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Policing sex trade

Sir -- Concerning Sarah Benson of Ruhama's letter on April 17, 2011 -- criminalising the clients of sex workers is a retrograde step which amounts to a bedroom police.

It is also a thin edge of a wedge where other activities commonplace in a tolerant society could find themselves banned later, for example types of female/male dancing or adult images that fell short of an arbitrary rule on exposure. We would be back to the days of censorship.

Everybody should condemn trafficking, however there is plenty of misinformation surrounding the issue. Groups are overstating the number of people who are victims. The police in the UK recently failed to find a single woman who was trafficked into the country and forced into prostitution.

The proposed Swedish-style law heralded by some as the answer to everything is a failure there. A Swedish judge charged with assessing the results of the law was told that she must have an outcome which is against prostitution -- so much for impartiality! The government there has no idea what is going on in the sex trade and any surveys it took were conducted poorly.

Sex workers are a huge aid to individuals who have to overcome shyness, have a lack of confidence or have a disability which limits access to sex.

The way forward is to regulate the industry properly and provide a safe working environment for all concerned.

A Fogarty,

Dublin

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