The BULS blog has been focusing recently on the topic of prostitution. Some of their members have come to the conclusion that it should be legalised and protected. When looking at this situation on a purely personal and moral level I believe prostitution is wrong and I find it unseemly and seedy. However I have to agree with some members of BULS who claim we have to recognise as a society that it does happen because there is little if anything we can do to stop it happening. Therefore we need to work out how we can do some ‘damage control’ and ensure that a bad situation is not made worse.
Conservatives believe in the liberty of the individual and as such prostitutes should be afforded that same liberty to decide how they use their bodies. The state should not encourage nor condone prostitution but we must learn to accept that it does occur and as a society we need to find ways of protecting prostitutes. By ensuring that prostitues operate in safe and controlled conditions we are reducing the likelihood of murders and other such atrocities which can tie up valuable police resources and time. We are also reducing the likelihood of our neighbour hoods becoming the site for ‘curb crawling’.
I believe Britain should have organised and designated red light districts like in the Netherlands where prostitutes can operate without fear of rape, abuse or death. Prostitution in the Netherlands is defined as a legal profession; prostitutes/sex workers have access to the social security system, may join unions, have to pay income tax and are treated like any other self-employed tradesperson. In addition health and social services are readily available which reduces the burden on the health services.
By accepting, not condoning, prostitution and ensuring that it is not spread around our streets but localised in specific areas we are reducing the likelihood of situations such as Ipswich and we are in a curious way going some way to ‘cleaning up a dirty business’. We would also deal a heavy blow to traffickers and pimps who are the cancers of our society. If there was a way we could eradicate prostitution then fine but this isn’t going to happen and we just have to learn to make the best of a bad situation.