Skip to content

UK has lowest percentage of migrant sex workers in Western Europe, but from more countries.

by on January 7, 2009

THERE ARE LESS migrant sex workers in the UK than any other western European country – but from by far the largest diversity of nations, says international research.

The survey is the latest by TAMPEP, the international networking agency that charts migratory patterns in prostitution.

It shows that, despite London’s very high percentage of migrant sex workers (76%), across the nation as a whole  only 37% of sex workers are migrants.

This compares with an average of 68% in European countries surveyed, apart from the former Soviet bloc.

The low figure will be a set-back for Government ministers and national prohibitionists, who have constantly portrayed the picture in the London ‘bubble’ as being typical of the UK.


But despite small numbers, no less than 56 nationalities were counted in the UK results – way ahead of second place Germany, with 38, and third place Greece (36). The Commonwealth, links with former colonies and the success of the English language could all be factors.

The report shows half of UK sex work migrants are from former Soviet countries and a further quarter from the rest of the European Union. Asia and South America contribute 10 percent each, with the remainder from Africa.

Virtually all migrant sex workers work indoors rather than on the streets.

Reports of huge numbers of migrant sex workers across the nation have been banded about by ministers such as Equalities Minister Harriet Harman and Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker.

But the survey shows that outside London, large swathes of the country recorded NO migrant sex workers while occasional hot spots, such as Birmingham, have up to 40 percent.

The Government is relying on fighting the perceived prevalence of trafficking and so-called ‘sex slaves’ to defend its moves to prosecute clients of sex workers ‘controlled for the gain’ of others. Ignorance by punters of the control would be no defence.

But two national exercises by the UK’s 55 police forces, known as Pentameter, discovered only 255 trafficked persons among the nation’s estimated 80,000 prostitutes – less than a third of one percent. An undisclosed number of those ‘rescued’ were deported.

The new Government moves, which also threaten to close premises used as brothels for up to three months and a clampdown on kerb-crawling, are in the Policing and Crime Bill, now progressing through Parliament and due for its Second Reading on January 12.

The Government’s also planning to bring back forced rehabilitation for street prostitutes on pain of imprisonment – a move previously withdrawn, ironically because legislation needed to be rushed through to avoid a strike by officers in Britain’s notoriously overcrowded prisons.

To draw the attention of your MP to the matter, write to him/her at


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: