The English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP) is a network of sex workers working both on the streets and indoors campaigning for decriminalisation and safety.
We fight against being treated like criminals. We’ve helped sex workers win against charges of soliciting, brothel-keeping & controlling – the last two most often used against women who are working together for safety.
Most sex workers are mothers trying to do the best for their children. We campaign against austerity cuts and for housing and other survival resources so that any of us can leave prostitution if and when we want.
We have an international network including sister organisations in Thailand (Empower) and the US (US PROStitutes Collective).
WHAT WE STAND FOR
- Decriminalisation of sex work – on the street and in premises – as in New Zealand. The laws land us in prison, divide us from families and friends, make us vulnerable to violence, isolate us. Criminal records trap us in prostitution.
- Protection from rape and other violence.
- An end to police brutality, corruption, racism and other illegality. Prosecute police who break the law.
- No zones, no licensing, no legalised brothels – they are ghettos and state pimping.
- Self-determination. Sex workers must decide how we want to work – not the police, local authorities, pimps, madams/managers who profit from our work.
- An end to racism and other discrimination within the sex industry.
- Rights for sex workers like other workers: the right to organise collectively to improve our working conditions, a pension and to join trade unions.
- No criminalisation of clients, which would force sex workers underground and into more danger. Consenting sex between adults is not a crime.
- Free and accessible health services for all: no mandatory health checks.
- Cis and trans women’s right to organise independently of men, including of male sex workers.
- Economic alternatives: no one should be forced into sex by poverty. People who want to leave the sex industry (or any industry) should have access to resources.
- Shelters and benefits for children/young people so they don’t have to beg or go into prostitution to survive.
- No ‘rehabilitation’ schemes which punish us or force us into low-paid jobs.
- The right to freedom of movement within and between countries. Stop using anti-trafficking laws to deport sex workers.
OUR WORK INCLUDES
Protesting the horrific murders of 13 women by the Yorkshire Ripper and the official disregard for sex workers’ lives.
A 12-day occupation of a church in King’s Cross, London in 1982 to protest police illegality and racism against street workers.
The first ever successful private prosecution for rape in England and Wales in 1995 which put a serial rapist behind bars.
Forming the Safety First Coalition in the aftermath of the tragic murder of five women in Ipswich in 2006 which includes prestigious organisations like the Royal College of Nursing and Women Against Rape.
Defending street workers against civil orders used to criminalise and ban us from particular areas.
Opposing gentrification and the closure of sex workers’ flats in Soho, London, because it is safer to work inside.
Migrant sex workers winning against Brexit-inspired deportation orders.
DOWNLOAD: About us brochure
Know Your Rights – A Guide for Sex Workers
Need to know about: Police and immigration raids, soliciting, “prostitute cautions”, civil orders, what to do if you, or someone you know, is threatened or attacked, working with other women, police seizing your money, are your clients breaking the law?
This Know Your Rights Guide (available in a number of languages) was written by sex workers with the help of committed legal professionals and explains the prostitution laws in simple terms. It aims to ensure that sex workers, no matter where we work, know the law, how to protect ourselves from arrest and how to defend ourselves if charged.
The English Collective of Prostitutes gives help and advice to sex workers fighting criminal charges, civil orders, and in trying to get justice against violence. See examples of some of our legal cases here.
If you have any questions or need help please get in touch.