Prostitution should be decriminalised to protect the health and welfare of sex workers, nurses say.
The Royal College of Nursing is to start lobbying government to change the law after members voted in favour of the move at their annual conference.
Nurses said the current law put sex workers at risk and deterred them from seeking help from the NHS.
Delegates heard how sex workers are put off reporting attacks because of fears of prosecution.
There are believed to be more than 70,000 sex workers in the UK – nine in 10 of which are women.
Louise Cahill, a clinical nurse specialist in sexual health from south west England, who proposed the motion, said: “Current UK law makes it a criminal offense for sex workers to work together for