Wednesday, March 14 2018 at 7:30PM

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43 Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4SG

Dr Laura Graham

What's the talk about?

On 15th June 2016, the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee on Prostitution published a report recommending that the laws surrounding brothel keeping and soliciting in England and Wales ought to be reformed.

This report is the latest step in a decade-long public re-examination of sex work in England and Wales, but these recommendations mark a significant deviation from the more punitive approach favoured by the preceding publications. Although not fully committed to any one legal approach to sex work, appears to favour a more harm-reduction based response, providing echoes of international discourses around human rights and sex work.

A range of United Nations bodies, including the General Assembly and UN Women, have published reports and policies supporting decriminalisation of sex work to uphold sex workers’ human rights. Amnesty International has also openly supported the decriminalisation of sex work.

Laura Graham will explore the Select Committee report, and how its recommended reforms could be implemented to make the law more human rights compliant, particularly drawing on European Convention on Human Rights jurisprudence. Through this lens she will also explore the use of human rights, and particularly legal human rights instruments, in the debates around sex work, arguing that they are both a useful and limited tool to promote sex workers’ safety and agency.