WorldWE is leading the national fight for the Equality Model, a legal approach that repeals laws that criminalize people who are exploited in the sex trade, and instead offers them the comprehensive, trauma-informed social services they need to exit the sex trade and rebuild their lives.
Importantly, the Equality Model seeks to also hold pimps, sex buyers, brothel owners and other third-party exploiters accountable for the devastating harms they cause.
Sometimes called the Nordic Model or partial decriminalization, the Equality Model originated in Sweden in 1999 as a tool to combat commercial sexual exploitation while promoting gender equality.
In the years that have followed, the Equality Model has been adopted by a host of countries that have prioritized human rights and gender justice, including Canada, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Iceland, France, Israel, and Norway.
In 2023, WorldWE in partnership with organizations, policy champions, and survivor leaders on the ground successfully passed through legislation in Maine that decriminalizes prostituted people and provides them avenues to seek criminal record relief, while maintaining penalties for pimps, sex buyers, and brothel owners!
We continue to support efforts in Massachusetts and New York to pass comprehensive Equality Model legislation.
Today, through our “Equal Not Exploited” Campaign, launched in 2019, WorldWE is coordinating a growing network of allies who are advocating for the adoption of the Equality Model in more states across the nation.