MPs are set to consider banning the purchase of sex and to criminalise those who pay for it.
The Home Affairs Select Committee has launched an inquiry into the laws on prostitution and in particular whether the burden of the criminal law should be moved onto those who pay for sex.
According to Christian advocacy group CARE, this is a ‘welcome step’, which comes nearly two years after such a move was recommended by the Shifting the burden report, published by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Prostitution and the Global Sex Trade.
The committee will particularly look at whether new measures are needed to help those involved in prostitution to leave the trade, to increase the extent to which exploiters are held to account, and to discourage the demand that drives commercial sexual exploitation.
In a statement, CARE said, ‘We have long argued that the law needs to change, in order to address demand which fuels exploitation and human trafficking; and that there should be greater provision of services to support people who want to leave prostitution’.