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What should the law be with regard to prostitution/sex work? Watch

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    As above.

    So people know, currently, the law in England, Wales and Scotland is that the sale of sex is itself legal on both sides, though not regulated, and street prostitution and brothels are illegal (officially - in practice it's often de facto police and CPS policy to ignore brothels that try to remain inconspicuous, such as through using the euphemism "massage parlours" and not openly advertising their services, unless the police have reason to suspect there are other illegal aspects of the brothel in question, such as trafficked women).

    In Northern Ireland, by contrast, it is illegal to pay for sex or knowingly facilitate the sale of sex, but not to sell it. In other words, prostitutes/sex workers' customers are committing a crime, but the sex workers themselves are not.

    I'm interested in people's thoughts about this, though I should probably say in advance that I really don't give much credence to either:
    - the conservative moralistic view that the sale of sex is "degenerate" or "impure" or something like that and so it should be completely criminal for both buyer and seller, or;
    - the purist libertarian-capitalist view that all capitalist interactions are completely free and voluntary and thus prostitution is also completely free and voluntary all the time.

    My own view in particular has been heavily influenced by a really inspiring talk by an anarchist sex workers' group at an Anarchist Bookfair I went to a year or two ago. They argued that we should indeed see prostitution as unfree and exploitative - but that this is true for most workers under capitalism, and what is needed for sex workers is to fully legalise and destigmatise them so they can organise and unionise to improve their work conditions and overcome the very serious dangers they can face in their line of work, as other workers have been able to.

    So personally I'm in favour of changing the law to allow properly regulated but fully legal sex work.
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    I agree, I think sex workers should be protected against exploitation and their rights and safety should come before anything else. I have nothing against prostitution as it's down to the individual what they should be able to do with their body, but it needs to be regulated.
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    (Original post by anarchism101)
    As above.

    So people know, currently, the law in England, Wales and Scotland is that the sale of sex is itself legal on both sides, though not regulated, and street prostitution and brothels are illegal (officially - in practice it's often de facto police and CPS policy to ignore brothels that try to remain inconspicuous, such as through using the euphemism "massage parlours" and not openly advertising their services, unless the police have reason to suspect there are other illegal aspects of the brothel in question, such as trafficked women).

    In Northern Ireland, by contrast, it is illegal to pay for sex or knowingly facilitate the sale of sex, but not to sell it. In other words, prostitutes/sex workers' customers are committing a crime, but the sex workers themselves are not.

    I'm interested in people's thoughts about this, though I should probably say in advance that I really don't give much credence to either:
    - the conservative moralistic view that the sale of sex is "degenerate" or "impure" or something like that and so it should be completely criminal for both buyer and seller, or;
    - the purist libertarian-capitalist view that all capitalist interactions are completely free and voluntary and thus prostitution is also completely free and voluntary all the time.

    My own view in particular has been heavily influenced by a really inspiring talk by an anarchist sex workers' group at an Anarchist Bookfair I went to a year or two ago. They argued that we should indeed see prostitution as unfree and exploitative - but that this is true for most workers under capitalism, and what is needed for sex workers is to fully legalise and destigmatise them so they can organise and unionise to improve their work conditions and overcome the very serious dangers they can face in their line of work, as other workers have been able to.

    So personally I'm in favour of changing the law to allow properly regulated but fully legal sex work.
    Consenting adults selling their bodies does absolutely no third party harm or harm to the consumer. Prostitutes should be taxed and regulated. It’s better that way for them, less health problems, safer for buyers, less criminal exploitation. Germany’s a good example.
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    (Original post by bones-mccoy)
    I agree, I think sex workers should be protected against exploitation and their rights and safety should come before anything else. I have nothing against prostitution as it's down to the individual what they should be able to do with their body, but it needs to be regulated.
    You should watch this:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=z8Oma_yvMh8


    That's what the main argument is, "should it be legalised and regulated?" So many people are emotionally invested in this series as am I, maybe you will like it. If the video thumbnail doesn't show, then it's a BBC3 docuseries, with 15minute webisodes. Following prostitutes in Leeds around.
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    I think the current law is pretty good. As OP said the police tend to ignore ‘massage parlours’ and only care about street prostitution. What I would say we need to address is the number of young women being trafficked and forced to work as prostitutes
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    (Original post by Underscore__)
    What I would say we need to address is the number of young women being trafficked and forced to work as prostitutes
    Agreed, and I think legalisation and regulation is the best way to do that. At the moment brothels don't really have much to lose by employing trafficked women, since their dubious legality basically prevents any oversight, and the police could raid them anytime anyway, so why bother keeping within the law on trafficking? Creating an incentive for brothels to co-operate with the law and background-check all women working there would certainly help the problem.
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    (Original post by bones-mccoy)
    I agree, I think sex workers should be protected against exploitation and their rights and safety should come before anything else. I have nothing against prostitution as it's down to the individual what they should be able to do with their body, but it needs to be regulated.
    Definitely agree with this. It's something that will likely continue to happen for the foreseeable future, and it's much better there be regulations in to keep the workers safe than not.
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    It's a legitimate capitalistic venture, but they should have no special protection from the law.
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    It should be illegal because if it was legalized then it would cause a lot of problems.

    Easy for young people to get sex trafficked.

    Would bring a lot of money to the economy therefore hard to get rid of a business like it.

    Police wouldn't raid places so there would be less chances of finding victims forced into prostitution.
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    (Original post by TheAlchemistress)
    It should be illegal because if it was legalized then it would cause a lot of problems.

    Easy for young people to get sex trafficked.

    Would bring a lot of money to the economy therefore hard to get rid of a business like it.

    Police wouldn't raid places so there would be less chances of finding victims forced into prostitution.
    1. A lot of people are trafficked for prostitution now, legalising it would likely lower that number as there would be more oversight of employees at brothels.
    2. Well if you’re legalising something why would you be worried about it being hard to ban again?
    3. Why wouldn’t they? This is essentially the same as your first point so I’ll redirect you to number one.
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    I am of the opinion that the market for prostitution and brothels should be largely free. Allow sex workers to purchase a £30 license (make it a legal requirement to have a license like a taxi) and allow people to create firms employing these sex workers. Remove regulation on making stuff like strip clubs have black windows and the like and remove regulation preventing advertisement.

    Just think of the apprenticeships for young people to be offered and the potential for near zero female unemployment if these firms work in tandem with the job center.
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    I don't really see what problem we'd be trying to solve by keeping prostitution illegal.

    People have consensual sex with strangers and one night stands all the time, so what difference should it make to us if money is changing hands as well? If anything, banning it would just make life more difficult for those people who are using it to earn a living and feed themselves, who would otherwise be living on the streets or on benefits.

    One of the main problems with prostitution is the "underground" nature of it where people are exploited, abused, trafficked, prone to STDs or unintended pregnancies and are generally risking their safety. I would have thought prostitution being illegal makes this problem even worse when it could instead be legal, regulated and above board.
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    the normal legislation covering the provision of goods & services will apply ( Goods & Services Act 1982 and the Consumer Rights Act 2015 ); substandard work can result in claims in the civil courts.
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    I think prostitution should be legal for both the prostitute and their customer.

    If two adults consent to having sex in exchange for money, then surely that is entirely their own business.
 
 
 
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