Should we legalise brothels?

I was watching the news tonight, and the top story is that five prostitutes have been killed, and found in various locations around Ipswich (including Hintlesham, which I used to drive to on the way to work – scary stuff!) I don’t really want to comment on the tragedy as such, but one of the things the newsreaders said: this incident has apparently brought up the issue again of whether brothels should be legalised.

I think the idea is, prostitution is a very risky, um, profession – if they were safely in brothels, they wouldn’t be so at risk of getting murdered. And let me say at this point, for that reason legalising brothels would probably be beneficial. But I don’t think that they’re really dealing with the root problem.

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I don’t think any girls really want to become prostitutes… they do it because they need the money for some reason. They have dependants who need feeding, they have a drug addiction – they don’t think they have a choice. So, if you legalise brothels, you might make sure that they are safe, but it doesn’t really solve the problem that they’re doing something they never really wanted to do in the first place!

You could say that the root problem is never going to be solved, so therefore you might as well attempt to solve the problems which you can solve. I think that’s a tad defeatist, but still… I think solving the root problem should at least be given a shot!

Note how I deftly avoided mentioning any of the moral issues there. In a post with the word “brothel” in the title that’s not bad going!

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