UK: The home affairs select committee, consisting of a cross-party influential MPs, recommended that sex workers in England and Wales be decriminalised.
The select committee was launched in early 2016 to hold an inquiry into prostitution..
The committee recommended in its interim report last Friday, the Home Office should change current law, with immediate effect to legalise soliciting. The committee also suggested that brothel-keeping rules be modified to enable prostitutes to share premises rather than risk working alone.
Prostitution is legal in the UK. However, other activities relating to it such as brothel-keeping, kerb-crawling and soliciting sex in a public place, are outlawed.
The committee urged the Home Office legislate to erase sex workers' previous convictions and cautions for prostitution from their record. This will remove barriers for them when moving on to find other jobs.
It however stressed that people who are using brothels to control or exploit sex workers should still be prosecuted.
This was the first time within decades that the UK parliament had considered the issue of prostitution.
''It is a polarising subject with strong views on all sides. This interim report will be followed by final recommendations, when we consider other options, including the different approaches adopted by other countries- Keith Vaz, Chairman Home Affairs Select Committee''
The English Collective of Prostitutes, a campaign group pushing to decriminalise prostitution and safeguard sex workers’ rights and welfare, welcomed the report.
''We’re absolutely delighted. The measures will make a massive difference to women in our group who at the moment are living with a massive burden of criminality which really makes it much more dangerous to work.- The English Collective of Prostitutes.''
The Home Office have commented that it would carefully consider the recommendations.
Source credits: The Guardian
Picture credits: The Independent