New numbers suggest that the majority of "off" street prostitution in the UK is being offered by victims of human trafficking: They work in sex parlours, "massage parlours", bars and strip clubs or are kept in normal houses like in the case of Katarina.
Human trafficking: Curbing the demand? © Thinkstock
Nobody knows they're there unless they want to: The "unofficial" sex business is Britain's fastest growing industry. As more and more victims of human trafficking are working in prostitution, many argue that the only way to fight trafficking is to fight prostitution.
Sister Ann, together with other charities such as Eaves, Salvation Army, religious organisation against trafficking in human beings, Chaste and the Women’s Housing Association are lobbying to see the UK follow the example of Sweden, Norway and Iceland where purchasing sexual services is a criminal offence.
In these countries trafficked people are rare and the Governments of those countries hope that the next generation of men will not consider paying for sex.
The Government of Sweden was the first to introduce tough laws on buyers of sex rather than the prostitute. Sweden's large number of women MP's has been cited as the reason the law was successfully changed.
A recently published international report suggests the same: “The big guys who make the law, all see prostitutes themselves. The bosses of the world are not going to make it difficult for themselves to see a prostitute. The biggest criminals are the ones in the suits.” reads one of the testimonies in the study titled ‘Men Who Buy Sex’ by London-based charity, Eaves. More than 700 men who pay for sex were interviewed, including 103 men in London.
Nearly all the men interviewed (97%) had bought sex in brothels, private flats that functioned as brothels, massage parlours or saunas. And these are the places trafficked women can be found.
London men gave their top reasons for buying sex as "to satisfy immediate sexual urge", "for variety", "for convenience – no strings attached".
However Sister Ann has her own answer: “...I think it is the changing role of men in our society which causes many to seek the services of a prostitute.
“There was a time when men understood their role as providers, the strong one but women are completely independent now. So it is probably easier for some men to dominate a women for a short while by paying her for sex, rather than work on a relationship.”