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Sex Work And Migration In Europe

Examining the intersection of migration policies such as the hostile environment in the UK, the impact of strict border controls, and migrant sex worker experiences across Europe.

To view a pdf of the transcript for ‘Sex Work And Migration In Europe’ please click here.

To download a word document version please click here.

  • Speakers

    Mimi Aum Neko (STRASS), Amina du Jean Laura Watson (ECP), Alina (ECP), Belle (SWAI), Antonia (Hydra)

  • Date

    May, 2019

  • Themes

    racism, borders, migration, sex work, decriminalisation, police, labour rights, violence, LGBT


Mimi Aum Neko (M);
Amina du Jean (AJ);
Laura (L) - ECP;
Alina (AV) - ECP;
Belle (B) - SWAI;
Antonia (A) - Hydra;
Antonia’s Translator (AT);
LX (LX).


00:00:00 M Good morning everyone, and welcome to our panel on Sex Work and

Migration in Europe. Welcome and welcome! So, my name is Mimi, so I will be moderator for this panel. First of all, I will introduce each of our panellists and also one of our panellists that could not come. So, the first person that will be introduced is Amina. So, Laura, who represents Amina, she will try to talk about her introduction, why Amina could not come and what kind of introduction she is going to present. But first of all, we will do the round introduction of each person. So, Laura is from the same collective, English collective, of prostitute from the UK. And then… what is it?

00:01:14 AJ I’m Amina!

00:01:16 M You’re Amina? I’m sorry.

00:01:18 AJ That’s Alina.

00:01:20 M Alina and Amina, I’m sorry! Because sometimes we can pronounce it so similarly. I’m sorry. So…

00:01:27 AJ Amina and Alina.

00:01:27 M Alina, and Amina. Yeah. And Amina is also, yeah from… yeah. She’s a London-based black migrant sex worker and she’s so influential on social media and she’s also writer. So, her top interests into are black youth culture, migrant sex workers and black gender relations, yeah. And then, the other panellist, her name is Belle. Belle, she is a South American dominatrix based in Dublin, from Ireland. The majority of sex workers in Ireland are [inaudible 00:02:06], subject that interests her about how the sex workers over there work, the conditions of life, the conditions of working. And so, the next one is LX, her speciality is about immigration and the policies of UK. immigration laws. And then, the next one I would like to introduce Antonia of Hydra. So, she’s a social worker, working with Hydra since 2013. And so, the organisation that Antonia works with also provides counselling, in Bulgarian language, and also the people who are from Bulgaria, they are a part of this group. So, first of all, I would like to present the introduction of… Alina, yeah, that isn’t here, and Laura will explain to you why and what she is going to say to you about migration and sex workers in Europe.

00:03:38 L Thank you! Hi everyone, thank you. I’m Laura, I’m very sorry that Alina couldn’t be here today, but it was last-minute, and we quickly got this video together. So ,Alina’s going to do the introduction and I’m going to do the discussion. So, can we just press play? Thank you!

00:04:02 AV Alina, I’m part of the English Collective of Prostitutes and I volunteer as a translator. I want to speak about some of the issues that migrant sex workers are facing. Firstly, the impact of border and migration policies on sex workers. The impact is devastating. Since the Brexit vote, racist attacks on migrant sex workers have gone up. Particularly against those who work on the street. Women are working for a living, like other workers and their families, and sometimes, whole communities depend on the money they earn. Last month, the ECP published a dossier, “Sex Workers are Getting Screwed by Brexit,” which includes examples of women being targeted by police for arrest and deportation. The police and immigration told women that they were being deported because sex work is not a legitimate work in the UK. Which is not even true. Police dismissing reports of violence. Women’s passports being confiscated and then being told that they can have them back if they produce a one-way ticket back. Women being told they are persistent offenders, because they have convictions for loitering and soliciting, and then that is used to deport women. EU migrant sex workers in the ECP. have been leading the struggle against deportation and winning. The ECP. has a rights sheet with the information on, “How to Challenge Your Deportation Order.” One of these women is a trans woman from Brazil, who is in Yarl’s Wood deportation centre at the moment. She was picked up by police in a so-called “welfare visit”. These “welfare visits” are actually raids. Police search the flat and inspect women’s papers, pretending they are concerned about women’s welfare. But the evidence is used to prosecute or deport women. This woman didn’t have her papers, because they had been stolen in a robbery in the flat where she was working with a friend. Because sex work is not recognised as work, it is harder for migrant sex workers to apply for pre-settled status or settled status in the UK. Many can’t show a track record of employment or produce another documentation. Women go into sex work because they face terrible racism and other discrimination when applying for non-sex work jobs. But, migrant sex workers from inside and outside the EU are targeted for raids, arrests and prosecution. Often, the excuse given, is that the police are saving victims of trafficking. These are lies. All of the women in our group who were brought to the UK and forced to work, all of them escaped because they helped themselves. Where women have been picked up in police raids, when they applied for asylum, they were disbelieved and deported. Some women have been fighting for over seven years to win their asylum application. Decriminalisation will help migrant sex workers because sex work will be recognised as work, so migrant sex workers’ contribution to society will be more visible. This means women will be in a stronger position to defend their rights. Fighting discrimination and demanding an end to raids and deportation. We aren’t saying that decriminalisation will end racism, sexism and police abuse. Look at what happened to other migrant workers. But migrant sex workers could be public, and it will be more visible, what we have in common with others, which will strengthen our struggle. We can build solidarity across migrant struggles by supporting each other’s campaigns. We work with the All-African Women’s Group, which is campaigning to end detention, destitution and deporting, including the so-called “voluntary returns”. We support their campaign, and they support the struggle for decriminalisation. We all want an end to the hostile environment and the law off our backs. Thank you!

00:08:42 M So, thank you so much for the speech of Alina. So, she talks about the consequence of Brexit, and also the racism that a lot of migrant sex workers suffer because of this kind of increasing phenomenon of racism and systematic, discriminatory laws and also the mentality of people in society. So, the next person that I would like to introduce about her experience is, I would like Amina to explain about why we need to talk about sex workers, and migration, and migrants’ work as sex workers in Europe.

00:09:33 AJ Hi everybody! So, I’m Amina. I am a migrant sex worker. I’m from America, but a lot of my experiences of migrant sex work have been particularly in East Asia, where I lived for a long time and worked there. I work in England, so I guess, technically I am a migrant sex worker in England, even though I am from an Anglo-country, I guess I do have that privilege there. I would say the biggest issue, personally, as a migrant sex worker, is having lack of access to law enforcement. I think when you’re a migrant, you don’t want to cause any trouble, or what you think is causing any trouble. You don’t want to come into the eyes of law enforcement at all. So, if you’re a sex worker and you’re a migrant, I think you have less protection, and you’re less likely to go to the police if you’re in exploitative labour conditions or if you have an exploitative client. Something like that, and I think—you know, I’ve had actually an experience with one of these welfare checks in England, where they say they come for your own—um, sorry about that—wellbeing, and actually, when they get there, they make it more about interrogating you as a person in your personhood. And it’s like, if I was actually someone who was trafficked into the country, I don’t think I would feel comfortable talking to the police about this. So, I can never actually imagine myself, if I have a bad client, going to the police. I think the biggest issue, for me as a migrant sex worker, is lack of access to law enforcement. Obviously, there are some other issues, such as visas and people that are undocumented, at the border, like at the literal border coming into the UK. and interrogated there. But I really feel that lack of access to protection, you just feel so vulnerable as somebody who is a migrant in England. Does anybody else have anything to add from personal experiences?

00:11:42 B Yeah, sure. Hi, I’m Belle. I’m a Brazilian sex worker and I work in Ireland, and definitely have something to add there because by my personal experience, before meeting SWAI and before meeting these amazing women and this amazing group I’m part of now, I was terrified of any organisation, even sex worker organisations, because I thought they were not there for me. Obviously, they were there for nationals of that country. They were there for other Irish white women, but maybe not for someone like me, because obviously what I do is illegal, very much illegal. When you’re a migrant and you’re criminalised for what you do, that affects every aspect of your life. Not only you don’t feel safe to go to the police if any trouble happens, but you don’t feel safe talking to a doctor about what you do. You don’t feel safe, you put up with so much in your life, even relationships, because you are alone. You’ve no-one but yourself to trust in, and maybe your tight community, your very small community of other migrants. Criminalisation doesn’t solve any problem, never has, will never solve any problem. In fact, it just pushes us further into danger. So yeah, definitely we, not only we don’t feel safe when it comes to police and authorities, but we don’t feel safe in any aspect of our lives, and we put up with a lot because we’re not safe. So, should I pass it on?

00:13:41 M Yeah, it’s interesting that you raised the issue about the loss of trust in police institutions and lack of access to justice and also the protection that leads to a state of vulnerability. So, I would like Madame Antonia to express about the migrant sex worker. How do they feel about the access to justice? Do many Bulgarian sex workers feel insecure because of racism and also politics in the UK and Europe?

00:14:36 A Hi, I’m Antonia and I need today a translator.

00:14:50 AT Hiya, I’m going to be translating for Antonia, so bear with us please.

00:14:55 A [Speaks in Bulgarian]

00:15:03 AT Hi, I’m Antonia, and I work for an organisation called Hydra in Berlin. Maybe you’ve heard of it. It’s about sex work.

00:15:14 A [Speaks in Bulgarian]

00:15:31 AT The situation in Germany is slightly different, the problem is that sex work is legal, there is such thing as a law for the protection of sex workers, but that doesn’t actually help.

00:15:42 A [speaks in Bulgarian]

00:15:56 AT One of the reasons why it doesn’t work is that a lot of sex workers are afraid to give all their personal information to the state when they have to register as a sex worker, and that still makes it feel quite unsafe when you’re doing sex work.

00:16:15 A [speaks in Bulgarian]

00:16:34 AT According to the law, you have to register as a sex worker, and you are issued a little card that says that you are a sex worker, and we see that as a form of discrimination and stigmatisation of sex work.

00:16:44 A [Speaks in Bulgarian]

00:17:00 AT I was hoping that I can discuss this with you and maybe you can help us figure out some ways of going around this. I’m really sad to hear that the other panellists have also had similar experiences with police and institutions and feeling unsafe.

00:17:23 LX Hi, I’m just going to talk a bit about the challenges that are facing people when they claim asylum in this country. The government says that you need to apply for asylum as soon as you can, and when people don’t do that then it automatically puts them at a disadvantage in being recognised as a refugee. Because the Home Office is less likely to believe that they do actually have a well-founded fear of persecution. And even for lesbian, gay, bisexual, Queer, trans and intersex people, who my organisation works with specifically, it’s even applied to them incorrectly because a lot of people don’t realise that you can apply for asylum on the grounds of your sexual orientation or gender identity. Many people believe that asylum or refugee status is only for people who are fleeing war or political persecution. And it’s recognised that because of this, LGBTQI people often apply for asylum late, because they don’t know that they can. And what should happen, is that that shouldn’t count against them in the asylum claim, they just need to be able to explain why they didn’t apply sooner. But we see people whose claims are refused, for reasons such as: the Home Office has told them, “We see you have research skills, because you found other things online. So how did you not know about this? Therefore, we don’t believe you are a lesbian woman, or a gay man and we are refusing you asylum.” Also, if you are in the asylum process, you’re normally not allowed to work, and you’re not entitled to mainstream benefits. You’re therefore forced into poverty, by living on only thirty-seven pounds and seventy-five pence per week, and obviously, this does drive many people to seek other forms of work unofficially, I’m sure we’re all aware of the risks that are involved in that. If you need accommodation and that’s given to you, you’re normally obliged to live somewhere outside of London, in the South East, in a location where you have no choice of whatsoever. That really drives people into isolation, if they’re separated from their support networks and people from their communities, and with the population we work with, it often means that they end up in parts of the country with no LGBTQI community and no LGBTQI services. They therefore end up being forced into the closet, which is really not what you need when the government is expecting you to perform your sexual orientation or gender identity somehow, so that they will believe you and grant you refugee status. And similarly, a related problem is that you normally have to share accommodation and people can suffer from homophobia, biphobia and transphobia from their housemates. And I just want to add that all of this is much harder if your asylum claim—if they put you in a detention centre and you have to have your asylum claim processed from inside detention, because it’s even harder to show you’re LGBTQI if you don’t have access to social media, for example, you don’t have access to dating apps and you’re not going to any LGBTQI organisations. And obviously, many people wouldn’t do that in their walk of life anyway, but when you’re claiming asylum, this kind of interaction can be really critical. But in a deportation centre– sorry, in a detention centre, all of that is taken away from you and, ironically, people in detention centres are allowed to work for about one pound per hour. Thanks!

00:21:00 M Yeah, it’s so interesting that what we have seen from the experience of many people right now is that all their [inaudible 00:21:02] the stigma and all kinds of discrimination against migrant sex workers. They are so from, these kind of kinds of policies and—no sorry, these kinds of industries, they are awful. They are racist policies that the government puts in to oppress migrant sex workers. And I would like to know, Laura, did you find a lot of migrant sex workers in the UK who really suffer, like from deportation, did many of them express themselves about their fear? As she mentioned, your friend, that after Brexit there is more and more racism and the government try to put more and more repression against migrant sex workers. Can you develop this part about the fear and consequences of deportation, please?

00:22:05 L Yes, thank you. There’s a couple of things to say because if… supposedly, okay, if you’re from the European Union, and you’re here—because we haven’t left the EU yet, technically—that you are supposedly allowed to live and work here. But what we have been seeing… a lot, and specifically a lot since the referendum to leave or remain was announced, is a big increase in police and immigration activities targeting, particularly, Romanian women for deportation. It’s escalated as well, in terms of their tactics. So what Alina was talking about in relation to women being given a deportation order, because sex work is not so-called “legitimate”, that was happening a couple of years ago and continues to happen. But that was one thing, and women were challenging those orders. Some on the grounds that they were doing other “illegitimate” things, but some who weren’t, were challenging on the grounds that, “Well, who says sex work is not a legitimate job, because it doesn’t say that anywhere in law, so you just made that up, basically.” So, that’s been happening. But since that, more recently, as Alina was saying about the women who have been given deportation orders on the grounds that you’re a persistent offender, which is where you’ve been arrested for loitering and soliciting, in the cases that we’ve been working with, and one woman had six convictions for loitering and soliciting on her record, and therefore was considered okay for deportation because of being a persistent offender. That was a very worrying trend because it basically meant that they could deport anybody, because it’s impossible to work on the streets, really, without getting a conviction for loitering and soliciting. And so, a lot of people do have multiple convictions and, if that’s their criteria, then that’s terrifying, basically. And women were very worried, like what you were saying, about being able to go and report anything to the police that they needed to. Because once you have this order over your head, and they say, “If we see you again, we’re going to pick you up and take you,” you can’t be seen at all. So, you go into leaving the area where you’ve been for a long time, going into a different area, that you may not know so well. Not being with your friends, having to work more on your own, because obviously if there’s more of you on the street, you’re much more visible and much more likely to be picked up. So that was an extremely worrying thing that’s happening, but on the other hand, women are appealing the orders and are fighting back, on the grounds that, “Okay fine, I might be a persistent offender, but you’re putting me in this dangerous situation and that’s not right.” So, that’s how we’ve been challenging those deportation orders. So, the impact of it is bad in that respect, in terms of women’s safety.

00:26:10 M That’s all interesting issues, about the security of migrant sex workers and I would like to ask Amina to express us about if decriminalisation is successful, what is the consequence that the positive side of decriminalisation that will affect the lives and issue of security of migrant sex workers?

00:26:42 AJ Hi, so, I think most sex worker activists and sex workers kind of—not all, but most agree that we want decriminalisation. However, in implementing this decriminalisation in places like, well, New Zealand, it hasn’t been exactly one hundred per cent great for migrant sex workers, just because you can’t get a visa to become a sex worker. It’s not going to fix—if you’re undocumented, it’s not going to make that much of a difference. It would make a difference, but it’s not going to change your visa status or anything like that. However, I think, for decriminalisation—so a lot of countries, the U.S. is one of a few countries actually, just ban people who have any involvement with prostitution at all, in the past ten years, they say. I mean, it can be a full life ban. These countries will ban you for entering if they find out you have any links with prostitution. I think if there is decriminalisation, I guess in those countries, it wouldn’t really matter, if you had a history with prostitution. I mean, of course they can still discriminate against you, but legally standing, they couldn’t just bar you from coming into a place because you’re a prostitute. And I also think decriminalisation can help sex workers, in the sense that a lot of workplaces have very racist practices, when it comes to migrant sex workers. Migrant sex workers are vulnerable in the sense that we have very few options of places that we can work from. If you’re not perceived to be from a Western or Anglo-country, or if you’re not white and cis and all these other things, then, they just kind of can discriminate against you, because it’s criminalised anyway in the UK, like brothels and stuff like that. But if it were decriminalised, obviously lots of workplaces have racist practices, whether it be a place that’s legal or not. But if it’s decriminalised, I think that workplaces kind of will change, maybe, like their racist practices, and migrant sex workers will have more options of where we can work from, things like that. As for access to law enforcement, and how Belle was saying, even going to the hospital, or to a health clinic, we don’t want to let people know that we’re sex workers. If it’s decriminalised, I think, obviously it’ll take society a long time to catch up, but also help with de-stigmatisation. So, I mean, I don’t know if I’ll ever feel comfortable going to the police about anything, but I think under decriminalisation, people will feel a lot better about accessing healthcare, accessing law enforcement, if they choose to do that. So yeah, how do you guys think decriminalisation will help?

00:30:05 B Yeah, well we are facing the rise of a new right-wing movement in the world and this is really dangerous because they have to pick a group in society that they can hate on, and that they can place as an enemy. And that’s what they are doing, successfully, with us and other groups. So they pick on these groups, and it’s so much easier for them and we all know how easy it’s been for them to stigmatise us and to push us into danger. And no-one cares about us because we have always been seen as the lowest of the low in society. So, there is this trend of “cleansing” society of everything right now, and the effect of this on us is just unbelievable. I mean, as I said before, in every aspect of our lives and our mental health is deeply affected by the way we are seen in society. I mean, the things that we put up with the access that—the same before, you know, we were talking about the access we have to mental health—I mean, by my experience I have a series of mental health issues that I have to get treatment for. I went to a therapist, and just talking to that therapist about being a sex worker was a very big issue because therapists often want to save you. People want to save you, that’s what they want to do. They don’t want to listen to us, or they don’t care what we decide for our lives, they don’t think we have any independence to make decisions, they just want to save us. So, the effect of this, beyond the legal effect that it has on us, the mental health effect and the way this follows us throughout our lives. I mean if, God forbid, I get deported, I’m going to lose everything I worked for. And I didn’t achieve much in life to be honest, but the very little that I fought for, and I fought really hard for, is going to be gone like that. And I had issues with—we were talking about the policies, immigration and the borders—I had issues with the borders before because they found out that I was trying to do sex work in that country. And this follows me, that was years ago. And it follows me every time I travel. Travelling, going to an airport, you know. They look at your fa—and I know people, white people from privileged countries, from first-world countries, who had worse convictions than me, who actually committed crimes in other countries. And they get away with way more, because they have this huge privilege. But we are in a certain position, as migrants and as sex workers, that there is a whole society that is trying really hard to erase us. The rise of the right wing, we all know how much they don’t want us here. They don’t want migrants here, they don’t want to see this foreigner person take advantage of what they see as their amazing, beautiful country. And there are very strong groups trying to convey this message, and they are doing it successfully. So, they are just looking for a reason to humiliate you, to send you back to your country, to erase you from this place. You know, so we are not welcome here. I mean, the effects of this, and how this place [inaudible 00:33:26] being deported is going back to the country that you tried really hard to get out of. It will follow you for the rest of your life. So, the effects on us are just immeasurable. It’s way beyond the issues that we have right now with the police, or the issues—it follows you for the rest of your life and it’s a whole group of people that no-one cares about. I mean, we do care about, a lot, but, you know, I’m talking about the general public. They are really just looking for a reason to eradicate us. Yeah, so the effects are just…

00:34:08 M I have a question to you. It’s so interesting because of how you talk about humiliation and also deportation back to the country they fled from. It’s very worrying, so my question is about to relate to these kinds of issues to LX and Antonia. I would like to know, as you work as by giving the consultance and also the advice, and so, you work with people who suffer all kinds of deportation, the cancel of their asylum requests and also those people who are facing more and more repression to be sent back to their home country, like in Bulgaria. How did you deal with these people, and how do these people who are migrant sex workers react back to this kind of position?

00:35:10 A [speaks in Bulgarian]

00:35:30 AT For us, one of the most important things, and one of the things that makes us most happy is that we foster trust with the sex workers that we work with. And in part, that comes from the fact that a lot of the people in Hydra, the organisation that Antonia works in, all have been sex workers themselves, and the rest are trying to build a relationship of trust.

00:35:58 A [speaks in Bulgarian]

00:36:18 AT And we try to establish that trust by building on our shared experiences of what it is to be a sex worker, what is your day like, what is the kind of interaction that you might have with law enforcement, police or border authorities. Also, just generally, do you feel unsafe, or how do you feel in your daily life?

00:36:52 A [speaks in Bulgarian]

00:37:04 AT And for us, one of the most important things is to build these networks of people that do sex work, so that they know other people who do sex work and they are able to support each other in that.

00:37:17 A [speaks in Bulgarian]

00:37:33 AT So, for instance, we have one project called the Peer Project, and that project is made of sex workers, ex-sex workers and translators.

00:37:45 A [speaks in Bulgarian]

00:38:10 AT So, for us it’s important to build those networks of people knowing each other and supporting each other and understanding each other’s lives, building trust with each other. And one of the ways to do that is to give the space, the actual space, for those people to meet and be able to create those networks.

00:38:32 A [speaks in Bulgarian]

00:38:49 AT For instance, we opened a coffee shop, called the Hydra coffee shop. And it’s just for sex workers and they can come and have a coffee, have a chat with other people, just chill. Whatever they want to use the space for.

00:39:05 A [speaks in Bulgarian]

00:39:24 AT I wanted to jump on what Belle was saying about mental health because we have a lot of experience with that. A lot of people really struggle with their mental health, they feel anxious, unsafe, it’s really difficult to access any services like therapy, unless you have social security.

00:39:46 A [speaks in Bulgarian]

00:40:02 AT So, for me, the most important issues are networking, making sure that social workers build trust between each other and with our organisation trying to provide some sort of free services for physical and mental health that don’t rely on the state.

00:40:29 LX It’s quite similar with our client group as well, and there is some crossover with what other panellists have been saying. For example, the role of stigma, and internalised shame or feelings of shame, internalised homophobia, for example. That really affects how people feel able to go and seek help for their situations, and even put in an asylum claim. So let’s say that somebody is in the UK and wants to apply for asylum, or has heard that actually they could, because they’re a trans woman or a bisexual man. The first thing they need to do is find out how they do it and get themselves a lawyer. But a lot of people are afraid of going to the refugee NGOs because they are afraid they will encounter other people from their country of origin, who might exhibit the same attitudes and discriminatory behaviour towards them that they’re actually trying to flee. So, some people might then go to an LGBTQI organisation, but those organisations don’t necessarily know and understand our incredibly complex asylum and immigration system. There are more and more LGBTQI NGOs who are reporting an increase in the numbers of people going to them, asking for help with their asylum claims and then coming to contact us. Now, the next stage, once they’ve taken that step and have gone to an NGO, perhaps, is to find a lawyer. But the government has made so many cuts to legal aid, that it’s really hard to find a legal aid lawyer. And then, if you do, a lot of the lawyers out there aren’t necessarily very good, and they don’t necessarily know how to apply for asylum on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity. And somebody who has been hiding this fact all their life then has to open up about this. And if they have been doing any kind of sex work or other work, under the radar in this country, then they’re probably not going to mention it, and they’re in effect still having to hide some aspect of themselves because of the fear of repercussions and potentially losing the legal aid. If you don’t get legal aid, the fees you have to pay are in the thousands, so you end up being caught in the middle. There are some people who aren’t eligible for legal aid, but they still can’t pay a private lawyer. So we, at my organisation, we do try to help to refer people into specialist legal aid or pro bono lawyers, but the demand is incredibly high, more than the number of lawyers we actually know of and can refer people into. We also help people to overcome their sense of isolation and try to build their self-esteem and their confidence. Again, we see a lot of people with severe mental health needs, and we do refer people to services for those. But through our work, through running peer support groups, for example, we can help people meet others, who are having the same experience they are, in terms of trying to claim asylum on similar grounds. For many people, this is the first time they realise they’re not alone, they’re not the only person going through this. So, one of our key services is just helping people connect to others so they can support each other through this really difficult system.

00:43:48 M Yeah, thanks so much. So, it’s more than important to talk about the support of each other and when we want support to have the support we need and solidarity. So I would like to ask the two BPOC sex workers right now, who are here, like Belle and also Amina, how do you organise solidarity and support in your community? As you know, you face a lot of discrimination, racism. And also, for Belle’s case is interesting, because she is from Ireland, how do you organise the fight against the Nordic Model that is now put in Ireland? Is it different from the fight from other places? Has the Nordic Model put something more complicated into the fight? And also, for Amina, if the Nordic Model is imported to the UK, what will change and how will you fight against it?

00:44:48 B So, how we build a community in Ireland? I, actually, am only part of the community for maybe less than a year or so? I’ve always been active on social media, but as I said before, I was terrified of organisations, because I didn’t know if they were there for me. And I followed Kate, which is the queen in Ireland, for a long time, and the work that we were doing was incredible. But I didn’t think it was for me because I thought there was no place for a migrant sex worker. Because of what I do, what they do is legal, and there’s a huge stigma around it and it’s dangerous in a way, and obviously. But what I do is completely illegal. And obviously, if I were from, say, I don’t know, America, I would certainly have different treatment because I am from Brazil, because there already is this feeling of “I want to cleanse and I want to take these people away,” even though they let you in anyway because they need cheap labour. But, because you’re doing the wrong type of labour, they don’t want you there, but they still look to you in a certain way. So, I thought there were no places for me, but since, you know, I’m part of this community, we really tried, and we are trying really hard, recently to build—well, we already have a group, and we are very welcoming to allies, we are very welcoming to people who are coming. If anyone has a problem, if anyone has any personal issue—that was one of the things we were discussing yesterday, about building a community where people can be friendly with each other. You know, as I was saying, criminalisation and stigma affects so much, every aspect of your life, it’s not only when you have an issue with the law that you need help. Sometimes, and very often, sex workers have issues around relationships. Around the way they perceive themselves. Around their mental health. And we try our hardest to be there for them when they need. If anyone needs help, the group that we have on WhatsApp, is for me at least, the place I can go to. Because I know it’s the safest space I have in my life. And that’s the type of thing we want to—so what was the other question?

00:46:59 ? The Nordic Model.

00:47:01 B Oh yeah, about the Nordic… Oh my god, it’s just a mess and we all know how much of a mess it is. And what’s frustrating about it is the hypocrisy,  and I feel personally very angry about. It’s not even the hypocrisy behind it, they are trying to save or to help us, and that’s what every organisation that is against us is trying to say. They are trying to help us, but they are not really. And the real effect of it is, even the women who do it legally in a country, because clients are criminalised— and recently in Ireland, we had stop and searches and questioning of clients, recently. A few of them, maybe twenty-something or thirty people or something were questioned. So, it creates this sense, in the clients, of fear of the police. So, because we want to keep those clients, because we want to keep making our money, we are pushed into further danger, because we are willing to put up with a lot more, so they don’t get caught. Right, and this is for people who are doing it legally. But for people like me, who are doing it illegally, it—oh my god, the amount of things. I mean, I am in a very privileged situation because I do domination and I do—in a certain way, I am in a grey area of work, that I can argue with my clients that they are going to be fine, but I’m not really sure about that. If anything happens, I know for a fact, if anything happens and the police ever stop me or to—I am certainly going to be deported because I am not the type of migrant, like Americans or people from white countries, that they are more—is “complacent” a word in English? I don’t know, it is in Portuguese.

00:47:50 ? Complacent?

00:47:51 B Complacent, yeah… With—they don’t want people of colour, migrant people of colour, making any mess in their country, and they will take that opportunity to just send me back. So yeah, the effect of the Nordic Model is just really damaging in every aspect of our lives.

00:49:12 AJ So, I’m going to start by answering about community and then go into the Nordic model. I think about community, within the sex work community, we often talk about xenophobia amongst clients, and we have to talk about xenophobia amongst the police. But I don’t think we talk enough about the xenophobia within the sex worker community. You know, there’s been so many times I’ve been to meetings, or in a brothel or something with other sex workers, and they go on and talk about Eastern European workers, or workers from Asia or somewhere they consider to be undesirable. And I can’t imagine how marginalising that is for—I mean, yes, I am a migrant, but I’m from, I guess a technically good country, America, so they’re not going to say anything about Australian workers or American workers, or even workers from Sweden or something. No, they’re talking about workers from countries they see as undesirable. And there’s so much xenophobia within the sex worker community, amongst other sex workers. So I think in able to make a community, with sex workers that are British and sex workers that are migrants, we have to address this and be really real about the reality surrounding this. And also cognisant about the issues that migrant sex workers go through. I think as a community as well, we have to make things accessible for people who may not have the academic understanding of sex work that we might have or may not have the knowledge of certain things that we might have. I think sometimes there is the issue of intersection of class, race, things like that within the sex worker community that we need to be real about if we’re going to build something where migrant sex workers feel included and feel safe, and feel they can share, that they won’t be judged, and they won’t meet xenophobia. So, I think that’s really important, going forward, within the sex worker rights movement. We need unity amongst sex workers. As for the Nordic Model, I’ve never worked in a place that has had the Nordic Model. So obviously, I can’t really talk about it in depth from personal experiences. But I do know from the literature that I’ve read that the Nordic Model, when it was implemented in Sweden, it was primarily to target sex workers from West Africa, specifically Nigeria, as well as sex workers from Eastern Europe. It’s a very, very racialised thing. So, I think the Nordic Model will have devastating consequences if it’s implemented within the UK, primarily with people who work outside, people who may be a migrant from a country that’s considered underdeveloped or something, I think it’s going to… I mean, it will impact all sex workers, don’t get me wrong, but I think for cis, white sex workers who work indoors, it will impact them, but I think for the most part, the Nordic Model is going to impact migrant sex workers. Which is why I’m saying, we need this unity amongst the sex worker community because it will impact all of us in the end. And I just think we need to be real about these issues when we hear these racist and xenophobic comments in our communities and address them. Call the person out. We need to make our communities a safe space where everybody feels included, everybody feels that resources are accessible to them.

00:53:00 B Sorry, can I just add something? Yeah, I just forgot to add something. With living under the Nordic Model, we recently had the experience of someone in our group, an Irish person, who is doing it legally. She was being harassed and she went to the police, and nothing was done about it. So, the reality is beyond, you know, legally, yeah you can claim legal aid for whatever is going on with you, because what you’re doing is not illegal. But the reality—that’s what we really have to discuss about the Nordic Model. It’s what they say that this is going to cause, and how things work and why it actually happens. And look at the honest numbers, because we all know that their numbers are not necessarily honest. Their often, they the numbers around… But, what actually happens if you go to the police, if you really seek for aid, even if you’re doing it legally, is that the police most likely won’t care about you unless it’s a very extreme situation. And very recently now—I think it was in Ireland, I don’t know—but we got person, a man was convicted for taking his condom off during intercourse with a sex worker. And that was a huge step and I mean, we are commemorating something so basic, and that’s how bad it is. A person really, he did something, he raped that person—I don’t know if I should say that word, guys. Sorry! So, this is how horrible the situation is. We are commemorating something so basic because we are perceived—and what actually happens if you go to police, is so bad. We don’t have the recognition like other women do. We are not seen as civilian women, especially if you are a migrant. If you’re a migrant, forget about going to the police. They are more likely to put you on a plane and send you back to your country than prosecuting the person that harassed you or abused you. So, the effects of the Nordic Model—and we really have to tell people about this, and we have to be very vocal about it, that the Nordic Model is not what they say they’re going to do. All these politicians, they want to convey the image that, “It’s going to happen.” It’s not what is actually happening. And living it in real life, and day by day? We don’t feel safe. It doesn’t make anyone safe. Even the girls that are supposed to be safe under this model.

00:55:51 A [speaks in Bulgarian]

00:56:08 AT In Berlin, the problems with the police are exactly the same. I have a trans sex worker friend, who is constantly harassed on the street.

00:56:19 A [speaks in Bulgarian]

00:56:31 AT And even though sex work is technically legal, these cases of harassment happen all the time, when the police comes, they either just don’t do anything or they start this long procedure of prosecuting and really unhelpful bureaucracy.

00:56:52 A [speaks in Bulgarian]

00:57:03 AT The harassment is so bad that, for instance, when I speak to my friend, my first question every day is not, “How are you?” but, “Are you okay? Did you have problems last night?”

00:57:17 A [speaks in Bulgarian]

00:57:29 AT And this is also ineffective, this new law for protection of sex work, because it doesn’t… it’s just done so that it looks like we’re doing something and make society think that something is being done but actually, it is just a veil that is being thrown over their eyes.

00:57:57 LX I just want to add that in the Hostile Environment, which was the actual term used by the government itself, you’d think it was something the activists had made up, but no, this is something the government used, and they were proud to call it the “Hostile Environment,” for people with undocumented immigration status in Britain. So, they actually embedded, firstly immigration officials in police stations, and so there are many stories out there of people that had been raped or have been trafficked, and then when they went to the police station for help, they were treated as an offender instead. But also, it’s turning every citizen or every resident of the country into an immigration official because landlords, now, have to check people’s immigration status as well, before they can rent you a property. And it’s the same for the NHS as well. And the knock-on effects, the same as with other legislation, is that it affects people who do have the right to stay, as well. It discriminates against people on the grounds of their race and their ethnicity. And the GP surgeries and the hospitals get it wrong, people struggle to register for a GP, even when they’ve got a card, showing that they’re in the process of claiming asylum, they’re entitled to NHS services, but it’s so confusing for the NHS, and sometimes they can be prejudiced as well. But even so, they just don’t understand it and people are not just afraid of the police, they become afraid of everybody with any particular position of power, even if they’re meant to be helping them.

00:59:43 M Here, we have seen that of course, the only thing that can help us to solve this kind of problem is not the Nordic Model. And I would like to ask Laura, as a collective of sex workers and prostitutes, what will you say to society when you talk about fighting back? When sex workers want to fight back against all of this backlash from all the policies and abolitionist politics. How and what do you say to them, and show that we will not give up?

01:00:26 L Okay, it’s a good question. What I would say is that a lot is happening and we’re up against a lot, obviously, but there are people campaigning against the unjust laws and the unjust deportations. And sex workers are every day fighting back against—if it’s a piece of harassment or an individual case, or whatever it is—they are trying to get help, they’re trying to find out our rights and what can be done about it, and are not giving up either, are taking it to the very end, are appealing deportations, are sticking in there, the processes are very drawn out and long, often. And women are really under siege and under, also obviously, at the same time, great financial pressure, fighting back against the unjust legislation and laws. So, I would say that to count those victories keeps us going as an organisation, because it is a horrendous situation that we’re in. But I think every kind of victory that we get, we have to make the most of and learn from, because, if it’s all so bad, then what’s the point? And so, you have to have something to keep going and I think one of the things is counting the victories. So even if it is stopping a deportation, or stopping an arrest, or stopping the police from coming back to harass you at your flat, we have to count all of those things and publicise them. And also, publicise the victories of other groups because there’s a lot of victories going on, despite the Hostile Environment for, not just for migrants, but for many people. We want decriminalisation, I just want to say, we actually have a petition for decriminalisation at the moment, to the government, which is actually an official government petition, which is the one where if you get ten thousand signatures, then the government has to respond, and if you get a hundred thousand signatures, then you get a debate in Parliament. The reason that we’ve done it, is because, in 2016, the Home Affairs Committee actually recommended decriminalisation for sex workers on the street and in premises, and the removal of criminal records. And that is a massive victory because they’re such a prestigious parliamentary committee. It’s not just a bunch of sex workers saying it anymore, it’s actually parliamentarians who are agreeing with us. And so, they recommended that the government actually responded to them, saying, “Okay, well, we need more information.”—Am I going too fast? Sorry! I’ll slow down. The government said, “We need more information.” And so, they have commissioned research into the nature and extent of prostitution in the UK, and that research is happening as we speak. It was supposed to be published in the Spring, which I believe is now, but it hasn’t been published, and the draft hasn’t even come out yet. We were told we would see the draft and we haven’t. So, we did the petition to show that there is a big support for decriminalisation in the UK and that whatever recommendations this piece of research—supposedly they’re not making policy recommendations, but whatever they say about the nature and extent of prostitution will obviously inform policy. So, if they say ninety per cent of sex workers are trafficked in the UK, then that will—which is a lie—but that will obviously push the government in a particular direction. However, if they tell the truth, that it’s mothers, it’s migrants, it’s students, it’s a whole set of different people just earning a living, who are facing a lot of police abuse and discrimination because of the laws, then that will obviously point them in a different direction. And so, the petition is there to show that we have a lot of support and if the government try and introduce something like the Nordic Model, then they can’t just do it because without any care, because there’s a massive support for decriminalisation. So, we have over eight thousand, five hundred signatures already. So we’re nearly at the ten thousand mark and we have until August to collect as many signatures as possible. So, please sign the petition and join our campaigns as well. Thank you!

01:06:05 M Thank you so much! So, does someone have something to add before we go to the public discussion? Or you would like to answer questions and then add something later? So—

01:06:24 ? [inaudible]

01:06:26 M Yeah.

01:06:29 B Yeah, so just to finish, we—I feel kind of bad now because we spoke very little about other minorities, I spoke mostly about my own experiences as a Brazilian person and a migrant in Ireland and all that. But it is essential that we are a strong, united movement, and that we are open and engaging with every minority and other movements, too. We cannot afford to exclude anyone. We… this is, you know… Commonly, there’s this group—I used to be, well I’m a socialist and I used to be part of socialist feminist groups, and the biggest criticism they have against intersectional feminists is that we are individualistic, and we serve individualistic goals and whatever. But, and this is so hypocrit—and the hypocrisy that every group against us has is just unbelievable. We have to be the ones including and welcoming everyone and fighting together. We have to fight, all of us together and with other groups. We have to fight with the LGBTQ+ community. We have to fight with the workers… the working-class groups, because we are part of the working class. They exclude us but we cannot forget about—there is a very clear aim by the people in power to erase us and to separate us, and to continue to be empowered. And we cannot afford to not be united right now. So, yeah create a strong, empowered movement that encompasses other minorities.

01:08:24 M Yeah so, if someone has a question to the panellists… Or yeah, please.

01:08:29 Q1 How many immigrants do you know who the inherent bias of platforms like AdultWork? I say this because I’m researching my—sex workers use photography and online, a lot of immigrant sex workers tell me that AdultWork is making them jump through so many extra hoops. For instance, I just had to take a photo to get verified… to be verified, I just have to have a photo, holding up the date. But I’ve got immigrant sex workers telling me that AdultWork is making them, not only hold their photo up, but go out onto the street, in front of a street sign. So, I just want to know, how do you navigate the racial bias on platforms when you’re trying to make money?

01:09:21 AJ So, yes, I can attest to this. I had to, for AdultWork, multiple times because if you’re not a British citizen, they will just revoke your account sometimes and make you do it again. I had to go in front of a red post box to show that I was in the UK, with a copy of the Daily Mail or something, from the past week. And I’m just standing there, in the middle of the street. So yeah, that’s very real and they do revoke your account if you’re not British and it’s quite devastating for work. If you plan on working that week, you could easily lose your account from Adult Work, just because you don’t have the British citizenship. But, I mean, it’s such a big platform that so many people use, it really is unfortunate that—you know, I have so many problems with it, but to navigate that… obviously, I would say in the future, if sex workers could have our own platform ran by sex workers—I mean, I don’t want to say, it’s not pie-in-the-sky, because it definitely can happen. But you just have these companies like AdultWork or Eros, which is in America, or Back Page, which got shut down due to FOSSESSA. You have all these platforms that are ran by people, who don’t have our best interests at heart at all, they don’t care about us, they really just want money from the site. So yeah, I mean, it is unfortunate. The only way I can really think to deal with that is to make our own platform which isn’t connected. Like, the servers are somewhere in Europe, I guess, that’s not, that doesn’t have U.S. servers or something like that, but I don’t know. Yeah, ahat is a big issue that I’ve personally dealt with and I know a lot of people who aren’t British that have dealt with this.

01:11:12 Q1 I did email AdultWork and I said, “I’m on AdultWork. I’m an Australian.” And I came, and I asked them to explain, “Can you tell me the difference between me as an Australian and someone else as an Eastern European?” And they legit put it in writing it’s because I’m Australian. I’m the right type of foreigner.” So I don’t…

01:11:37 AJ Even Americans have to do it, and certain—I don’t know, if you’re not from Western Europe or, I guess, Australia as well, they make you do it. It’s quite strange.

01:11:48 Q1 Well, the remark I get is because I’m Australian, I’m almost British. So, that qualifies me to pass.

01:11:58 AJ Yeah. That website has a few issues. So—

01:12:00 Q1 Because, I mean, I don’t want to centre my voice as a Western, white woman in your discussion, but what I’ve noticed since SESTA and FOSTA and Brexit, is the audacity for clients, for other sex workers, for people in general to say straight to my face, “That’s okay, you’re the right type of foreigner.” When they have discussions with me about race and xenophobia, and I will say, “But I’m foreign,” they will legit say straight to my face, “That’s okay, you’re Australian, you’re the right type of person that we want here,” and I couldn’t imagine what you’re getting if people are just saying completely casually, off-the-cuff remarks, “That’s okay, you’re Australian, you’re accepted.” I just, I guess I just wonder how you operate online as highly marginalised-of-the-marginalised and how you put yourself out there, every day.

01:12:58 AJ Well, I mean, I am American. All of my family is American, but I’m black so I don’t code as “western” within Europe. Just the way that Europe is, as of to the way that I specifically operate, or maybe other, I guess, non-white, western people operate… I don’t know, when you’re born into this world and you’re not white, you kind of just grow up with it. I can’t really explain it, it’s just the shit cards you’re dealt with, I guess. I mean, obviously, you can try and stand up to people who are racist and it takes allies within—that’s what I was talking about before, the xenophobia and the racism within the sex worker community, it does take allies to actually say something when people are saying these things. But as for somebody who actually is in one of these marginalised groups, I guess as myself, I mean, I guess we just get on with it, really. I don’t know.

01:14:13 M There’s a question there?

01:14:16 Q2 This is a little bit of a similar question. So there’s racist clients in every country, but from working here now for three days, it’s been really crazy. Like, I would say eighty per cent of my clients have mentioned, “Yeah, I see sex workers, but I would never see one of those people.” Either like, “Oh, everyone from this country is fake,” or “I would never see someone from this country because I would never know whether it’s not trafficking.” It’s like they all felt the need to mention this to me and I don’t really know why. I’m wondering, as white workers and workers from western Europe and Australia, how can we show clients that we are actually in—like, we’re with you, our loyalty lies with you, not with them.

01:15:13 B So, yeah. So, I personally had experience with strong racism towards—I mean, I don’t say where I’m from in my ads, because it is dangerous for me. If I say where I’m from, they know that it’s illegal and they know that—I mean, I’m in a very vulnerable situation. The moment that I say that I’m doing something illegal then they know that I cannot go to the police, right? So, it’s giving them power, so I don’t say anything. But this person—and then, as we were talking again, before—how it’s important to build a strong community because I didn’t have that at the time. This person just was really aggressive, talking to me. Really in a way that made me very uncomfortable, made me feel very vulnerable and unsafe. He was saying, “Where are you from,” and I didn’t answer him. “Where are you from [inaudible 01:15:53]?” So, at some point, he just got really angry at the phone and he sent me a message saying, “Who do you think you are? You’re a bullshitter. You have—” he specifically said, “I only do Irish,” that’s what he said. “I only do Irish, and if you’re not Irish, you should take your ad down!” And I was like… So, I posted this on Twitter, and this other person, who was a sex worker too, just… she took his side. And so many other people, so many of my followers, clients, and other sex workers took his side because he has the right to know, you know? And who am I not to tell the client, you know? And even though that would mean putting me in an unsafe position. No-one cares if I am unsafe, no-one cares if what he says makes me feel unsafe. People only care about themselves and their experience and Because she was safe doing her work, no-one cared. She didn’t have to care about anyone else. So yeah, the racism is huge—I mean, I wouldn’t say racism hits me because again, I have indigenous descendancy and this, maybe in Europe, this means something, but in Brazil, I’m a white person. I was raised as a white person, and I had all the privileges of a white person, so I don’t think racism is an issue, exactly, but xenophobia is a huge thing. So I thought anyways, you know, so, for me, I really experienced that. And it makes you fe—you don’t have anyone to help you or to talk to you or to, you just feel like you’re wrong. And that’s what happens, again and again and again, and in the community, that “You should put up with a bit more,” “You don’t put up with enough,” “You should have served him a bit more,” “You’re being a bad sex worker because you didn’t serve your client properly.”

01:18:00 AJ Sorry—before we go onto another question, I just wanted to add, if anybody is interested specifically on the experiences of non-white sex workers, we’re doing a panel at 2:15. I think maybe that would be a bit better to talk about this more in-depth.

01:18:15 Q3 Hello! So yeah, first a comment about AdultWork because it was mentioned and then my questions. So yeah, AdultWork is extremely xenophobic, and basically, it’s not even in a symmetric way, it’s very differential according to where you come from. So basically, everyone non-British has to face different, like—sometimes they even refute their own rules, like, for example, you can’t have nude pictures, but some can, some cannot. And basically, there’s no exact rule, it’s whatever applies to whatever they want. So what it means is that—like, I know people that often have to hide their identities, basically, which is not just a very difficult bureaucratic process, but it’s also that you have to create a narrative about yourself, that you have to say to clients, for example, that you don’t come from that country. But it’s that if you have the privilege to be able to support the story, or if you don’t, it means you have to have very low rates. So basically—or, if you come from a country that it’s not very, in a very stereotypical way, portrayed, then you have to kind of exoticise it. And say, “Oh yeah, I’m from there, which means that, and that, and that.” Or, I don’t know, for example, I might have clients from the country I’m from, and they basically want a national discount because we are from the same count—so basically, it’s crazy, you know? So, I mean, besides that—and yeah, I think that the only way to battle that is not in an individual way. I think it’s necessary to create some level of organisation and go, because we have this ideal of independent escorts, it’s actually very isolating and, I don’t know, it’s considered that we’re self-employed or something and this is an advertising platform, as if it’s like, I don’t know, the free market and we cannot—it’s not. Like, AdultWork, for many, it’s the only way to work, and then suddenly they can’t because they decided to revoke it. So, I think there should be a more collective way to kind of address these issues and have some sort of representation against AdultWork, and say this, and this, and that. And not just individually, from the most marginalised people that have these effects, so, but also for the more privileged people using it, so that good actors are like the front line of these sorts of demands and also, the other thing like AdultWork, you don’t only see the platform itself, but also other workers being extremely like, having comments like, “I don’t see black clients or Asians clients, which is like, and this is out of personal preference.” No, it’s not. It’s pure racism and it should not be allowed as a comment. Anyway, if I can ask very specific questions. Sorry, I had very big feelings about that!

01:21:55 AJ No problem, no problem.

01:15:58 Q3 Because it took so much time for me to verify this stupid platform! Anyway, so, one thing to Laura. I wanted to ask, when you challenge deportation orders or things like that, and you try to say that, “This is legitimate,” when you don’t have other reasons that are considered legitimate to stay, as work. Do you often get challenged by the fact that these people may not pay taxes, for example, or may not have a bank account? And say, “Okay, you claim that it is work, but then how can you prove that this is work or even if you are gaining an income then this being passed to other services and offices and being again targeted for other reasons like financial crime and things like that? Which again, turns against your immigration status.” And I had, also, one other question for Antonia, but I don’t know if I have the time to do it.

01:23:01 M So, I don’t think that there’s other questions, so we will let people answer at the same time. So, maybe, can you do it quickly?

01:23:15 Q4 So more than a question, it is actually, I would like to add some comments for this panel. Okay so, I was here for nine years, as an Italian working and doing my life in—yeah, yeah, two minutes! But then when I was back in Italy, it’s actually the relation between migration and sex work is a bit different. So actually, the European laws we should dig into and try to analyse the European laws, especially for those countries that are the border of Europe. And so, the Fortress Europe. And actually, the law for prostitution in Italy, it was made in 1958. I mean, I don’t have to explain everything but, it’s still the same law. But what has changed is actually that all the kinds of laws that are related to immigration and the laws for criminal acts and where migrant sex workers have to apply to have some social integration programmes, which is implied visa and protection, so that they have to report these kinds of pimps or whoever has been smuggled in the country. So, I mean, what’s just completely different—I mean, migration in south of Europe is completely different and probably, yeah, we shouldn’t actually go into it because it going to be another… Anyway, blah blah blah. [Audience laughs]

01:25:13 L Okay, very quickly, I can speak to you more afterwards, but we haven’t got that far yet. With the particular cases, the question was a bit, it was a moralistic question, really. And we were using European court rulings, which said that sex work was a form of self-employment, to counter those things. And so, it didn’t really get into whether you had a bank account or not. It did get into whether you had health insurance or not. So, which they were basically saying that if you were doing sex work. then you did have to have health insurance, so didn’t have access to the NHS, if you didn’t have that. So, that was a big lesson because I hadn’t realised that the NHS was quite that privatised, but in fact, loads of people are having to get private health insurance because they can’t get access to the NHS. So, yeah. But in terms of the bank accounts and the tenancy, I know more about it in relation to people actually trying to get their status and having problems with getting status on the grounds that those things are a problem. So yeah, it is a problem, basically.

01:26:27 M I really thank all of you today. I would like to have more time, but we have no time and thank you so much! And let’s fight together with all our fighters here! Thank you so much, everyone here! And I hope that next time we will be able to do better lives and things for sex workers.

01:26:50 L Well done!

[End of recording]

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