Do the women that you serve receive just treatment from police and the justice system?
Does your country need better laws on prostitution and trafficking, or better enforcement of existing laws?

This month’s resource will help! 

You are probably aware that two good reports have recently been approved in Europe. The European Parliament accepted the Honeyball report, and the Council of Europe approved the Mendes Bota report. But what does this mean for you??

Julia Doxat-Purser offers some tips for using these reports to make a difference in your local context.

“It’s wonderful that these two reports have been accepted. So, what next?

Do thank MPs who voted for the report and perhaps seek ongoing partnership. Don’t be put off if they did not support the Nordic Model – it would be a huge political leap to introduce it in some nations. But there are plenty of steps that governments can introduce which would move towards it and help protect those working in prostitution.

The report has no legal power but you can use it in your advocacy. Quote its descriptions of prostitution and the statistics to the media and to decision makers.  Look carefully at the recommendations for action and you can say to government, local government etc “As you know, the Council of Europe has just recommended that each country does x, y, z.  We’d like to talk to you about this and how we can work with you….”

Examples of recommended actions in the report include establishing shelters for victims of human trafficking; working bilaterally with countries of origin, including developing countries, to prevent trafficking and ensure that those victims who are returned are given the means to reintegrate into society; stepping up training programmes on prostitution and trafficking for law-enforcement officials, the judiciary, social workers and public health professionals.  Here’s just one useful quote. “Whenever we see a prostitute on the streets of our cities, we should remember that the chances are quite high that she is a victim of trafficking; that she is being beaten up, raped and forced to sell sex in inhuman conditions.”

And, of course, you can do the same with the Honeyball report from the European Parliament. (Click here to see the text of the Honeyball report.) This has no legal power either but it is another very useful tool as we seek to open people’s eyes to the reality of prostitution.”

Here’s the link to a summary of the Mendes Bota report (to the Council of Europe) and you can click on the report itself.
http://assembly.coe.int/nw/xml/News/News-View-EN.asp?newsid=4964&cat=8

And here’s the voting record.  Click on country and you can easily find the MPs from your nation who were there and how they voted. Select “amendment 4” which was an attempt to take out the recommendation of the Nordic model. Those who voted for the amendment are against the Nordic Model.  http://assembly.coe.int/nw/xml/Votes/DB-VotesResults-EN.asp?VoteID=34883&DocID=15033&MemberID=&Sort=2