The principal objective of SPACE, since its first inception, has always been to involve itself in the political push for the implementation of the Nordic Model throughout the world. Our Irish members had been fighting individually since 2010 for the introduction of the Nordic Model into Ireland, before they joined forces to create SPACE.
The Nordic Model, for those who are unfamiliar with it, is a gender-neutral law which criminalises the purchasers of sex while decriminalising those who sell it. We support this law because, having lived prostitution, we know it to be sexually abusive exploitation and we press for the criminalisation of those who perpetuate it. We support this law also because we passionately believe that nobody, man or woman, should ever be criminalised for their own exploitation.
We list our objectives below:
Political recognition of all forms of prostitution as sexually-exploitative human rights violations.
Criminalisation of the demand for paid sexual access to human bodies.
The implementation of Exit Programs. A continuum of services in order to fully address the needs of those vulnerable to and currently involved in the sex trade, including prevention, education and comprehensive exit programs. These programs need to offer a wide range of resources, options, services and supports that can respond to the differing needs and complex circumstances behind each individual’s involvement in prostitution, such as help with child-care, housing, education, training and other supports that promote independent living.
Public education programmes to inform society about the global exploitation of the most vulnerable populations which results from the structural inequality between women and men on a world scale. In particular, attention must be drawn to the way women who are racially marginalised are grossly overrepresented in prostitution, and the majority of men buying them are white.
The implementation of ‘john schools’ and the legal requirement that all persons found engaging in the purchase of sex attend them.
Our mission, quite simply, is to rid the world of commercial sexual exploitation. We recognise, of course, that this most likely will not happen in our lifetime, but we forge ahead regardless because even if the objective is attained several generations from now, we will have reached our goal in the end.