Solidarity with incarcerated sex workers

On Friday June 7th, Ana and Adrina were sentenced to nine months in prison. Their ‘crime’ was working together for safety. The Nordic model criminalises sex workers for doing this, and such criminalisation is disproportionately targeted at migrant sex workers. Ana and Adrina were just trying to stay safe, but the Irish state chose to arrest them, prosecute them, and hand them a jail sentence. Adrina is pregnant and faces the possibility of having to give birth in jail.

What has happened to Ana and Adrina is completely unjust. It painfully illustrates what sex workers have been saying for years: the Nordic model does not decriminalise people who sell sex. Raids, arrests, prosecution and jail are violence against sex workers.

SWARM and SWAI (the Sex Worker Advocacy and Resistance Movement and the Sex Workers’ Alliance Ireland) are calling on our supporters to raise money for Ana and Adrina and we have set up a fundraiser. We have been in touch with their solicitor, so we can get the money to them. We want to do something to help these two women – and to tell the world that sex workers need decriminalisation and resources, not the Nordic model.

Christina, a sex worker with SWARM, said, “Imprisoning these young women for something which should not be a crime is horrible and absurd – and it is made worse because advocates for the Nordic model are constantly telling us that this law is about ‘protecting’ women who sell sex. How does it protect us to put us in jail?”

Lily, a sex worker with SWARM, said “Criminalisation of sex work, including the Nordic model, disproprotionately targets migrant workers – as we see in this case. We want feminist advocates of the Nordic model to engage with the reality that this legislation harms people who sell sex.

“When women are arrested, prosecuted and jailed, they are at risk of becoming destitute. We want to highlight the injustice that the women are experiencing as a result of Ireland’s Nordic model, and to try to support them as best we can. Sex workers need to support other sex workers, as the Irish state is just interested in persecuting them.”

If you are a sex worker and have been prosecuted for brothel-keeping because you were sharing a space with another worker in England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland or Northern Ireland, please get in touch. We are two small grassroots organisations with very little money, but we would be keen to offer you solidarity if we can.

Please share this fundraiser with your networks, using the hashtag #NordicModelJailsWomen. Here are some tweets you could use:

  • Two sex working women were handed jail sentences in Ireland last friday, because they were working together for safety. Please donate to @SexWorkHive & @SWAIIreland’s fundraiser for them if you can #NordicModelJailsWomen
  • Jailing sex workers for working together is violence against women. Sex workers need decriminalisation and resources, not prison. Donate here to support Ana and Adrina, jailed last week in Ireland #NordicModelJailsWomen
  • The Nordic model doesn’t decriminalise sex workers – Ana and Adrina have just been handed 9 month jail sentences. @SexWorkHive and @SWAIIreland are raising money for them – please share & donate if you can! #NordicModelJailsWomen
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