UK: Decriminalise sex work, says House of Commons Home Affairs Committee

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A report from the Home Affairs Committee of the House of Commons calls for changes to the law on sex work in England and Wales, recommending that "the Home Office change existing legislation so that soliciting is no longer an offence and so that brothel-keeping provisions allow sex workers to share premises, without losing the ability to prosecute those who use brothels to control or exploit sex workers."

The Committee is keen to highlight the difficulties of investigating covert industries such as prostitution - for example with gathering statistics and witness testimony - and notes that:

"This report therefore represents our interim views on the different legislative approaches in other countries, the changes we believe need to be made now in England and Wales, and the options for legislative change which need further, closer and more thorough examination. We hope that this report will stimulate public debate about the important issues which prostitution raises. We intend to follow this interim report with a final report later in the Session."

See: House of Commons Home Affairs Committee:
Prostitution (pdf)


  • Introduction
  • Prostitution in England and Wales
  • Government priorities and policies on prostitution
  • The sex buyer law
  • Other legislative models
  • Conclusions and recommendations

    Home Affairs Committee summary: Decriminalise sex workers, says Home Affairs Committee (link)

    Press coverage: Soliciting by sex workers should not be a crime, MPs say (BBC News, link) and: Decriminalisation of sex workers in England and Wales backed by MPs (The Guardian, link)

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