Sex workers want relief fund from British government amid coronavirus lockdown

Sex workers in the United Kingdom have lamented their ordeal amid the coronavirus outbreak which has seen the government enforced a lockdown to contain the spread of the disease.

As a result of the government’s policies, Sex workers are being left penniless and face being made homeless as they struggle for income during the coronavirus outbreak, campaigners have said.

Niki Adams, a spokesperson for the English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP), told The Independent the pandemic had left sex workers destitute.

She said: “It adds to an existing crisis. We have already seen a big increase in sex work in recent years across the UK because of Tory austerity measures. But coronavirus has been a disaster.

The nature of sex work is you are in close contact. Most sex workers are mums working to support themselves and their families. All their income has been taken away. People have no savings.”

Ms Adams argued the lockdown measures introduced by the government made sex work more dangerous due to women being less likely to come forward to report sexual violence to the police.

Fears of being prosecuted for prostitution are compounded by anxiety about being hit by “draconian measures introduced by the new coronavirus bill” which give the authorities new powers to detain any one deemed to be infected with coronavirus, she said.

Ms Adams called for the government to provide sex workers with emergency money and introduce legislation to decriminalise sex workers as recommended by the Home Affairs Committee.

It is not illegal for individuals to buy or sell sex from each other in the UK but soliciting and sex workers banding together as a group are illegal.

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