As well as presenting my speech I also attended a meeting and discussion on a review of the party’s policy on legalising prostitution.
There is a growing concern that the Green Party of England and Wales (GPEW) should it policy to reflect changes to the law in a number of other jurisdictions. In particular GPEW is looking at Sweden, where a change in policy has dramatically reduced the number of women involved in prostitution and, also reduced trafficking of women and girls into Sweden to work in the sex industry.
There is growing concern that legalising prostitution does not bring about greater security for prostitutes, but instead creates opportunity for greater exploition of young and vulnerable women.
The international sex industry has grown exponentially over the past decade, with the average citizen often unaware that their pension fund may be dependent on profits from the industry.
The sex industry includes pornography, prostitution, clubs and trafficking. The reality of working in this industry, and what it means for the countless numbers of mainly young women and girls who work in the industry, is something society often does not want to come to terms with or even discuss.
I believe it is not a victimless industry and any change in legislation must have the protection and human rights of the workers as its primary and indeed only motivation.