Paying for sex in Britain is not a crime, and neither is selling sex, but there are laws which make being a prostitute there difficult at times. Soliciting for sex on the pavement is illegal, and kerb crawling is a crime; and maintaining a brothel where more than one prostitute is selling sex is also illegal. There are thought to be some eighty thousand prostitutes working in Britain, and one out of every ten British men has visited a prostitute.
The big problem in Britain is sex slavery, with some women forced into prostitution by criminal gangs and their circumstances. Anti-prostitution campaigners in Britain blame men, saying that demand produces supply and that women would not be forced into prostitution if it wasn’t so economically attractive. They quote Sweden where the buying of sex was made a criminal offence more than a decade ago and that sex worker numbers there have been reduced from twenty five hundred to five hundred. Norway is about to follow Sweden’s lead, and Finland and Lithuania have made it illegal to pay for sex with someone acting under coercion.
British Attitudes To Prostitution: Will The Laws Catch Up?
Proponents of prostitution in Britain say that the industry has been forced underground in Sweden and many of their sex workers have moved to operate in other countries. The English Collective of Prostitutes are against similar laws being brought in, in the UK, as they see it damaging business for hard working honest sex workers in that country. Feminists within the UK government see all prostitution as damaging to women and forced upon women due to economic circumstances. They point to the growing commercialism of sex throughout society and that men who use prostitutes have emotionally empty sexual relationships.
Men in Britain who use prostitutes are not asking the sex workers whether they are willing participants; they use the service whether or not the girls are coerced into prostitution. Making it illegal to buy sex from someone who has been coerced through some form of sexual slavery will reduce demand by punters through fear of being prosecuted. The laws are currently unable to deal with a complex situation and changes are necessary if sexual enslavement in Britain is to be eradicated. Sex workers are in the main young women, because most men want to have sex with younger women, and younger people are more easily manipulated than older and wiser heads.