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UK law to criminalize men having sex with “exploited” women

The Telegraph, UK
8 March 2010 – The UK Home Office has announced that men who have sex with “exploited” women will face fines of 1,000 pounds under a new law applicable from April 1.The law will criminalize anyone who pays for sex with a prostitute who is “controlled”-such as those with pimps, in brothels or who have been trafficked.

It is a strict liability offence, which means claiming ignorance of the woman’s circumstances will be no defence, while men who have sex knowing the woman was exploited could face rape charges.
In other measures, prostitutes will be able to avoid fines for loitering or soliciting if they agree to attend sessions with relevant agencies to address the causes of what drove them on to the streets.
A new power for the police to arrest kerb-crawlers on their first offence, rather than currently having to show they are persistent offenders, will also be introduced by the government.”We are determined to tackle the demand for prostitution and provide help for those who wish to leave prostitution,” The Telegraph quoted Alan Campbell, the Home Office Minister, as saying.
“These new measures build on the significant action we have already taken to tackle prostitution and trafficking for sexual exploitation. They will help bring greater protection to vulnerable people involved in prostitution,” Campbell added.
However, opposition MPs and campaigners have warned that the move could drive prostitution further under ground and put women’s lives at risk.