How can advocates effectively speak about and argue for decriminalised sex work?

What is the best strategy for ensuring that people who sell sex are protected? Should the state ban it entirely? Should it allow the sale of sex but not its purchase, as the increasingly widespread ‘Nordic’ model does? Or decriminalise it altogether? These questions are endlessly repeated, but for sex workers themselves the debate is long over: only decriminalisation increases their safety. We believe them, so this is where our new series begins.

We invited sex workers and their allies around the world to share their experiences advocating for decriminalisation on openDemocracy. We also sought out stories from organisations that used to oppose decriminalising sex work but now support it. Our goal was to find out what works, what doesn’t and how it can be done better.

The response exceeds all our expectations. Sex workers and migrants have been organising against exploitation and abuse for a very long time, so any conversation about different strategies should prioritise their expertise and experience.

Happy reading!

Cameron Thibos
Managing Editor, Beyond Trafficking and Slavery

Inside Beyond Trafficking and Slavery


Download PDF

Research as more than extraction?

Knowledge production and sexual violence in post conflict African societies

Edited by Annie Bunting, Allen Kiconco and Joel Quirk

Whenever knowledge about sexual violence gets produced we need to inquire about the story behind its collection and dissemination. How is knowledge produced? Who benefits? Who pays? Who speaks? To what kinds of audience?

Read online

Download PDF

Organising precarious workers in the Global South

To ‘organise the unorganised’ has always been a challenge for the trade union movement, yet unions across the Global South now recognise that their future depends on engaging with these ‘non-traditional’ layers.

Read online


Get BTS emails A monthly round-up of what's happening on the site and in the community. Sign up here
Audio available Bookmark Check Language Close Comments Download Facebook Link Email Newsletter Newsletter Play Print Share Twitter Youtube Search Instagram WhatsApp yourData