Prostitution and small ads debate

// 17 November 2007

Just thought I’d draw your attention to a fascinating and well balanced piece of journalism in the Economist that explored Harriet Harmon’s recent discussion of small ads for “adult massages” and the like that you so often see in local papers, magazines, etc in Britain. Harmon, on 28th October, linked these ads with people trafficking, and has argued that some of the girls advertised in the ads may be working against their will. As the article points out, it’s not illegal to sell sex here, or to buy it, but soliciting in public is forbidden, and so is kerb crawling. There are newspaper codes that come in to play as far as accepting and running these type of ads are concerned, apparently, but there is also debate as to whether such ads can be used to moniter the sex industry and if banning them altogether would drive such services further underground, and make things worse in the process.

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