It could be argued that tolerance for another’s beliefs is the cornerstone of civilization in the 21st century. One’s religion will dictate how one should live one’s life, but it is not for you to impose you beliefs on others- that would be intolerant.
The world’s oldest profession should be a victimless crime, and no doubt often this is true, however by criminalizing prostitution the state divorces itself from the protection it should be offering to the industry, on both sides of the negotiation table. Criminalizing prostitution makes the State and the area the victim to a crime that need not impact on either if it were controlled by the State, or appropriate bodies. This would free police to concentrate on more serious crimes, and may even be self financing, reducing the burden on state coffers to police.
The biggest victims of illegal prostitution are the ladies: no common law industry standards, no police to go to when in need, no surety that clients will honour their end of the bargain. Criminalizing prostitution has simply pushed it underground, rather than killing it- yes the same is true of criminalizing murder, but murder has a victim who is poorer for the act.
I propose the govt treats prostitution the same way it deals with gambling, only stricter:
Licences are awarded to operators in designated areas. In order to get a licence one would have to conform to a long list of demands regarding safety, security and integrity. Activities can only happen inside the premises, no one under the age of 18 or 21 may be allowed on the property. Girls must be tested for various STDs, pregnancy etc, at a regular basis- weekly perhaps. They should be South African to avoid any human trafficking issues.
Clients must be tested regularly too, full blood tests and a criminal history done and be a listed customer. This would improve the behaviour of clients as they wouldn’t want to be black listed- criminal proceedings would follow. Outside of this there should be the regular social services on duty and all other expected controls. No doubt prostitution would still happen outside of legal facilities, but surely the risk of prosecution would encourage clients to switch service providers?
With all of this in place it would remove girls off the streets, corrupt cops, and dodgy gangsters administering the illicit trade.
This proposal will be opposed on religious grounds: 70% of the population is Christian, a religion that condemns any other sexual act outside of marriage. Legalizing prostitution will threaten Christianity (or any religion) as much as legalizing same sex marriage, not at all: One’s morals would still dictate whether one utilizes these facilities just as much as before, the only difference now is the illicit industry becomes protected against those who would use it to cause harm to society.
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