Unsurprisingly with all the recent news - there is some discussion at present of how best to deal with the problems of prostitution. Julie Bindel gets very much to the bottom of the matter in this great interview with a professor of criminology.
To me it's seems so obvious that the way to sort the problem out is to criminalise men who pay for sex. Not because I'm some kind of mad man-hating lunatic who wants every guy thrown in prison. And not because I'm some weird anti-sex prude either.
The facts are these: the vast majority of women in prostitution are there under coercion of one sort or another: Trafficked women, drug-addicted women, victims of domestic violence and sexual violence. These women are being put at risk on a daily basis of rape, assault and murder. While fiction-writers may tell us there are "high-class" call girls who enjoy their work, if there are, they are clearly few and far between and do not justify the industry as a whole. n Criminalising someone who works under coercion won't change anything.
Meanwhile the men who visit prostitutes are not coerced to do so in any way. No man is ever forced to visit a prostitute. Men chose quite freely whether to do so or not. So by criminalising paying for sex you render illegal a part of the process that is not coerced and can be stopped dead in it's tracks. Problem gone.
This means of dealing with the sex industry is known as The Swedish Model because it works a treat in Sweden. Hopefully the government will come back to it at some point.