Legalising Prostitution: Law and Morality - Essay Example

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Legalising prostitution Introduction Prostitution is a contentious issue within all cultures and societies globally, where public opinion ranges from outright rejection to a certain level of acceptance for the so-called world’s oldest profession.1 In the past three decades, the issue of legally addressing prostitution has turned into a matter of activities associated with a country’s legislations…
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Download file to see previous pages In other instances it is seen that governments, like the one in Thailand, has declared prostitution and all related activities as illegal, but actually allows the sex tourism industry to function, where brothels are flourishing and there are open buying of women as commercial sex workers.2 Sweden, on the other hand has adopted a diverse form of legal procedure for dealing with prostitutes where customers are penalised, while simultaneously the women prostitutes are decriminalised. Therefore, it is clear that there are varying legal approaches that handle the issue of prostitution (abolition/prohibition or legalization), which are often influenced by different sociological and ideological factors. In this context, the article will examine the various debates that revolve around the issue of legalising prostitution. This article will study and analyse various books and academic articles and derive that legalising prostitution does not help to solve the problem of human rights abuse of millions of women working within the sex trade. Instead, in its legal form the profession tends to flourish, where more girls and women are forced into sex trade and customers become more violent, producing an overall negative effective on socio-cultural values of a country. Discussion The decriminalisation of prostitution in UK The framework that deals with prostitution in the UK is abolitionist in nature and based on two legislations established during the 1950s, the Sexual Offences Act (1956) and Street Offences Act (1959). As per the two acts, a person taking part in prostitution activities, operating alone from his or her own house is not conducting any illegal activities, since a home is not viewed as a brothel (which is considered illegal under the UK legislation).3 A brothel, as per the UK laws, is a place where many people are involved in activities that involve offering sexual services. Therefore, if an individual is more than 18 years of age and works from his or her own home, this form of activity (even though it may involve offering sexual services for money) is considered legal in the UK. However, there were many loopholes within these legislations and they faced severe criticism from all quarters of the debate. In the modern context, many experts contended that that the Acts were archaic lacked coherence and were far removed from the modern problems of the sex trade industry.4 In 2002, the UK Home Office acknowledged the need to modify laws that addressed the issue of prostitution and the then Home Secretary David Blunkett, commented “The law on sex offences is widely recognised as archaic, incoherent and discriminatory. Much of it belongs to an age before the light bulb or motor car yet we now live in a world of global communications, with children two clicks away from Internet porn sites generated by a multi-million pound sex industry.”5 This finally led to the creation of the Sexual offense Act 2003, which did not bring in any landmark changes, but tried making legal provisions for prostitution gender neutral. Under the Sexual Offenses Act (2003), prostitution has been decriminalized,6 in the United Kingdom, however it is considered a crime to “ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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