Thoughts on the Prohibition of Prostitution

[Disclaimer: normally when I write a blog post I like to research what I’m writing about and, ideally, link to some evidence to back up what I’m saying. Today, however, I’m stuck without internet and I’m writing this while I wait for someone to come and fix it so this post is based purely on my own opinions and I won’t be linking to any studies or sources.]

There’s a lot of talk today about a Private Member’s Bill in the Scottish Parliament that seeks to criminalise prostitution. Firstly, I want to point out that I have no problem with prostitution in itself; if one person wishes to pay another for sex and the other person is happy to fulfill that request then that’s fine by me. There’s a reason that prostitution is known as the ‘oldest profession in the world’ and that’s because no matter what the law says, people will always sell sex and people will always pay for it.

Sadly, I’m aware that there is a lot more to the issue than whether or not it’s morally ok to sell or pay for sex. Human trafficking and the treatment of those involved in prostitution are real and serious issues that need addressing. The safety of those involved is very important but I return to my earlier point; prostitution will always happen.

If prostitution is made illegal, the practice will move underground and the associated problems will only get worse. Without any form of regulation, those involved in the practice will not be protected from ill-treatment and those who are being trafficked or forced into the role will find it even more difficult to get help.

Prohibition doesn’t work with drugs or alcohol and it certainly won’t work with prostitution. I feel that this bill is well-meant and I hope that it will highlight some of the issues that surround prostitution. I hope that it will prompt more discussion about human trafficking and I hope that this will result in some effective action to tackle that problem and the others associated with the sex trade but I really hope that this doesn’t become law and have the unintended effect of worsening the situation.

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