Facts are sacred

While comment is free……Guardian leader:

So others call for a change in the law. Straight legalisation of sex work is ruled out….

The problem with this being that sex work isn\’t illegal in the first place. Anyone and everyone has the perfect liberty to whore out their gonads (or any other part of their anatomy).

What are illegal are the acts of soliciting (approaching potential customers), working in association (working in a brothel) or employing an agent (a madam or pimp).

As one of the commenters there puts it, this sort of prostitution in Bradford, the junkies offering it up for the price of a couple of wraps, would probably be best dealt with by the free issue of heroin….or decriminalisation, legalisation, or heroin, take your pick.

Oh, and just to get one in before someone else mentions it. Making it illegal for men to buy sex (the \”Swedish option\”) isn\’t going to help. The accusation is currently three murders…those willing to murder are unlikely to be worried about the sex part being illegal, are they?

8 thoughts on “Facts are sacred”

  1. “Oh, and just to get one in before someone else mentions it. Making it illegal for men to buy sex (the “Swedish option”) isn’t going to help. The accusation is currently three murders…those willing to murder are unlikely to be worried about the sex part being illegal, are they?”
    I do not think that making it illegal to buy sex is a good idea. But wouldn’t in the Bradford case have reduced the number of suspects (being less punter).

    Of course it could have meant that eliminating people from inquiries would have been a lot harder.

  2. I’d much rather live in a world where people neither felt the need to seek “professional” help with their sex lives nor to become the professionals who do the helping. That being said, I think it is only honest to acknowledge this is pretty much an idealistic pipe dream. I think it’s also honest to recognise that the industry attracts assorted nutters and evil bastards who like to prey on the people involved.

    If we accept these two truths then surely we have to recognise that any move which pushes the industry and its particiapants further into the dark places where the nutters and evil bastards lurk must be a bad thing. Conversely any move which brings the industry and its players into the light (and hence away from the predators) must be good in terms of protecting the health and welfare of the people involved.

    To my mind, anyone who thinks otherwise is more concerned with preserving their ideological purity than helping some rather vulnerable human beings.

  3. I find it depressing that this debate is still happening. Along with drug prohibition it shows just how wrong we are whenever we (myself included) are tempted to describe ourselves as an enlightened or rational society.

    There are clearly aspects of the sex industry that deserve to be criminalised and policed with rigour (trafficking, the involvement of minors, even public solicitation in certain locales). And there are good arguments to be made for regulating the trade for public health reasons and to ensure that vulnerable individuals aren’t essentially forced into sex work by circumstances outside their control.

    However, it seems almost beyond debate that criminalising sex workers will simply exacerbate almost all of the problems associated with the trade. Furthermore, criminalising the clients of sex workers is little better.

    Licensed and regulated brothels in designated areas along with strict rules about where they may advertise their services would remove much of the danger from a business that, like drugs, is made vastly more dangerous than it needs to be by our bizarre puritanical laws and attitudes.

  4. What Jim Bliss says. It’s old hat but still true – and there are plenty of countries who have legalised or licensed brothels etc. from whose (mainly positive) experiences we can learn.

  5. Congratulations on your comprehensive understanding on the law in this area.

    By the way, could you.. err, no, on second thoughts, never mind…

  6. Selling sex/prostitution (call it what you will) and using/selling drugs are both perfect examples of UK law taking a complete backassward approach to trying to prevent death, crime and damage to individuals. Making these two behaviours illegal will not stop them, never, ever. They don’t call prostitution “the oldest profession” without reason!

    It matters not one jot what the penalties are for either behaviour, there are people who will be willing to chance it to buy these services. Which means there will be people willing to provide them….criminals (by definition), organised ones most likely. So there needs to be a police response, and lawyers, and judges, and courts, and prisons, and parole, and social services…but the punters don’t care. They’re still out there ready to chance it.

    We’ve been doing it this way for generations. Guess what. Loads of hookers and lots of drugs on the streets. What a stunning success….not!

    Just for fun checkout what they did in Portugal a couple of years ago. They gave up on the pointless “ban it all” routine and legalised drugs. They now treat addiction as a medical problem not a crime. They send users to clinics and for education not to court.

    A funny thing has happened. Usage is down, new teenage use especially. All drug use is down (even pot). Crime is down. Hence local propery insurance rates are down. Drug quality is up so deaths are down. Police time has been freed up for real crimes. The only losers are the crims. What’s not to like?

    Do I hear a single UK politician discussing this and suggesting we think about stopping banging our heads against the same brick wall for ever?

    Don’t be silly!

  7. People ask why drugs and prostitution are not legal…

    The reason they are not legal is that otherwise, tax would have to be paid and the goods would be regulated to ensure standards are met and profits would drop drastically as a result. Not to mentioned the many nurseries would would churn out cheap weed as just another cash crop as a sideline the moment it’s legalised.

    The people who own those tax-free valuable businesses also have paid off and/or threatened the politicians into submission (aka lobbying).

    If something seems to be good or crazy to be true, follow the money!

  8. It is not illegal for a prostitute to employ anyone. It is illegal to control a prostitute for gain and it is illegal to manage, or assist in the management of, a brothel.

    It is not illegal for the prostitute to employ an agent, though the agent him/herself would have to be very careful to stay within the law.

    Working in a brothel is not illegal for a sex worker, unless they own, manage or assist in the management of it.

    See the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *