On April 21, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. announced that his office will decline to prosecute prostitution and unlicensed massage. This is a landmark decision, but some sex workers are skeptical that it will significantly improve their lives.
“This is a step in the right direction,” Decrim NY, a local coalition of sex workers and their supporters, said in a statement, “but no policy from individual prosecutors can obviate the state’s need to decriminalize sex work.”
Because Vance clarified that this policy “does not preclude us from bringing other charges that may stem from a prostitution-related arrest,” sex workers and their advocates are wary of the changes resembling the Nordic model—the legislative framework in Sweden, Norway and Iceland that focuses on the arrest and prosecution of clients instead of sex workers.
The Nordic model has been criticized by sex worker advocacy groups, including the Global