Decriminalising prostitution: what it might mean for sex workers’ health
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Decriminalising prostitution: what it might mean for sex workers’ health

Louise Cahill Sexual health clinical nurse specialist, Somerset
Ellen Grogan Staff nurse, London, Campaign group Nordic Model Now!

RCN congress voted overwhelmingly in favour of a motion calling on the college to lobby UK governments to decriminalise prostitution. Here, two nurses present arguments for and against the move, and the evidence for each

There is mounting evidence that the decriminalisation of prostitution would improve sex workers’ health and safety. A recent systematic review of the associations between sex work laws and sex workers’ health, led by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, found that sex workers who had been subjected to recent arrest, prison or displacement were three times more likely to experience sexual or physical violence and twice as likely to have HIV and/or other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Nursing Standard. 34, 6, 29-31. doi: 10.7748/ns.34.6.29.s23

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