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Sex Workers and the Law

The Modern Slavery Act 2015: A Failure for Sex Workers

Eleanor Suthern

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 sought to protect those who are victims of exploitation. Superficially this appear to be a positive change, yet in reality, the Act undermines the rights of sex workers. They are deemed to be victims of sexual exploitation only, not labour exploitation. With emphasis on female sex workers, the ideology of a ‘vulnerable woman’ will be explored. For sex workers’ rights to be sufficiently protected there needs to be an acknowledgment of sexual and labour exploitation existing together. It is proposed that the UK ought to look to other countries for guidance. In particular, policy in New Zealand.

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