People who want to ban prostitution are just flogging a dead whore
It seems that women's groups are calling for an EU-wide ban on prostitution. Oh, good grief. As someone who once applied for a job as a researcher with the UK Network of Sex Work Projects, it's not surprising that I agree with their view on the proposal.
The UK Network of Sex Work Projects (UNSWP) believes the move would have damaging consequences for prostitutes.
"It creates a legal and policy climate, in which sex workers are more stigmatised and socially excluded, and in which it is harder to offer [them] accessible support services," the organisation told the BBC.
"It erodes sex worker safety and rights. The council of Europe should reject such laws and [instead] support initiatives and legal changes, which improve the social status and safety of sex workers and allow criminal justice authorities to focus their limited resources on violent and other crimes committed against sex workers."
The UKNSWP has just launched an excellent scheme which aims to reduce the risks of violence and other abuse for sex workers. Why not send them a donation, or buy a T-shirt? It will be a damned sight more useful than driving the whole industry back underground.
If those in favour of a ban hoped that this study, entitled Does Legalised Prostitution Increase Human Trafficking? would support them, concluding as it does that legalisation does lead to an increase, they will be disappointed.
The researchers warn that due to the clandestine nature of both trafficking and prostitution markets, their analysis had to rely on the best available existing data on reported human trafficking inflows. That legalised prostitution increases human trafficking inflows is likely, but cannot be proven with available evidence. The researchers also note that other reasons might speak against prohibiting prostitution despite its impact on human trafficking.
The article concludes: “The likely negative consequences of legalised prostitution on a country’s inflows of human trafficking might be seen to support those who argue in favour of banning prostitution, thereby reducing the flows of trafficking. However, such a line of argumentation overlooks potential benefits that the legalisation of prostitution might have on those employed in the industry. Working conditions could be substantially improved for prostitutes—at least those legally employed—if prostitution is legalised. Prohibiting prostitution also raises tricky “freedom of choice” issues concerning both the potential suppliers and clients of prostitution services.” (My emphasis.)