NUM Statement on the Government’s ‘pop up brothels’ inquiry

National Ugly Mugs joins SWARM and the ECP in condemning the recent decision by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Prostitution to launch an inquiry into so called ‘pop-up brothels’. NUM believes that this focus on ‘pop up brothels’ or short term lets is misguided and feeds a harmful media narrative about sex work, rather than addressing how the criminalisation of sex work creates the conditions under which sex workers are forced to use short term lets for work.  

In addition, NUM believes it is important to distinguish between an APPG and a Select Committee. An APPG is an informal group which has no official status in Parliament and therefore their work should not be given undue significance. This APPG is comprised of members with deeply held objections to sex work and a demonstrable bias against it. It is also noteworthy that Christian charity CARE - known for the promotion of gay conversion therapy - formerly provided the secretariat for the group and the Chair Gavin Shuker, MP Luton South, abstained from voting against equal marriage. 

In these circumstances, APPG NUM believes it is unfeasible to expect an unbiased inquiry. The APPG’s previous work makes it clear that their central aim is to eradicate sex work through criminalisation rather than to make an informed, evidence-based contribution to the debate. The APPG’s previous report: ‘Shifting the Burden’ was widely criticized by sex workers and academics for its selective use of questionable research.  

You can submit evidence to the APPG enquiry at - the deadline for submissions is December 18 2017.