Lib Dems – Criminalising clients will not help trafficked prostitutes

“Criminalising young people in the sex industry will not help them escape prostitution. We need to give these young people opportunities to change their lives not give them a criminal record.” says Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Dormer

Lib Dem peer, Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Dormer will today push the Government to prevent the further criminalisation of the sex trade.

The Liberal Democrats oppose the Government’s plans to make it an offence for clients to have sex with a trafficked prostitute, even if they could not have known the prostitute was trafficked. We also want sex workers under the age of eighteen to be treated as victims not criminals.

Baroness Miller said:

“The Ipswich murders shocked the nation and should have led to a real effort to make prostitutes’ lives safer. Instead we have further criminal sanctions which will drive the sex trade underground making women’s lives far more dangerous.

“On the occasions when prostitutes are rescued from traffickers it is as the result of a tip off to police from a client. How many people would report a trafficked prostitute if doing so led to a £1000 fine?

“Criminalising young people in the sex industry will not help them escape prostitution. We need to give these young people opportunities to change their lives not give them a criminal record.”

The Policing and Crime Bill is currently at Report Stage in the House of Lords.
http://www.libdems.org.uk/press_releases_detail.aspx?title=Criminalising_clients_will_not_help_trafficked_prostitutes_%E2%80%93_Baroness_Miller_of_Chilthorne_Dormer&pPK=749a3580-18b9-4f3f-a19e-cffb2c5f3cd0