Exploitation within the sex industry affects some of the most vulnerable in our society. Often it is a person’s lack of choice that forces them to ‘choose’ prostitution. Some get involved in selling sexual services at a young age and many have experienced abuse in childhood or have spent time in local authority care. Studies show that high numbers of women in prostitution have experienced coercion from a partner, pimp or relative and that incidents of violence are much higher than in the rest of society. Drug and alcohol misuse is a problem for some and chaotic lifestyles make it difficult for people to leave prostitution without support.

There is also a link between prostitution and trafficking for sexual exploitation. Whilst most people in prostitution have not been trafficked many women and children are trafficked to provide sexual services – 62% of all trafficking victims in the EU. 

Tackling the demand for paid sexual services and addressing the market for human trafficking is crucial to preventing the exploitation of vulnerable people. Sweden, Norway and Iceland have introduced laws to criminalise the purchase of sexual services, which they report to be effective in changing attitudes towards commercial sexual exploitation.

We recognise that some people say they are in prostitution by choice. However, when seen as a whole, prostitution clearly contributes to social injustice. As Christians, we believe that God has compassion on those who are most vulnerable and that we have a responsibility to work for a world where people are protected from exploitation and can find hope and restoration.

We advocate legislation on prostitution that offers greater justice for the vulnerable majority by making it a criminal offence to purchase sexual services. We would also like to see greater provision of services to support people who want to exit prostitution.

Read our latest news on prostitution here.

' He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. He will bring justice to all who have been wronged. He will not falter or lose heart until justice prevails throughout the earth. '

Isaiah 42: 3, 4 (NLT)