Durham University is offering training to support students working in the sex industry.
The university’s students union emailed all students and staff advertising a “training opportunity” for “students involved in the adult sex industry”.
It said that student sex workers “should not face any barriers accessing support” and said it aimed to give informed advice.
The advert for the sessions said: “Student sex workers should not face any barriers to accessing support which is well informed and free from prejudice.
“The SU position on students in sex work are (sic) clear: support, informed advice, de-stigmatisation and collaboration with expert organisations”.
The training has come under fire from an education minister, as she said she was “deeply concerned” by the move.
Meanwhile, Spokesperson Durham University said it was acting responsibly by offering students advice on how to stay safe in sex work.
University bosses defended their decision to offer training sessions to help students who have become involved in sex work.
Durham University said the training was to ensure students were safe and was brought in following requests over the years “from a small number of concerned students”.
A spokesman said: “We are emphatically not seeking to encourage sex work but we are seeking to provide support to our students.
“We don’t judge, we listen, support and give practical help.
“We run many courses for students and staff on topics from mental health and wellbeing to drug and alcohol awareness.
“The intent here is to ensure that social stigma does not prevent students who might be vulnerable or at risk from accessing the support they need and to which they are entitled.”
The spokesman added: “We make no apologies for working to ensure that Durham is a safe environment for all of our students and staff.
“We are extremely disappointed by the way the intentions for, and content of this session, have been misinterpreted.”
Meanwhile, One Durham University student said ‘This could cause a real problem, making it part of university culture and making work in the sex industry a normalised activity…
‘Everyone who I’ve spoken to is pretty disgusted that adult sex-worker training classes are being promoted by our own students’ union…
‘It suggests that being an adult sex worker is another run-of-the-mill activity and is put down as an official DSU position.’
And the university has received numerous complaints over the classes.
Democrats Voice brings the perspective of democrats across the world under one space.