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Sex workers in protest against violence

Campaigners read out names of victims during demonstration outside the House of Commons

22 December, 2017 — By Tom Foot

Monday’s protest outside the House of Commons

A ROLL call of sex workers who have died this year was read out by campaigners outside the House of Commons on Monday.

The demonstration was organised by the English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP) and the Sex Workers Advocacy and Resistance Movement (SWARM).

They spoke to politicians about their concerns, including rules that mean sex workers have to work alone.

A statement from a campaigner for the ECP said: “We protest violence from individual attackers but we also protest police violence. Who do we report to if our attackers are police? We protest sexism, racism, and other discrimination which mean that migrant and trans sex workers and people of colour are the vast majority of sex workers who lose their lives. And we protest the violence of poverty; the majority of sex workers are mothers, standing between destitution and the survival of our families.

“Finally, we protest the violence of criminalisation because the prostitution laws undermine our efforts to work safely and organise for our rights.”

In October Noor Mohammad, 29, pleaded guilty to the murder of Romina Kalaci, 32, a sex worker in Fernhead Road, Maida Vale. He was sentenced to a minimum jail term of 24 years.

Ms Kalaci was working alone, legally, but legislation prevents more than one sex worker working in the same location. It means sex workers often work alone in “pop-up brothels” and are at risk of violence.

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