Exclusive: ‘People are horrified that sex workers suffer so much violence and understand that the prostitution laws, which force women to work in isolation, increase the danger of attack,’ says campaigner
Campaigners have called for sex work to be decriminalised as a new study finds more people in Britain support sex work law reform than oppose it.
It is not illegal for individuals to buy or sell sex from each other in the UK but soliciting and sex workers banding together as a group are illegal.
A study by human rights charity RightsInfo found 49 per cent of British people are in favour of decriminalising brothel-keeping – an offence punishable by up to seven years in prison.
The poll of 2,000 people, which is the first survey to be conducted on sex-work decriminalisation in four years, found 44 per cent think sex workers should not face prosecution for street solicitation – which amounts to offering their services in public.
They can presently be fined up to £500 for a first-time offence. The study is the first to gauge the public’s attitudes towards brothels separately from street prostitution.