts:

1. The new licensing regime will be optional for local councils – leading to a patchwork licensing system which the industry which will be quick to exploit. Local communities will face a postcode lottery over whether they actually get a say in licensing and performers will continue to face poor working conditions as clubs migrate to areas of weaker regulation.

2. The proposals also exempt venues holding lap dancing less than once a month. Thus pubs and bars which hold ‘lap dancing nights’, catered for by lap dancing agencies, will be excluded. This already significant sub-market of the lap dancing industry is likely to further expand.

I therefore strongly urge you to speak in favour of amendments to ensure reforms are applied universally and contain no frequency-based exemption. These amendments will be be tabled by Baroness Joyce Gould, during Report Stage of the Policing and Crime Bill - on 3rd and 5th of November.

Without these amendments, Clause 26 of the Policing and Crime Bill will contain significant loopholes and represent a crucial missed opportunity to tackle commercial sexual exploitation.

I look forward to hearing from you on this important matter.

Yours sincerely



Please write to one, or more (!) of the key peers we have targeted:

o Lord Bilmoria
o Baroness Neuberger
o Baroness Northover
o Lord Norton
o Baroness Uddin
o Baroness Wilkins
o Baroness Grundy
o Baroness Flathers
o Baroness Goudie
o Lord Hylton
o Baroness Jay
o Lord Listowel
o Baroness Ludford

If you receive a reply please send a copy to our partners at the FAWCETT Society:
or Kat Banyard, Fawcett Society, 1-3 Berry Street, London EC1V 0AA

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