An historic bill to ban all prostitution adverts is being debated by Peers today (Friday October 23).
Soliciting for sex and brothel keeping are illegal but there is no ban on prostitution advertising in print and online media and Lord McColl’s Advertising on Prostitution (Prohibition) Bill will correct this obvious inconsistency.
The first ever serious attempt to enshrine in legislation a ban on sex adverts will receive its Second Reading today in the House of Lords and the bill is backed by CARE, one of the UK’s largest Christian charities.
CARE is urging the Conservative Peer to go even further and seek a ban on the purchase of sex as is now the case in Northern Ireland.
Meanwhile a growing petition launched by the Purple Teardrop campaign to ban ‘sex for sale adverts’ has gathered more than 35,000 signatories from all across the United Kingdom.
Lord McColl of Dulwich said:
“It makes absolutely no sense that it is illegal to organise prostitution here in the UK but perfectly legal to advertise it.
“If we just leave things as they are, we only encourage an overly consumerist approach to sex in society where people are viewed as mere commodities.
“This bill is about helping the vulnerable majority of people who find themselves trapped in prostitution not out of choice, but because of coercion, abuse or poverty.
“My bill is one way we, as a society, can protect vulnerable people from greater harm.”
CARE’s Director of Parliamentary Affairs Dr Dan Boucher said:
“Prostitution adverts do not reveal the truth beyond the pictures that so often behind the smiles and the appearance of glamour are stories of abuse, coercion and violence.
“The evidence demonstrates it is one of the most dangerous professions in the world and it makes sense to tackle the issue head on.
“Society and the way we advertise has moved on significantly so this fresh debate is both welcome and necessary.
“The current law does not provide adequate protection for victims so Lord McColl is absolutely right to be attempting to correct the current inconsistency.
“We very much hope he will consider going further and address demand for paid sex by making the purchase of sex illegal as is the case in Sweden, Norway and of course, Northern Ireland.”