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Health experts urge MPs to back decriminalisation of prostitution

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i3927 (Published 18 July 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i3927
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. London

Public health experts have backed a recent call from MPs for changes to the law over prostitution, and have urged them to consider full decriminalisation of sex work.

MPs on the home affairs committee recently published a report1 that recommended that the Home Office change existing legislation so that soliciting is no longer an offence and brothel keeping provisions allow sex workers to share premises, without losing the ability to prosecute those who use brothels to control or exploit sex workers.

The report said that treating soliciting as an offence was having an adverse impact in terms of stopping sex workers from seeking help to exit prostitution because having a …

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