Green party

Decriminalize sex

12 March 2002

The Green Party's spring conference in Scarborough this week will consider proposals backed by top Greens regarding thed ecriminalisation of all aspects of the sex industry involving consenting adults.

If the proposals are passed, the Greens will go into the next general election with probably the most radical policy of liberalisation of the sex industry ever offered by a major UK party.

Vanessa Hall, the party's spokesperson on women's issues, who will be proposing the motion, comments: "The law shouldn't regulate sexual activity between consenting adults as long as it doesn't affect other people.

"Prohibitive laws have always failed to stop prostitution, yet have left prostitutes vulnerable to abuse and often violence.

"Prostitutes should not be stigmatised or treated as second class citizens with fewer rights than other people. For instance, in child custody cases a person should not be deemed an unfit parent merely on the grounds that they work in the sex industry."

Sexual freedom Zero tolerance of violence and exploitation

Ms Hall continued: "There should be zero tolerance of coercion, violence, sexual abuse or trafficking - all of which are, ironically, made easier by the current criminalisation of much of the sex industry."

The proposals would also advocate the ending of all restrictions on, and censorship of, sexually explicit material, except regulations intended to protect children.

They would mean the legalisation of licensed brothels, and the decriminalisation of street prostitution. Issues of nuisance would be dealt with under nuisance laws, rather than under a special category of laws.

Further information, as well as agendas and timetables, from Spencer Fitz-Gibbon, 020 7561 0282, or www.greenparty.org.uk/conference

All journalists are welcome at conference. Exclusive interviews with leading Greens, including our MEPs, GLAs and councillors, by arrangement.