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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Turning Demands into Offenses

Unofficial flag of Northern Ireland
 According to The Guardian, a new legislative proposal in Northern Ireland may turn the demand for prostitution and sexual services into offenses punishable by law. So what does this mean? It means that paying for sex could become illegal. 

Introduced by Democratic Unionist Lord Morrow, reasons for the proposal include "those who have been trafficked and sent to Northern Ireland are pushed into the sex trade." It would also eliminate the issue of the difficulty in differentiating between coerced victims of trafficking and willing participants. 

Official flag of Northern Ireland
Currently, "activities such as kerb-crawling, pimping and brothel-keeping are illegal in the UK." Kerb-crawling occurs when someone parks or drives slowly in an area, seeking to have sex with prostitutes or other women. The bill has to go through public consultation and it has to have enough cross-party supporters in the Stormont chamber, one of the locations where Northern Ireland's parliament conducts its business. 

Lord Morrow hopes that in eliminating the demand for such services, the supply will eventually fade away. 

What do you think about the idea of cutting the demand for prostitutes and sexual services in order to cut the supply? Do you support or oppose this idea? What do you suppose may be a better form of action?

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