Prostitution: No more trafficking of women, say S&D Euro MPs

Sexual exploitation and prostitution and its impact on gender equality

The European Parliament today urged EU governments to step up efforts to fight forced prostitution and trafficking of women, in a resolution drafted by S&D Euro MP Mary Honeyball.
 
At least 62% of trafficked women become victims of sexual exploitation according to official data published in April 2013 by the European Commission. Many of those victims are from EU countries and many are very young.
 
Prostitution is also connected to organised crime, second only to drug trafficking.
 
The resolution recommends a "change of approach" to crack down on demand – the so-called 'Nordic way' – in order to combat the trafficking of women.
 
Labour Euro MP Mary Honeyball said after the vote:
 
"There are clear links between prostitution and trafficking. Prostitution feeds the trafficking of vulnerable and very young women. Today’s outcome represents a vital signal from MEPs that we cannot continue to tolerate the exploitation of women.
 
"Rather than advocating blanket legalisation, the Parliament has backed the more nuanced approach already practised in Sweden as a means of tackling prostitution. This punishes men who treat women’s bodies as a commodity, without criminalising the women who are driven into sex work.
 
"Such action would bring about significant progress for gender equality in the European Union."