Brothel keepers and ‘kerb crawlers’ should have their convictions quashed, Liberal Democrats will be urged.
A policy document to be debated at the Party’s upcoming spring conference also rejects the Government’s attempt to curb children’s access to online pornography – calling it “illiberal”.
The Lib Dems have a long-standing commitment to decriminalise prostitution, despite evidence that it is harmful to women.
Ahead of the national Party conference in York next month, a Lib Dem policy group produced a paper on “harm reduction” for debate.
It calls for “past convictions for sex work to be quashed, including convictions for loitering, soliciting, brothelkeeping, and kerb crawling”.
However convictions “including or alongside violence, coercion, or other sexual offences including offences related to children will not be quashed”.
In a section on pornography, the document states that while “Nobody wants children to be exposed to pornography”, age checks on pornography websites are wrong.
The document said it would give parents a false sense of security.
Claiming that the system is “illiberal, poses a severe danger to privacy, and is fundamentally unworkable”, the Lib Dems instead called for “comprehensive” sex education.
Currently there are concerns about a proposal for sex education – called New Clause 5 – which would see primary schools and academies in England forced to teach sex education, with no right of parental withdrawl.
The plan would create a national curriculum subject of ‘Relationships Education’, but The Christian Institute has warned that even now, “lessons on pornography are teaching children to grade pornographic material as ‘good’ or ‘bad’”.
Last year, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn faced criticism after it emerged that he is in favour of decriminalising prostitution.
However former Deputy Labour Leader Harriet Harman described prostitution as “exploitation and abuse” and said it is not “work” or “an industry”.
Labour MP Jess Phillips also criticised the party leader’s position, stating that prostitution is “a known violence against women”.