Green Light for Overhaul of Prostitution Laws ; L Red-Light Areas to Be Replaced by `Toleration' Zones L Men Who Pay for Sex Face Jail L Women Will Get Help to Escape Sex Industry
Verkaik, Robert, The Independent (London, England)
BRITAIN'S PROSTITUTION laws are to undergo their biggest overhaul for 50 years in a government review that could lead to tough jail terms for men who pay for sex.
Ministers are also looking to offer women an escape route out of street prostitution by creating toleration zones where prostitutes can be offered careers counselling and financial advice.
The proposals, to be unveiled by the Home Office later this summer, are expected to offer a "carrot and stick "approach to the regulation of the industry.
Under the current law, paying for sex is not illegal. Instead, prostitution is controlled by strict offences that prohibit associated acts such as kerb-crawling, soliciting, pimping and brothel- keeping.
One of the proposals is to follow the lead of Sweden where men can be imprisoned for up to six months if they are caught paying for sex.
But the focus of the Government's review will be on helping women to escape prostitution by creating managed zones in Britain's cities where they would be offered access to clinics for the treatment of sexual diseases and drug addiction.
Toleration zones, which have been unofficially tried in a number of British cities, including Manchester and Bolton, allow street sex workers to operate in strictly defined areas away from residential streets.
The Home Office review team has heard evidence in support of managed zones from senior police officers, magistrates, drugs advisers and groups representing sex workers in this country.
A similar review is being conducted in Scotland where tolerance zones have been unofficially explored in Edinburgh and Glasgow.Women working in those permissive zones may have to register with the local authorities and face compulsory medical tests. …
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Publication information: Article title: Green Light for Overhaul of Prostitution Laws ; L Red-Light Areas to Be Replaced by `Toleration' Zones L Men Who Pay for Sex Face Jail L Women Will Get Help to Escape Sex Industry. Contributors: Verkaik, Robert - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: June 8, 2004. Page number: 1. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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