Is Prostitution Legal in the UK?

As one of the most powerful and influential countries in the world, many people are particularly curious to know the answer to the question: is prostitution is legal in the UK? Luckily, Whoreurope is here to answer all your prostitution-related questions.

“Where is prostitution legal?” is a question asked by various people around the world. The answer often can provide an insight into particular countries’ views on sex, liberalism, and openness.

In short, the answer to the question is prostitution is legal in the UK is yes, and no. You may be surprised to find that the UK in general is rather prudish when it comes to public display of sex. Thankfully this is changing, but as a result, prostitution exists largely behind closed doors.

When it comes to brothels in the UK, they do exist legally but under a strange loophole. If you visit the Soho district of London for example, you’ll find blatantly advertised brothels everywhere you look that exist legally as they only have two women inside, one is a hooker and one is a maid, anything more than one prostitute in a home or apartment is illegal but as the brothels are divided into apartments, they are legal.

Legal prostitution in the UK exists through the form of various apps such as Adultwork, where clients can browse and meet escorts and prostitutes across the UK and leave reviews. It is arguably the most modern form of prostitution that exists in the UK and can range from amateur prostitutes to experienced, high end escorts.

When it comes to street prostitution, the legality of prostiution in the UK begins to blur. Activities classed as illegal are similar to certain other countries such as pimping, soliciting prostitutes in a public place, and kerb crawling. However, the British have always been an unruly bunch and routinely broke these laws.

So in response, local British councils in certain cities set up designated ‘Red Light Zones’ where street prostiution is tolerated and neither the prostitutues or their clients are punished for what would otherwise be illegal. 

The reasons for prostitution vary amongst the sex workers. Some do it out of choice, some are forced to do it due to a drug habit. Thus, various charities and NGOs such as Basis Sex Work, operate in this area to assist the sex workers. An example of these Red Light areas is in an area of the Northern English city of Leeds, called Holbeck.

Naturally, these zones and the consequences of prositution have become highly controversial in the UK especially following the death of a Polish sex worker named Daria Pionko who, just a couple of months after the red light zone was established in Holbeck, was murdered by a client.

Whilst we at Whoreuro believe that prostitution should be legal, like many things there are negative effects of legalizing prostitution if it is not done correctly. Many people are actively opposed to the zone, others argue for its benefits related to prostitution statistics.

It’s believed that since the zone was established, sex workers are six times more likely to report violent crime than they were before the zone existed.

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