Belinda Brooks-Gordon on Today talking about making sex work safer

Belinda BG at BBCDr Belinda Brooks-Gordon, who led on the development of our policy on sex work, was on the Today programme this morning debating whether managed zones for sex workers are effective. She cited huge amounts of evidence which suggests that they are. The retired police officer was pretty aggressive in the way he made his points and was really patronising to Belinda who has done so much academic research in this field.

The police officer said that we should be looking to eliminate rather than enable sex work. Belinda cited how this makes life much more difficult and dangerous for sex workers with actual examples. The occupant of the blue Police Box would have given a much more sensible answer, I’m sure.

You can listen to the debate here at about 2:31 in.

Belinda referred to a paper she had given at the British Psychological Society about the effects of the then Government’s action to crack down on sex work. You can read that paper by clicking here

You can read a letter signed by Belinda and other academics,arguing against the so-called Nordic Model, which criminalises the purchase of sex, here.


* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • Phil Beesley 3rd Mar '16 - 2:52pm

    I note that Caron uses the word “safer” rather than “safe”.

    Sex workers, owing to their occupation, are often exposed. All that they can do is to make themselves “safer”.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 3rd Mar '16 - 3:11pm

    Letting workers work in establishments where there is more than one of them there is one way of minimising the danger.

    Also, it’s not as if sex work is the only risky occupation.

  • Phil Beesley 3rd Mar '16 - 4:24pm

    Thanks, Caron. In the debate this morning on Radio 4, there was a confused argument about safety or relative safety. One commentator sought a ban on prostitution, blanket soliciting bans to “protect” women sex workers.

    Nobody, whether a sex worker or middle aged man or whatever, can be 100% safe. All we can do is to make things “safer”.

  • Good to see BB-G making the sensible points. It is a real shame that so often these things get reduced to silly demands for nirvana, no-one and nothing is “safe” risk is part of life the most we can do is manage it as best we can.

  • This is a policy area in which i am very happy that we are taking a leading reforming view. If sex workers or clients are criminalised it will not stop, only go underground and become more dangerous for both parties.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 6th Mar '16 - 9:03pm

    Dr. Belinda is one of the most impressive people in our party and should be far better known , exactly the sort of person we need in parliament and who could be amongst the leaders of the party ! Her work and views on the issues raised herein, now , as always measured and intelligent and realistic.

    AWS not the issue as often as the lack of PR is !

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