Dr Rosie Campbell

BA (Liverpool), MA (Liverpool), PhD (Durham), OBE

  • Post doctoral Resarch Fellow - ESRC White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership

Visit Dr Rose Campbell's profile on the York Research Database to see a full list of publications and browse her research related activities.


Areas of expertise

  • Sex work
  • Hate Crime
  • Gender and feminisms
  • Participatory action research
  • Social leadership

Academic biography

During my career I’ve been lucky to work across academic research/teaching, front line service delivery and policy development roles, located in both the university, statutory and third sectors.  I’m passionate about social inclusion, creative collaborations, networks and participatory action research from which new knowledge, initiatives, provisions and polices can emerge which can have impact in effecting social change and social justice. I am committed to promoting a symbiotic interface between academia, research, policy and practice to enact social change.

My interest in gender, applied women’s studies, feminisms, anti-discriminatory practice, intersectionality and social justice brought me to my primary area of research interest, sex work. I’m particularly interested in; sex worker safety and hate/crimes against sex workers, the policing of sex work, models of support service provision for sex workers, multiagency and community responses to sex work & the impact of online technology on sex work. My research has directly fed into the development of support services & policy development at local and national levels. I was first involved in participatory action research on sex work in Merseyside in the mid 1990’s and went onto to be involved in multiagency partnership responses to sex work and sex work support service provision in Liverpool. My PhD ‘Not getting away with it treating crimes against sex workers as hate crime in Merseyside’ documented this groundbreaking approach which I had been lucky to be involved in establishing when I was Coordinator of Armistead Street and Portside (NHS sex work outreach and support projects).  My current ESRC White Rose DTP Post Doctoral Research fellowship is enabling me to carry out further impact work and write a book on sex work and hate crime.

As well as having carried out a wide range of  local research studies, evaluations and needs assessments related to sex work and also sexual exploitation  I’ve been a researcher on a number of major national research projects on sex work including for example; Beyond the Gaze, funded by the ESRC this participatory action research project carried out by the Universities of Leicester and Strathclyde, is the largest study to date of the safety, working conditions and regulation of online sex work. The book ‘Internet Sex Work’ (2017) contains our key findings, exploring the impact of digital and online technology on sex work and ‘Practice guidance for working with online sex workers’ (2018) is just one of the resources we produced for practitioners and other stakeholders.  The Joseph Rowntree Foundation funded study  ‘Living and Working in Areas of Street Sex Work: from conflict to coexistence’ (2006) which examined how different sections of communities share residential areas characterised by female street sex work, and looked at neighbourhood and policy responses in five sites in England and Scotland. It remains the largest qualitative study of residential responses to street sex work.  As a researcher on the ESRC funded impact and dissemination project ‘Sexual entertainment Venues (SEV’s): Regulating Working Conditions’ based at the University of Leeds, I was involved in a range of knowledge share and impact work. For example I worked with erotic dancers/strippers and ICT consultants to produce an information website and iPhone app for dancers, worked with Institute of Licensing, local authority licensing departments to advise on safety, welfare and employment rights content of sexual entertainment venues policies.

Having been a proud CEO (now a volunteer) of the third sector charity Basis Yorkshire sex work and child sexual exploitation project at a time of policy and provision innovation, and having been a trustee for various charities for over two decades (often in a challenging policy context), I’m interested in models of social leadership and social justice. I was a founder member of the charity, UK Network of Sex Work Projects, served as Chair, then went on to be involved in advocating for and developing National Ugly Mugs. I’m currently Chair of this fabulous award winning national sex worker safety charity. In these roles I have sat on a range of national policy groups, worked/volunteered as an outreach and support worker, worked with organisations providing frontline health and support services for sex workers, and sex worker organisations throughout the UK and in other parts of the world. I’m passionate about sex worker rights and the need for laws and policies which; enhance the safety, human and employment rights of sex workers, challenge stigma, discrimination and criminalisation. 

In 2013 I was awarded an OBE.


Campbell, R., Sanders, T., Pitcher, J., Scoular, J. and Cunningham, S. (2018)forthcoming ‘Risking safety and rights: online sex work, crimes and ‘blended safety repertories. British Journal of Sociology.

Campbell, R., Sanders, T., Scoular, J., Cunningham, S., Pitcher, J., Hill, K., Valentine-Chase, M., Melissa, C., Aydin, Y. (2018) ‘Technology mediated sex work: fluidity, networking & regulation in the UK’ in Dewey, S. and Crowhurst, I., (eds)  (2018) forthcoming  International Handbook of Sex Industry Research: New Directions and Perspectives, Abingdon: Routledge. 

Campbell, R (2018) ‘Beyond hate: policing sex work, protection and hate crime’,  In Sanders, T and Laing, M. eds. Policing the Sex Industry: protection, Paternalism and Politics, Abingdon: Routledge.

Campbell, R., Hubbard, P.,Sanders, T. and Scoular, J.  (2017)Regulating Prostitution in England and Wales’, pp.31-46.In Jahnsen, S. and Wagenaar, H. (eds.) Assessing Prostitution Policies in Europe, Milton Park, UK: Routledge, Abingdon. 

Sanders, T., Scoular, P., Campbell, R., Pitcher, J. and Cunningham, S (2017) Internet Sex Work, London: Palgrave Macmillan.** https://www.palgrave.com/gb/book/9783319656298

Cunningham, S., Sanders, T., Scoular, J., Campbell, R., Pitcher, J., Hill, K., Valentine-Chase, M., Melissa, C., Aydin, Y  (2017) Behind the Screen: Commercial Sex, Digital Spaces and Working Online, Technology in Society, DOI: 10.1016/j.techsoc.2017.11.004Available online https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160791X17302117

Sanders, T., Hardy, K .and Campbell, R. (2015) ‘Regulating Strip-Based Entertainment: Sexual Entertainment Venue Policy and the Ex/Inclusion of Dancers’ Perspectives and Needs”, Social Policy and Society, 14 (1): 83–92.

Sanders, T. and Campbell, R.  (2014) ‘Criminalization, protection and rights: global tensions in the governance of commercial sex, Criminology and Criminal Justice, 14 (5): 535-548. (Editors of special edition on The Governance of Commercial Sex, Global Trends).

Cusick, L., Brooks-Gordon, B., Campbell, R., and Edgar, F. (2011) ‘Exiting’ Drug Use and Sex Work: career paths, interventions and government strategy targets’, Journal of Drugs Education, Prevention & Policy, 18 (2): 145–156.

Bryce, A., Campbell, R., Pitcher, J., Laing, M., Irving, A., Brandon, J. and Safrazyan, S. (2015) ‘Male escorting, safety and National Ugly Mugs: queering policy and practice on the reporting of crimes against sex workers’. In: M. Laing, K. Pilcher and N. Smith (eds) (2015) Queer Sex Work, 245-254, London: Routledge.

Campbell, R. (2014)  ‘Not Getting  Away With It: Linking Sex Work and Hate Crime in Merseyside’  in Chakroborti, N. and Garland, J. (eds) , Responding to Hate Crime: The Case for Connecting Policy and Research, Bristol: The Policy Press.

Campbell, R. (2014) Support and Justice: Second Evaluation of Open Doors ISVA Service for Sex Workers in East London, Homerton Hospital Trust.

Campbell, R., Bryce, A. and Stoops, S.  (2012) ‘National Ugly Mugs: Protection from Predators’, Policing Today,  Oct 2012.

Sanders, T., Campbell, R., Hatfield, P.(2012)‘Sexual Entertainment Venues: Considering Dancer Welfare’ Journal of Institute of Licensing, Issue 3, Autumn 2012.

O’Neill, M. and Campbell, R. (2011) ‘The Complexities of Moving in and Out of Sex Work’, in Taylor, Y et al. (eds) Theorizing Intersectionality, London: Palgrave/Macmillan.

Cusick, L., Kinnell, H., Brooks Gordon, B. and Campbell, R.  (2009) ‘Wild Guesses and Conflated Meanings? Estimating the size of the sex worker population in Britain’, Critical Social Policy, Vol 29 (4): 703-719.

O’Neill, M., Campbell, R., Hubbard, P., Pitcher, J. and Scoular, J. (2008) ‘Living With the Other: street sex work, contingent communities and degrees of tolerance, in crime’, Media Culture: An International Journal, 4 (1): 73-94.

Sanders, T. and Campbell, R (2007) ‘Designing Out Vulnerability, Building in Respect: violence, safety and sex work policy’, British Journal of Sociology, 58 (1): 1-18. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/j.1468-4446.2007.00136.x

Scoular, J, Pitcher, J, Campbell, R, Hubbard, P and M O’Neill (2007) ‘What’s anti-social about sex work? Governance, discourse and the changing representation of prostitution’s incivility’. in Community Safety (special edition The Prostitution Strategy: Implications for Community Safety),6 (1): 11-17.

Campbell, R. and O’Neill, M. (eds) (2006) Sex Work  Now, Cullompton: Willan Publishing.** https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sex-Work-Now-Rosie-Campbell/dp/1843920964


Sex work is at the heart of my current research focus and specifically issues of safety, violence, policing and crimes/hate crimes in the context of the lived, diverse and intersectional experiences of sex workers.  

Currently as an ESRC White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership, Postdoctoral Research Fellow I’m further building on the publications and impacts from my PhD., ‘Not getting away with it: treating crimes against sex workers as hate crime in Merseyside’.   My PhD adopted a feminist action research approach it was the first academic study of this innovative approach which had led to increased levels of reporting of crime to the police by sex workers and convictions at unprecedented levels in the UK, with greatly improved police-sex worker community relations.  My PhD identified the catalysts for development and the key constituent elements of the approach.  It was the first empirical study to explore and evidence how sex workers’  intersectional experiences of violence and other crimes fit established definitions of hate crime and to theorise how sex workers experiences of crime could be conceptualised as hate crime. It directly informed sex work and hate crime policy in Merseyside and nationally, particularly in the areas of policing and support for sex work victims of sexual violence and other hate crimes.  I’m interested in debates within hate crime scholarship and policy about the need for inclusive theoretical and policy models of hate crime which can include non-established hate crime groups and recognises intersectional experiences of hate crime.

My PhD also highlighted some areas where the approach could be improved for example sex workers had only been partially integrated into hate crime policies, also whilst most sex workers in the study felt policing of crimes against them had significantly improved, only a minority were aware of the hate crime approach itself. Hence one of the aims of my post doc is to work with local stakeholders and contribute to improving the further integration of sex workers into policing and multi-agency hate crime policies and procedures in Merseyside. Another is to increase knowledge and awareness about the approach amongst practitioners, policy makers and sex workers in Merseyside supporting local stakeholders.  Beyond Merseyside I’ll be involved in sharing learning about the sex work and hate crime approach with police, sex work projects, practitioners and policy makers in other areas of the UK.  I am also writing a book on sex work and hate crime which will be published by Palgrave in 2019.

With Professor of Maggie O’Neill I was one of the founders and am now a co-Chair of the Sex Work Research Hub (SWRH). The SWRH connects researchers and academics across a range of Universities and disciplines working on sex work, sex working and sexual exploitation.  We also connect with sex worker organisations, sex work support projects and other stakeholders, such as lawyers, police, policy makers, educationalists to support and develop research that produces new knowledge, promotes ethical practice, critiques dominant discourses on sex work, as well as delivering tangible public benefit and impact.

The hub provides a space; to share information and links, promote and run seminars/conferences/affiliated events and support and provide research and consultancy. Find out more information.

PhD supervision

Supervision interests

  • Sex work
  • Hate crime
  • Social leadership

NB. Rosie cannot take on new research students until 2019.

Recommended resources

Campbell, R (2016) Not Getting Away With It: treating crimes against sex workers as hate crime, Department of Applied Social Sciences, University of Durham. http://etheses.dur.ac.uk/11960/1/RosieCampbellPhDthesisrepository.pdf

Sanders, T., Scoular, P., Campbell, R., Pitcher,. and Cunningham, S (2017) Internet Sex Work, London: Palgrave Macmillan. https://www.palgrave.com/gb/book/9783319656298

Campbell, R. and O’Neill, M. (eds) (2006) Sex Work  Now, Cullompton: Willan Publishing.https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sex-Work-Now-Rosie-Campbell/dp/1843920964

Cunningham, S., Sanders, T., Scoular, J., Campbell, R., Pitcher, J., Hill, K., Valentine-Chase, M., Melissa, C., Aydin, Y  (2017) Behind the Screen: Commercial Sex, Digital Spaces and Working Online, Technology in Society, DOI: 10.1016/j.techsoc.2017.11.004Available online https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160791X17302117

Beyond the Gaze Website https://www.beyond-the-gaze.com/

Sexual entertainment Venues (SEV’s): Regulating Working Conditions - https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir-record/research-projects/732/sex-entertainment-venues-regulating-working-conditions       Dancers Info Website: http://www.dancersinfo.co.uk/

Sanders, T. and Campbell, R (2007) ‘Designing Out Vulnerability, Building in Respect: violence, safety and sex work policy’, British Journal of Sociology, 58 (1): 1-18. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/j.1468-4446.2007.00136.x

Pitcher, J, Campbell, R, Hubbard, P, O’Neill, M and Scoular, J (2006) Living and Working in Areas of Street Sex Work: From Conflict to Coexistence, Policy Press, Bristol. https://www.jrf.org.uk/report/living-and-working-areas-street-sex-work

Sex Work Research Hub  https://www.york.ac.uk/sociology/research/current-research/swrh/

National Ugly Mugs www.uglymugs.org

Basis Yorkshire https://basisyorkshire.org.uk/

Contact details

Dr Rosie Campbell
Post Doctoral Research Fellow - ESRC White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership
Social Policy and Social Work

Tel: +44 (0)1904 32 1278