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The government's new prostitution strategy: A cheap fix for drug‐using sex workers?

Margaret Melrose (Department of Applied Social Studies, Univesity of Bedfordshire)

Safer Communities

ISSN: 1757-8043

Article publication date: 1 February 2007

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Abstract

This article considers the recommendations to the government's public consultation exercise for drug‐using sex workers (Home Office, 2004). It argues that the ‘problem’ of drug use by sex workers cannot be separated from wider social problems experienced by this group, especially the problem of poverty. It suggests that the new prostitution strategy conflates drug use and sex work, reducing involvement in the latter to a problem of the former. Thus, other social problems experienced by these women, particularly the problems of poverty and social exclusion, are side‐stepped. By so doing, the government absolves itself of responsibility to tackle the underlying conditions that drive women and young people into prostitution and problematic drug use, leading me to argue that the new strategy offers a ‘cheap fix’ for drug‐using sex workers.

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Citation

Melrose, M. (2007), "The government's new prostitution strategy: A cheap fix for drug‐using sex workers?", Safer Communities, Vol. 6 No. 1, pp. 18-26. https://doi.org/10.1108/17578043200700004

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited