Buying sex should be made illegal in Great Britain, the Conservative Human Rights Commission has said.
The commission, which advises the Government on new policies said introducing the ‘Nordic model’, where buyers of sex are criminalised would help reduce demand for prostitution, and possibly even eradicate it.
“By enabling the purchase of sexual consent, we allow a market to be driven which causes harm to those directly affected, and we do damage to the broader social conception of personal freedom,” they said.
Ban buying sex and support those who exit
In its extensive and ground-breaking report, the group also recommends that alongside the ban on paying for sex, new schemes should be set up to help those in prostitution who leave the industry.
The group used evidence from other countries who have introduced the Nordic model, like Ireland, France and Sweden where there are fewer persons in prostitution, less trafficking and women are more willing to report violence against them.
Another key example is that of Ipswich, where a policy of zero tolerance towards kerb crawling alongside help for women exiting prostitution has helped remove street prostitution in the city.
Women in prostitution average 25 clients each week
According to the Office of National Statistics, there are around 58,000 women engaged in prostitution and each has an average of 25 clients a week.
Fiona Bruce MP, chair of the commission pledged: “not to rest until we have pushed this reform through.”
Prostitution survivor speaks out
Also speaking at the launch of the report was a survivor of prostitution, Michelle Kelly who was speaking publicly about her experiences and her support for the Nordic model approach.
In an article for the Telegraph, she said: “I have never met a woman involved in prostitution who wanted to be there. The amount of money that changes hands makes little difference to the crux of the issue; consent cannot be bought.”