Changes in the Law

The UK Government announced in January 2006, that in England it was considering allowing small brothels (two girls and no madam), whilst continuing to crackdown against kerb-crawling, which is seen as a public nuisance.
However as there has been a crack down on “street prostitution” by the police, proposed changes in the legalisation of mini brothels failed to materialize.

After this, government ministers suggested that rather than permitting  any brothels large or small, they would tackle the "demand side" of prostitution by criminalizing the punters.

 Harriet Harman was the Minister for Women and Equality at the time and was a great believer in not legalising prostitution but taking the fight to the sex buyer. In a supply and demand economic scenario, Harriet Harman believed if it was made tougher to buy a woman for an hour, all the prostitutes in the UK would quietly go home as custom would be non existant. Perhaps Ms Harman should get out more.

 Ministers pointed to Sweden, where purchasing sexual services is a criminal offence. However, the ECP argued that criminalization of clients would be counterproductive and would undermine the safety of sex workers. The government's tougher approach towards prostitution began to make legislative progress in 2008, as Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced that paying for sex from a prostitute under the control of a pimp would become a criminal offence. Clients could also face rape charges for knowingly paying for sex from an illegally trafficked woman, and first-time offenders could face charges. The ECP were again critical of the government's actions, with one member, Nikki Adams, saying that the government was overstating the extent of the trafficking problem, and that most prostitution was consensual

Paying the price again prostitution policy in historical perspective, by Julia Laite

"It takes a village to create a prostitute."


sexual harassment
verbal abuse
domestic violence
a racist practice
a violation of human rights
childhood sexual abuse
a consequence of male domination of women
a means of maintaining male domination of women
all of the above?



Please read the measures in the International Prostitute's Collective's Bill from the point of view of women’s safety and of legal rights.  It has been claimed that ‘tackling the demand’ by criminalising men who buy sexual services will increase safety, and the spectre of trafficking has been used to stifle debate and hide the evidence that points to the contrary.

News 2011: The very first man to be convicted of trafficking females from inside f the UK, in a case involving 2 Nigerian girls, has been jailed.

BBC News - Man jailed for trafficking Nigerian girls out of UK