BRITISH sex tourists who pay prostitutes for their services while abroad could be prosecuted in the UK.
Under the draft legislation, called the Sex Buyer Law, paying for sex would become illegal in Britain, while prostitution would be legalised, a development that shifts the burden of criminality from the supplier onto those creating the demand.
Similar legislation has already achieved excellent results in Nordic countries, including Sweden, which has observed a 50 per cent reduction in reported incidents of men paying prostitutes since the law’s introduction in 1999.
Acknowledging this success, Britain’s All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) commissioned a review by anti-sexual exploitation campaigners End Demand, tasking them with exploring how such legislation could work for the UK.
A statement released on the End Demand website said “the Sex Buyer Law recognizes that the exploitation of people through prostitution and sex trafficking, most of whom are women and girls, ultimately only occurs because there is currently a demand from a minority of men wanting and willing to pay for sex.”
The APPG report’s results, published on February 22, are said to include the recommendation that the law extend its legislative power to Brits who solicit the services of prostitutes while abroad, including those on short trips to countries with lax laws or government regulated sex industries.
Labour MP Gavin Shuker expressed his support of the recommendation, saying “I think the idea has merit for one simple reason: many people’s first experience of buying sex takes place abroad.”
In England, Wales and Scotland, the exchange of sexual services for money is legal, but certain activities are deemed to be criminal, including soliciting in a public place, curb crawling, owning or managing a brothel, and pimping. In Northern Ireland, the act of paying for sex became a criminal offence in June 2015.