Selfish Moralists…Church sponsored group of MPs and Lords recommends that people who pay for sex should be jailed and fined

Posted: 3 March, 2014 in UK Parliament
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See registation details of all-party group from publications.parliament.uk

Houses of ParliamentA group of moralist parliamentarians has recommended that people who pay for sex should be jailed or finedThe All-Party Parliamentary Group on Prostitution and the Global Sex Trade is sponsored by the Christian campaign group CARE who acts as the group’s secretariat

Chairman of the group is Gavin Shuker, a member of the Christian Socialist Movement and was previously leader of City Life Church in Luton. The rag tag army of moralists and religious nutters making up the group include Fiona Mactaggart, Gary Streeter, Philip Davies, Peter Bottomley, Andrew Selous, Julian Lewis, Julian Brazier, Steve Brine, Meg Munn, Heidi Alexander, Susan Elan Jones, Keith Vaz, Madeleine Moon, Virendra Sharma, Kerry McCarthy

The MPs and peers will recommend that the UK adopts a system whereby soliciting is no longer a punishable offence, but anyone who pays for sex is committing a crime.

Prostitutes who are caught loitering on streets plying their trade should be given anti-social behaviour orders rather than being prosecuted, the group will say.

Following a year-long moralist love-in, the group unsurprisingly concludes that the current law on selling sex is hopelessly confused, with 16 offences listed under five Acts of Parliament spanning 53 years.  The group argues that the apprehension and prosecution of prostitutes thwarts efforts to prevent women being drawn into the trade or support their exit from it. The report will call for all existing statutes to be wrapped into a single Act of Parliament, aimed at persecuting those who purchase sex, not those who sell it.

Fiona Mactaggart gloried in the chance to jail men:

The inadequacy of existing legislation has created lucrative market conditions that are exploited by criminal gangs profiting from the sale of women. This inquiry makes substantial proposals which could prevent this vile trade.

Niki Adams, of the English Collective Of Prostitutes, which campaigns for the abolition of prostitution laws, said:

Criminalising clients will not stop prostitution and won’t stop the criminalisation of women who work as prostitutes. All it will do is make it more difficult for women to protect themselves and stigmatise sex workers even further.

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