Collaborative working with sex work industry partners
In the UK, the sex workers’ rights movement is led by grassroots organisations working regionally, nationally, and internationally to demand human rights that enable safe and dignified working. This movement operates in a context where sex work is not recognised by the state, and much of society, as a legitimate form of labour. Dr Laura Connelly has worked with a range of sex work industry partners to explore how the criminalisation of sex work compounds the negative effects of working in a stigmatised and marginalised industry. Connelly and Kamerāde, for example, conducted a secondary analysis of crime reports submitted to National Ugly Mugs to examine how the sex market may influence sex workers’ willingness to report victimisation to the police. Connelly is currently collaborating with the English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP) to explore EU-migrant sex work in the UK, in the context of the uncertain socio-political climate constituted by and constitutive of the EU Referendum outcome. This project emerged from reports from sex worker-led organisations that although conditions for EU-migrant sex workers have worsened dramatically since the Referendum, migrant sex workers are increasingly reluctant to engage with support services due to their sense of an increased risk of arrest, detention and deportation. Together with ECP, researchers at Salford hope to secure funding for a Know Your Rights training programme to improve EU-migrant sex workers’ awareness of and knowledge about their socio-legal rights.