Britain will legalize brothels with up to three prostitutes, the government announced this week. Prostitution is legal in the U.K., but only if the prostitute works alone. That restriction was intended to prevent pimps from exploiting women, but the government said the effect has been to force prostitutes to work in unsafe conditions. “I’m not encouraging the commercial sale of women’s bodies,” said Fiona Mactaggart, a minister in the Home Office. “However, I think the evidence that women working on their own are putting themselves in danger is powerful.” Allowing small brothels, she said, would cut down on streetwalking, which is particularly dangerous for prostitutes.
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