The Royal College of Nursing is calling for prostitution to be
legalised to enable better access to services for sex workers,
writes Maria Ahmed.
The Liverpool branch of the RCN is submitting a
resolution to an RCN conference next week for debate in the run-up
to the general election.
The resolution says: “Prostitution has significant
consequences for the individuals involved, as well as for the wider
community; it can involve the abuse of children and the abuse of
adults. There are also close links with sexually-transmitted
infection, including HIV, along with major problems relating to
drug use, and in some cases crime too.”
The RCN want to see a “co-ordinated strategy” by
health and social care organisations to address the problems faced
by sex workers.
Countries including Holland, Germany and Australia have created
managed zones for street prostitution and licensed brothels, where
the health and safety of prostitutes is managed by local
The resolution adds: “Research indicates that these
initiatives have resulted in significant improvements in the health
of male and female prostitutes and have helped to reduce the levels
of exploitation and violence.”
In July 2004, the government launched a consultation paper,
Paying the Price, in England and Wales to review the current
legislation relating to prostitution. The Home Office admitted the
legislation was “outdated, confusing and
In Scotland, proposed legislation to allow councils to set up
designated tolerance zones for prostitutes under the Prostitution
Tolerance Zones (Scotland) Bill has been postponed for the third
time until October.