This is a submission I put together to give a different perspective on the issue.
Unfortunately I didn't get anyone to proofread it (ran out of time). (Submissions had to be in by the end of August, 2012)
Also with more time, I would have put more thought into structuring what I was going to say and how I was going to say it.
Prostitution is not something I think about much. However, I dislike the Swedish Model which motivated me to put this together.
ANONPROST01 Background information:
I have never used a sex worker. I do not have any financial or other connections with the industry.
I have observed and taken part in various discussions and debates on internet forums and believe different voices are required in this debate to give more balance to discussions. Our court system involves equal representation but I can foresee that mainly "politically correct" views will be given in oral testimony and possibly also written testimony. I only realised quite late one could make anonymous submissions so I imagine lots of people who might have given comments (the many people who comment in internet discussions) haven’t because they didn’t know they could be anonymous.
I have lived all my life in Ireland (i.e. am eligible to vote, etc.) Factual information:
(i) In the UK, "ESRC Project: Migrant Workers in the UK Sex Industry" (ESRC=Economic and Social Research Council) by Dr. Nick Mai (ESRC Project: Migrant Workers in the UK Sex Industry) found that: "the large majority of interviewed migrant workers in the UK sex industry are not forced nor trafficked"
(ii) The same report ["ESRC Project: Migrant Workers in the UK Sex Industry" (ESRC=Economic and Social Research Council) by Dr. Nick Mai (ESRC Project: Migrant Workers in the UK Sex Industry)] found that: “Working in the sex industry is often a way for migrants to avoid the unrewarding and sometimes exploitative conditions they meet in non-sexual jobs”
(iii) The same report ["ESRC Project: Migrant Workers in the UK Sex Industry" (ESRC=Economic and Social Research Council) by Dr. Nick Mai (ESRC Project: Migrant Workers in the UK Sex Industry)] found that: “By working in the sex industry, many interviewees are able to maintain dignified living standards in the UK while dramatically improving the living conditions of their families in the country of origin.”
(iv) This piece in the Guardian, "Prostitution and trafficking – the anatomy of a moral panic" by Nick Davies Prostitution and trafficking (Tuesday 20 October 2009), explains how unreliable the statistics are that are used in debates about trafficking in the UK.
(v) Many jobs carry a risk of injury or harm to mental or physical health (now or in the future), with severe injury or death not being uncommon in some occapations.
Detailed figures for fatalities in the US broken down by occupation category are available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics e.g. http://www.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/cfoi/cfoi_rates_2010hb.pdf and http://www.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/cfoi/cfch0009.pdf .
Just to give people an idea of what is being talked about, here are some figures for occupations with higher risk: Fatal occupational injuries, total hours worked, and rates of fatal occupational injuries by selected worker characteristics, occupations, and industries, civilian workers, 2010 Fatal Injury Rate2 Fishers and related fishing workers 152 Logging workers 93.5 Aircraft pilots and flight engineers 70.6 Miscellaneous extraction workers 64.2 Farmers and ranchers 42.5 Mining machine operators 37 Roofers 32.4 Refuse and recyclable material collectors 29.8 Driver/sales workers and truck drivers 23 Industrial machinery installation, repair, and maintenance workers 20.7 2 The rate represents the number of fatal occupational injuries per 100,000