Fantastic new IHQ position on prostitution laws and trafficking
The Salvation Army does not have a formal positional statement on prostitution laws. However, in recent months I have taken the opportunity to discuss the matter with a number of people, and to read around the subject. We are asked from time to time where we stand on this important issue.
A summary of the views hitherto taken, approved by the General, October 2007, is as follows:
'The Salvation Army believes that women and men in prostitution should not be seen as criminal offenders by virtue of their activities in the sex trade industry. Many are drawn into prostitution by reason of poverty, ignorance or coercion. However, The Salvation Army does not wish to see prostitution treated or regarded as a normative or acceptable practice, or as a socially or morally legitimate career choice by any person. Legalisation of the sex trade unintentionally but inevitably creates a social climate in which those engaged in human trafficking can expand their industry, making it difficult for the police to intervene, even though advocates for legalisation claim that licensing gives more safety and protection. The Salvation Army has not campaigned publicly on the issue of prostitution laws because it wishes to maintain its position of trust with persons, especially women, in prostitution. However, the Army takes a stance against decriminalisation of any commercial exploitation of women or men for sexual purposes. The Army also supports measures to criminalise the activities of clients in the sex trade industry.'
This information will be posted on the Anti-trafficking Task Force LN Database, which is now run by Commissioner Christine Macmillan.