Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Criminalizing Prostitution

Reading on BBC News website that government is considering to outlaw prostitution and cannot but shiver. I shivered because as it must be obvious, such approach is nowhere near the solution. On the ‘Have Your Say’ side of the issue, many people argued for and against this on-going study which was triggered by the death of five young women prostitutes in England in late 2006; a really sympathetic event
Having said that, I do not believe prostitution should be made illegal. In a case study presented and which is being studied by the UK government now, the Swedish government outlawed paying for sex but not selling it – sounds like arrant nonsense to me; and it is. If a commodity can be sold, why can’t it be bought?
Although a lot of people argue that prostitutes are vulnerable ‘women’(are they?), drug addicts, etc; prostitution to me could be a decision of choice, opportunity or helplessness/hopelessness. It does make it difficult for so many people to see prostitutes as needing mercy or sympathy (protection). Thus 2 of the best comments on the BBC  'Have Your Say platform to me are th following
"To all the guys here who think that it's perfectly ok - would you be happy for your daughters to be prostitutes?

Recruit Gal, London, United Kingdom"

No I wouldn't be happy for my daughter to become a prostitute. I wouldn't be happy for her to become a sewage worker either, but that doesn't mean that the government should outlaw sewage workers.
Tom, Cayman Islands (ex pat)”
(extracted from BBC: Should it be illegal to pay for sex?)
And as against the norm that it is only practiced by women and bought by men, it is a trade that, especially in this generation, is versatile. Both men and women now offer sex, and both sexes also patronize the trade. So the government might as well adjust their laws to be balances on the sexes.
Criminalizing prostitution will make it even worse by increasing exploitation and causing more deaths that may never be noticed.
On the issue of drugs, prostitutes may not make up the bulk of those involved in substance misuse, but they could constitute a greater number of drug addicts who are not on state welfare nonetheless. So would putting them out of business due to demonizing the trade by law help the State or increase its spending? 

Whatever the end result of this approach, the biggest mistake would be to outlaw prostitution as that would only increase underground activities, encourage trafficking and worse of all, money laundering too. 

But you know the truth? You cannot stop adults from obtaining sex either way. 

But it proves better of an atheist Blair premiership when “we don’t do God” than a Presbyterian Gordon Brown where Civil partnership might not have been instituted.

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