(via Witchy Woo)

Baroness Patricia ScotlandThere is just the faintest possibility that ministers are giving consideration to adopting something like the Swedish approach to prostitution in the UK.

The Swedish approach decriminalises being a prostitute but criminalises buying a prostitute. The idea is to reduce demand for prostituted women, by putting the focus on the buyers rather than the (often powerless) women who are bought.

See this article from yesterday’s Guardian for more.

What can you do?

For starters, sign the online Prime Ministerial petition supporting this approach.

Then write to someone. Good people to write to would be:

  • Harriet Harman who is, among other things, Minister for Women
  • Jacqui Smith, Home Secretary
  • Baroness Patricia Scotland, Attorney General (pictured, because she’s ace).
  • Vera Baird, Solicitor General.
  • Your own MP.

Harman, Smith, Scotland and Baird are all named in the Guardian article as “sympathetic” to the idea and all have a credible track record. And, importantly, they are all in relevant Government positions, given the women’s rights, law and order, human trafficking and criminal justice aspects to this issue.

In case you need inspiration:

[Doh. I’ve just enveloped my letters, which I hand wrote because my printer does not work (get me a violin, someone) but they were all more or less along these lines.]

Dear xxxx

Re Criminalisation of the purchase of sex

I was delighted to read in yesterday’s Guardian that ministers are giving thought to proposals that would protect the victims of prostitution (including illegally trafficked sex slaves) by criminalising the purchase of sex and prosecuting the men who buy sex. This approach has been tried and tested in Sweden, where it has significantly reduced the demand that fuels the prostitution of women, and the trade in women’s bodies.

I urge you to support this initiative and to persuade your colleagues in government to do likewise.

Thank you

Yours sincerely etc