What is decriminalisation?

There are three legal frameworks used to regulate prostitution: decriminalisation, criminalisation and legalisation.
Much media and political debate posits only “legal” or “illegal” as options for the sex trade, but decriminalisation is the legal approach campaigned for by hundreds of sex worker lead organisations globally, several of which are in the UK. Many anti-sex workers’ rights campaigners use the terms “decriminalisation” and “legalisation” as if they are identical though they describe very different legal approaches. It is impossible to tell if they are doing this from genuine, if implausible, ignorance or an active desire to misinform by someone who may be aware that clarity and accurate information does not assist their cause.

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