Friday 05-02-2016 - 12:59
When it comes to sex work, NUS believes in decriminalisation and workers’ rights, not stigma and marginalisation.
When it comes to campaigning on the issue, NUS believes that advocating for the human rights and welfare of student sex work should come before personal opinions on sex work.
We also believe that work we do should be led by the marginalised people at the centre of the struggle, in this case, student sex workers themselves. That's why the Women’s Campaign and the LGBT+ campaign are working with the Sex Workers Open University and the English Collective of Prostitutes are launching a survey to gather information on the lives and experiences of students sex workers. In particular, we want to find out:
- The reasons why students engage in sex work
- The working environment of the sex industry
- What rights students in sex work are aware of
- What opinions do student sex workers have on legislation
- How students’ unions and institutions can better support student sex workers.
The research intends to draw upon the findings and recommendations of the Student Sex Work Project which reported that at least 5 % of students who made up the research sample were or had been involved in the sex work industry. It also wants to address certain gaps - such as the experiences of LGBT+ sex workers and the opinions student sex workers have on the law on sex work. Like many sex worker organisations, we believe in the decriminalisation of sex work so that sex workers can have access to full labour rights including the right to unionise. By fully decriminalising sex work, we believe this would provide a range of protections for sex workers against labour exploitation, discrimination and violence by a whole range of actors including clients, the police and wider society.
One of the key recommendations of the Student Sex Worker Project was that further and higher education providers need to do more to support students who work in the sex industry. We hope this survey, together with your help – will be an important resource in helping us to better care for students working in the sex industry and to fight the discrimination, stigma and violence they face.