A London peer is seeking to ban prostitution adverts from newspapers and online sites across England and Wales.
A Bill published in June by Lord McColl of Dulwich has proposed legislation that would make it illegal to place adverts for sexual services in local and national newspapers, as well as online.
Speaking after the Bill’s first reading, Lord McColl argued that, because it is illegal in Britain to organise prostitution, it was inconsistent that it is legal to advertise prostitution. He told Parliament: ‘The fact is it is illegal in this country to organise prostitution, yet perfectly legal to advertise it — and this makes no sense. By simply leaving things as they are, we are only encouraging a consumerist approach to sex in society, where people are mere commodities.
‘It is a grim reality that many adverts for sexual services in newspapers and online are a front for exploitation and coercion’.
His comments were backed by campaigning charity CARE, whose director of parliamentary affairs, Dr Dan Boucher, said, ‘This Bill provides a much needed challenge to our culture in which legal advertising means the sale of sex is increasingly normalised, with all that this means for attitudes towards women. As such, [the Bill] is an important first step on the road to providing the help those exploited in the sex industry so badly need’.