Discussion needed on prostitution

Discussion needed on prostitution

Discussion needed on prostitution

First published in Our View by

Prostitution is something that many of us would prefer not to think about. It is a shadowy trade that is often brushed under the carpet by those whose lives are not directly affected by it.

For some people though, that is a luxury they cannot have. The women who work the streets sometimes feel they have no other choice – they might be in a spiral of poverty or drug abuse, at the mercy of violent pimps or even trafficked into the sex trade from abroad.

And residents or businesses in the areas which become the haunt of street-walkers and kerb-crawlers have their lives and livelihoods truly blighted. Once a street becomes a red-light zone, respectable women can find themselves mistakenly approached and innocent motorists might be mistaken for potential customers trawling for sex.

Police initiatives are often successful in moving on the prostitutes and the punters, but very often this just shifts the problem to another area and the whole cycle begins again.

Perhaps that is an indication that what is often called the oldest profession in the world is not going to just go away – as long as there are men willing to pay for sex there will be others who exploit that demand.

As the problem comes into focus once again on Bradford streets, it might be time for the debate about the legalisation of brothels to be reassessed and discussed once again.

In the past there have been calls for properly-managed facilities in appropriate locations where the risks to the working women can be reduced and the criminals who profit from the trade can be driven out of business. It might not be a perfect solution, but it is one worth discussing.

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