The greater evil: In Europe, 560 social enterprises, including 70 academics and researchers, have signed a petition against the criminalization of prostitutes’ clients, which has been sent to the European Parliament.
On February 27, the subject of adopting the so-called Swedish model in all EU states will be discussed in Strasbourg, at the proposal of British euro deputy Mary Honeyball. That model imposes heavy penalties for consumers of paid sex.
The model is not only ‘moralistic and repressive’ but also, according to the petitioners, short-sighted. They argue that it doesn’t take into account the difference between sex work and trafficking and say that those who choose to practice the ‘oldest profession’ do not always do so under duress – sometimes it is a free choice. The law victimizes prostitutes and would expose them to violence and marginalization. It also puts their health at risk because of limited access to measures that can prevent HIV.