Dangerous path

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Jean Urquhart’s proposal to further liberalise prostitution laws (Your report, 8 September) is based on the faulty assumption that the volume of the prostitution business and the number of prostitutes working is fixed, and the only relevant consideration is therefore their wellbeing.

Prostitution causes serious harm to prostitutes, emotionally, psychologically and physically, corrupts the values of their clients and leaves them with addiction rather than fulfilment and damages families.

The inevitable gap between male demand and female supply will always lead to criminal coercion of vulnerable girls to maximise profit.

Therefore, the proper goal of government should be to minimise the incidence of prostitution, and criminalisation of buying and selling sex is an effective means to that end.

Legal acceptance of prostitution undermines the unique status of sex as a wonderful agent of procreation, bonding parents to yield stable family life.

Accept that sex can be bought and sold, and this high valuing of sex is undermined, sexual promiscuity is normalised, and the perceived seriousness of rape is ­diminished.

RICHARD LUCAS

Broomyknowe

Colinton

Edinburgh

The consultation launched yesterday by Jean Urquhart MSP, calling for kerb-crawling, brothel-keeping and soliciting to be decriminalised (Your report, 8 September) is deeply misguided.

Scotland stands on the cusp of introducing historic anti-slavery laws. These laws will help empower victims and should be a strong deterrent to those guilty of this vile trade. Yet Jean Urquhart’s consultation would utterly undermine Scotland’s proposed anti-trafficking laws because decriminalising prostitution will only empower pimps and brothel owners. This in turn could well lead to an increase in trafficking and therefore must be opposed.

While some may choose to be prostitutes, the fact remains that the vast majority are not there because of choice but due to poverty, abuse or trafficking. You cannot separate trafficking and prostitution and view them as distinct phenomena.

The fact is they are intricately linked, as a key report from the European Parliament in April 2014 indicated.

Instead, we need to ban the purchase of sex to effectively tackle one of the main causes behind human trafficking. This new consultation is wrong in principle and would be a disaster in practise.

Gordon Macdonald (Dr)

Care for Scotland

Glasgow