1. ECP purport to speak for all women in prostitution, but just as many prostitution survivors disagree with them. See http://www.spaceintl.org/ for a list of 11 women’s organisations and dozens of public statements against decriminalisation by survivors of prostitution.
2. ECP ignore evidence that does not suit them – that women enter prostitution in their teens out of poverty and homelessness, most have been sexually abused (groomed) as children, the lifestyle is harmful with constant violence and violation of sexual boundaries, the need for drugs, the constant STIs, poor mental health, injuries, hugely increased mortality et. For masses of evidence that prostitution is a cause of harm to women, not the solution for their poverty and disadvantage see www.nordicmodelnow.org
3. ECP advocate programmes that are proven failures: Ugly Mugs (a harm reduction project) would not have detected the Ipswich murderer; in the Leeds so-called ‘Prostitution Safety Zone’ prostituted woman Daria Pionko was murdered in its very first week, and as Sabrina Valisce has recently shown, New Zealand (the decriminalised prostitution model preferred by ECP) is no solution. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-41349301
4. ECP go against the worldwide trend which is to adopt the Swedish or Nordic Model for prostitution. Eg Sweden, Norway, France, Canada, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland. Several other countries are considering adopting the Nordic Model. It is recommended by the EEC. It is the policy of the Scottish National Party. It was on the way to becoming policy here until Keith Vaz chaired the Home Affairs Select Committee on prositution, publicly stating that he was personally against criminalising sex buyers and soon after getting caught using vulnerable young men in prostitution, referring to ‘breaking them in’ and giving them drugs.
5. ECP specialise in vague, progressive-sounding statements that don’t stand up to challenge. For example ( ECP’s Cari Mitchell 28.9.17 at the Public Policy Exchange) ‘We campaign for the money and resources in women’s hands so that we can get out if and when we want’, which sounds like fund-raising for Exit Programmes. But no, when OBJECT asked for more details, she stated that ECP is not helping women to exit.
6.Therefore the ECP has no Exit Programmes. Obviously, any organisation which claims to help women in prostitution should be running offering women who want to leave effective Exit Programmes to get them into housing and employment and off drugs. Any organisation purporting to ‘reduce the harm’ of prostitution which doesn’t offer Exit Programmes, is working to keep women IN prostitution.
7. ECP are sex-trade funded and decline to prove otherwise – they have twice been publicly challenged by Object (on 9.4.17 and 28.9.17) to submit their finances to Transparify or Who Funds You (who rate organisations on transparency), but have not done so. Why? Because one of the few ways to progress in prostitution is to recruit others into it or manage or buy into a brothel, ie pimping and procuring. At this point that person acquires a vested financial interest in the continuation and growth of prostitution. We sympathise with the lack of opportunity, but do not condone exploiting others.
8. ECP’s arguments are rubbish and their motive is profit
· They say prostitution is ‘work’ like any other and they want to improve working conditions. If this were true, they would advocate STI tests for punters before service, and full body protection including mouth guard, no skin left uncovered to prevent contact from infectious body fluids.
· ECP assume that prostitution is inevitable – no evidence. This is what was said about race slavery. They advocate tinkering at the edges of the prostitution problem, rather than effective radical action to reduce it.
9. ECP are a front organisation for the sex trade – as Owen Jones (‘The Establishment’ 2014) might say, a soft power organisation. These are organisations with deliberately neutral-sounding titles which conceal a clear one-sided agenda with a strong vested interest. Like the Policy Exchange and Centre for Policy Studies which sound neutral but are right-wing front organisations with little or no transparency.
10. The ECP preaches decriminalisation as being best for women in prostitution BUT fails to point out that under decrim unregistered brothels spring up alongside state-registered ones where conditions are just as they always were or worse.
The ECP justifies prostitution by women’s disadvantage and poverty – but prostitution entrenches these instead of solving them. They argue from police brutality and heavy-handedness – which needs proper legislation, guidelines and monitoring. Decriminalisation is not the solution and will only expand the sex trade (bringing in lower pay for women in it and all-inclusive deals which mean women have no choice) – from which the pimps in the ECP will profit. Profit is their true motive.