Moralist Bureaucrats…European parliaments votes to recommend the criminalisation of men who buy sex

Posted: 27 February, 2014 in EU
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European Parliament logoThe European parliament has voted in favour of a resolution to criminalise the purchase of sex.On Wednesday, 343 MEPs backed a report proposed by the London MEP and Labour spokeswoman for women in Europe, Mary Honeyball, which recommends legalising selling sex but criminalises buying it. Some 139 MEPs voted against;105 abstained.

The yes vote formally establishes the EU’s stance on prostitution and puts pressure on member states to re-evaluate their policies on sex work. However it was not a binding vote that requires states to enact new laws.

Comment: Why the European Parliament Has Got the Sex Trade All Wrong

See comment from by Marina Yannakoudakis, Conservative MEP for London, Spokesman on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality

marina yiannakoudakisI recognise that a great number of those working as prostitutes are doing so as a result of having being trafficked. The trafficking of human beings is akin to slavery, it is a criminal offence and every one of us has a moral duty to fight against it.

But the problem with the proposals which will be put before the European Parliament this week is that they don’t acknowledge that some women – and men – choose to sell sex for a living. Whether we approve or not of such an activity, it is the case that some people enter into prostitution freely and without coercion or violence.

I don’t believe that the EU should be telling anybody what to do and that includes what they do with their bodies. What’s more EU member states have long held differing legal views on prostitution and it is not the job of Brussels to interfere in the legal matters and decisions of sovereign nations.

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