It's time to set aside the controversy over whether prostitution is immoral, says Charlotte Bowyer in The Christian Science Monitor. The more immediate issue is figuring out how to keep those involved safe. In the U.S., "female street prostitutes are 18 times more likely to be murdered than other women of a similar age and race." And giving criminals a monopoly on the sex industry also entangles the market "in further criminality, such as people trafficking and drug dealing." In the U.K., prostitution is legal but street-walking and brothels aren't, so women have to go it alone. Police crackdowns only make matters worse by encouraging women to work in more remote — and more dangerous — locations. There has to be a better way. Here, an excerpt:
"Instead of the current system, prostitution should be treated like many other professions; legal and regulated, as is the case in countries such as the Netherlands, Germany, and New Zealand. Allowing prostitutes the safety and security of a fixed workplace and network of co-workers would put them at much less risk. Evidence shows that the commercialization of prostitution would lead to better rights for workers, better working conditions, and more established routes through which to seek help. A legal, competitive brothel or agency would have the incentive to make sure their workers are clean and well looked after — or risk losing business."