A new regulation being put up for proposal by the European Parliament would forbid any MEP from staying at a hotel that maintains contacts with prostitutes. The Sex Workers Interest Organisation (SIO) in Denmark has condemned the move by the EU, saying that it stigmatizes prostitutes.
The SIO has called on all European sex workers to boycott any politician who supports the policy at next year’s European Parliament elections. According to the Politiken newspaper, SIO’s reaction was a response to the actions of Soren Sondergaard of the People’s Movement Against the EU and Karen Riis-Jorgensen of the ruling Liberal Party, who both raised the issue with the Parliament’s chairman.
One sex worker named Sue told Politiken: “The hotels are where we work. We can’t do it in backyards or in cars. The proposal will force many out into the streets.” But the threat of a boycott by European sex workers appears to have little effect on MEPs, or Sondergaard, who claims to have 37 Nordic politicians backing him in the European Parliament.
Sondergaard defended his position by saying that his proposal is neither for nor against prostitution; but that he is primarily concerned about protecting the women. “If you’re just a little bit internationally founded and don’t just sit around fiddling with your navel, you’d know that lots of women are kept as slaves and have no free choice in what they do. If the Sex Workers Organisation can’t see that, they’re a really bad union,” Politiken quoted the left-wing Sondergaard as saying.