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Posted on 4th July New proposals to the government have recommended decriminalising those who sell sexual services but to introduce new laws making it illegal to buy them, meaning that prostitutes would no longer face prosecution but the punter would. They heard evidence of over ongoing police operations in the UK into modern slavery which involved sexual exploitation by criminal gangs.
Evidence gathered showed those being exploited were mainly female foreign nations. The figures presented to the APPG by the National Crime Agency suggesting that anywhere between 10, — 13, victims of human trafficking had been brought into the UK, are thought to be the tip of the iceberg. The UK are committed to ending modern slavery and human trafficking but the parliamentary group believe the current strategies are failing. Their recommendation is that Britain must become a hostile destination for sex trafficking and so drastic action is required.
They concluded that it is only a minority of men in the UK who pay for sex but those who do are predominately young professionals who would alter their behaviour if the law made it clear that what they were doing was wrong. In Sweden, a country that has made the purchase of sex illegal supported this finding. The APPG also highlighted concerns that sex traffickers bring victims into those countries where prostitution is legal and the UK is considered a low risk destination for them.
The exchange of money for sex is not in itself a crime in England and Wales. We tolerate prostitution but not encourage it and it will only be tolerated until it offends public order and decency.
The laws in place are well defined but the fact they have been brought in piecemeal over a number of years mean they are not always easy to understand. The general position regarding the sale of sex in England and Wales is that it is illegal to do so in a public place.