Friday, November 21, 2008

BRITAIN PROPOSES HYPER HARSH LAWS AGAINST MEN WHO USE PROSTITUTES

Guardian, UK - New prostitution laws will mean a plea of ignorance is no defence for men facing prosecution for buying sex from a woman who has been trafficked or is being exploited by a pimp. Under proposals to be published by the home secretary, Jacqui Smith, a man who "knowingly" pays for sex with a woman who has been trafficked or is under the control of a pimp could face a charge of rape, which carries a potential life sentence. The new offence of paying for sex with somebody who is "controlled for another person's gain" is to carry a hefty fine and a criminal record. The decision to criminalize men who pay for sex with trafficked women is likely to have a widespread impact. The Metropolitan police have estimated that 70% of the 88,000 women involved in prostitution in England and Wales are under the control of traffickers. . .

The home secretary has made clear that under the new offence it will not be enough for a man to say "I didn't know". The new offence will include a "strict liability" test so that police will only have to prove that the man paid for sex, and that the woman had been trafficked. There will be no need to prove he knew it at the time.

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