Monday, December 18, 2006

arrest in case of ipswich murders

i don't know if you have been following the debate for the past few days with regard to the dangers that prostitutes face in britain? as far as i can tell, it has focussed mostly on the reasons why women go astray, e.g., supporting a drug habit, and how to protect them from the physical violence that such a profession attracts. also, there is the ongoing question of whether or not to legalise prostitution. why, i wonder, has nobody had much to say about the punters who create the demand in the first place, i.e., (mostly) men prepared to pay for sex?

it is thus that i say today 'hooray for harriet harman', having read the following on the bbc website:

"Target prostitute users - Harman

Ms Harman proposes criminalising men who pay for sex. Ministers should look at prosecuting men who pay for sex, constitutional affairs ministers Harriet Harman says. While kerb crawling and procuring a prostitute for sex are illegal, paying for sex is not currently an offence. Ms Harman, Labour MP for Camberwell and Peckham, said the murders of five prostitutes in Ipswich showed more should be done to end vice in the UK. It would be better to target the men who paid for sex rather than criminalising women, she said. "I think we should be saying we don't want this sort of organised crime in this country, " she said.

She suggested the UK look at the case of Sweden, "where they support young women who have drug problems and who are vulnerable for other reasons, but they actually have a criminal offence of buying sex - they make prostitution illegal, by taking on the issue of the punters rather than the young women.""

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