One-Third of UK Escorts Still Seeing In-Person Clients, Per BBC

LOS ANGELES—Sex workers in the United Kingdom are facing such dire straits in the coronavirus lockdown that about one of every three are still seeing clients in person, despite the risk of catching the potentially deadly disease, according to sex workers interviewed for a new BBC report that aired Friday.  “Sex workers are predominantly single mothers and they still have to work, they still have to earn,” said Charlotte Rose, a Nottingham, England, sex worker interviewed by the BBC. “If they’re not registered, they’re not applicable for the government funding. If they’ve got children, how are they supposed to feed their families?” The English Collective of Prostitutes, a sex worker rights advocacy group, has called for the UK government to provide support payments targeted at sex workers, to prevent them from having to make a choice between risking their health and earning an income. But the government said that it had already increased Universal Credit payments. Universal Credit is the British benefits system in place since 2010, which includes a variety of social safety net programs — including income support, child tax credits, and housing benefit — combined into a single, twice-monthly payment.  Another sex worker interviewed by the BBC, Victoria — who said she also appears in adult films — reported that her income has dropped from the equivalent of about $2,400 per week, to $240.  But she told the network that despite offers of premium fees, she has continued to decline client proposals to meet in person. “I’ve had a lot of messages and been offered a lot more money than I’d normally charge,” Victoria told the BBC. “One got shirty and offered me more money and I point blank refused.” But she added that sex workers who take the risk of interacting with clients in person “can charge a lot more now if they want to.” In a statement, the ECP said that there was “no reason” for the UK to withhold emergency economic aid from sex workers, after countries such as Thailand and Japan have offered such aid.  The group also said that there was precedent for direct payments for sex workers. “In Ipswich during a series of tragic murders in 2006, when the imperative was for women to be able to get off the street, the government provided emergency payments,” the group’s statement said. Sex workers around the world, including in the United States, have found themselves excluded and left behind by government coronavirus relief programs. In April, UNAIDS — an agency of the United Nations — called for sex workers to receive benefits during the pandemic lockdowns.   Photo By BBC iPlayer Video Screen Capture 

written by: Michael French

source: One-Third of UK Escorts Still Seeing In-Person Clients, Per BBC | AVN

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