Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ignorance No Longer A Defense When Someone Pays To Have Sex With Trafficking Victims

From the BBC:

Paying for sex with prostitutes who are controlled by pimps is set to become a criminal offence, [UK] Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is expected to announce. She will also say that people who knowingly pay illegally trafficked women for sex could face rape charges.

Ms Smith is to promise that more kerb-crawlers will be prosecuted and police will get powers to close brothels. Buying or selling sex is legal but many prostitution-related activities, such as soliciting and pimping, are not.

This change is needed since it requires those who pay for sex to be responsible for the harm their actions do to victims of sex traffickers if they contribute to the harm done to those victims. A fine and a conviction won't stop all those who currently fund and motivate sex traffickers criminal actions, but it will cause some people to stop hiding behind deliberate ignorance.

The current system seems to be don't ask, can't tell. And it's not working.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 2:25 PM   1 comments links to this post


At November 20, 2008 4:48 PM, Blogger JENNIFER DREW said...

The proposed changes to UK laws on prostitution appear sound but they are far from that. Once again the UK goverment has opted for a piecemeal exercise instead of simply criminalising anyone who attempts to buy womens' or girls' bodies for the purpose of rape and/or sexual exploitation. Proving a prostituted woman is 'owned' by a pimp or a prostituted woman is working to pay off debts to a drug dealer will be very hard to prove.

Trafficking in women for the purpose of sexual slavery is global and it is both national and international. UK government should have simplified matters and criminalised male demand for women's and girls' bodies. But this step is seen as too radical because it would supposedly cause an outcry from men who adhere to belief it is their right to buy women and girls. Jacqui Smith is wrong it is not 'people' who buy women's bodies it is men.


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