Speaking on BBC's Westminster Hour
, Harriet Harman MP (below) highlighted the vulnerability of
individuals working in prostitution, stating that “it’s always exploitation, it’s always degradation and it’s nearly always dangerous”.
The tragic events in Ipswich recently have highlighted the danger many women face each day. Although most prostitutes are not murdered, many face regular violent attacks. Most of these women feel they have no other choice but to work the streets.
Calls have been made to reform the current laws on prostitution, with the introduction of tolerance zones. However, experience of this in other countries, specifically the Netherlands, has proved problematic. Nola Leach, head of CARE
Public Affairs, expressed serious concern saying “this would have a perverse effect, with the most vulnerable women and the most difficult social and law enforcement issues remaining outside of the managed zones.”
Mrs Harman also stated that it is the demand by British men for prostitution that is fuelling the trafficking of thousands of young women into this country. Sweden has reduced human trafficking by 80% by directly tackling the demand for prostitution – focusing on prosecuting the pimps and clients of prostitutes rather than the women themselves.
It has been made very difficult for the sex traffickers to bring in girls from Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe because there isn’t a condoned industry there.
Nola Leach added: “The UK’s current attitude towards the purchase of sex is giving easy opportunity for many desperate young women to be exploited. Should we condone exploitation of the desperate needs of these vulnerable young women?”
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