Christian groups have launched a campaign to stop sex traffickers from advertising ‘adult services’ in local newspapers.
Premier Christian Media has joined with the Christian charity CARE to launch the ‘Not For Sale’ campaign, seeking to encourage newspapers to be more stringent in their advertising rules.
The group says that in the UK today there are around 10,000 women being held as slaves and sold for sexual services.
It adds that 50 per cent of the sex trade is fuelled by the demand created through ads in local newspapers.
The Newspaper Society earlier this year issued guidance to its members advising them to refuse to carry these ads, and two major chains have already agreed to comply.
However, Premier reports that there are still a number of newspapers who have yet to change their practice.
The launch of the campaign follows revelations last week of the widespread operation of brothels across London, some of which offer “very, very young girls”.
The Home Office is currently reviewing the law on prostitution, and Women and Equalities Minister Harriet Harman is leading calls for a law to ban the purchase of sex.
Currently prostitution is not in itself illegal, but activities associated with it, such as soliciting, are. Home Office Ministers have hinted that the Swedish system of criminalising the purchasers of sex, rather than the prostitutes themselves, could be applied here.
However, under the Swedish system, prostitution is treated as any other kind of employment, with social welfare benefits available to prostitutes who keep records of their accounts.
This system has been criticised by one Swedish politician, Christian Democrat Désirée Pethrus Engström, who said: “Economic security is something which makes a situation permanent. And that in turn can encourage prostitution, which is wrong.”
The Christian Institute backs a ban on both buying and selling sex.