You can read 19 more articles this month
A GROUP of former prostitutes have launched a ground-breaking High Court challenge, claiming that government policy criminalises victims of trafficking and abuse.
In the hearing, which began today, the women will argue that it is unlawful for past soliciting convictions to be stored and disclosed to potential employers.
They say it is discriminatory and breaches their right to a private life.
The applicants were all trafficked within Britain while under the age of 18 and forced into prostitution.
Campaigners say that although the women were victims of abuse, they currently have no entitlement to anonymity in the disclosure process.
One woman said she still had to explain her criminal record 20 years after leaving prostitution, while another claimed she was treated “like a sex offender.”
Fiona Broadfoot, who was forced into prostitution at the age of 15 after being groomed, said she was only 16 when police arrested and charged her for soliciting.
Now if she wants to work with children, she has to reveal her convictions from 30 years ago.
Ms Broadfoot said: “I was a victim. I was forced, I was beaten, I never profited. None of the men who bought me or sold me as a child, as a teenager, and as a young woman, have ever faced criminal charges.
“And we don't look into them as being a risk to our children and young people.”
If successful, the judicial review would result in the criminal records of the applicants being expunged.
Campaigners say it would also be a crucial step towards recognising prostitution as a human rights violation perpetrated by the pimps and punters.
The hearing is expected to end tomorrow.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.