Oops, they're not. So how come there is space in prison for prostitutes to get 72 hours should they refuse 'counselling'? And what, precisely, is it meant to achieve?
As NAPO says, most prostitutes have problems with drink or drugs. Three one-hour sessions are not going to solve these problems. Nor will 72 hours in prison. The only people it will benefit are the Labour-voting Guardian readers who will be employed to administer this complete waste of time and money. Police, courts and prisons have more than enough work to do in prosecuting real crime, rather than hounding women who have huge problems in their own lives.
And why is it only women who are being mentioned? What about rent boys and their clients? Well, they can't be prosecuted because it would be homophobic - they are only expressing their sexuality, after all.
Both men and women who are caught up in prostitution and wish to break out of it should be given all the support they need to do so. However, criminalising them is not the answer.
This Government has legalised the buggery of schoolgirls and reduced the age of consent for the buggery of schoolboys, as well as legalising the promotion of buggery in schools. All this has been done in the interests of 'equality' and anyone who has dared to question it has been accused of 'homophobia'. The response at every turn is that people have the 'right' to express their sexuality within consensual relationships. Is it not utterly illogical now to criminalise, as many loony lefties want to do, a consensual relationship between a man and a woman in which both parties agree to a monetary transaction?
As a Christian, I believe that sex outside of marriage is wrong. Beyond that, I am not convinced that there is anything especially sinful about prostitution per se. I am even less convinced that it is an activity which needs, per se, to be legislated against. With the caveat, of course, about the need to help vulnerable people who find themselves trapped in the sex trade.