The Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality adopted the own-initiative report by Maria NOICHL (S&D, DE) on the regulation of prostitution in the EU: its cross-border implications and impact on gender equality and women’s rights.

The report states that prostitution, its exploitation, and human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation are forms of gender-based violence, and thus a violation of women’s rights and human dignity, representing a cross-border problem. Therefore, the report called for a Europe-wide approach to tackle prostitution by decriminalising people in prostitution and supporting those who want to leave it, while targeting sex buyers and exploitative third parties such as pimping.

There is also a for a common approach to and understanding of force, coercion, the exploitation of vulnerability, abuse of power and inequalities in existing prostitution laws and regulations in various EU Member States. The report further calls for improved access to health and social services and asks member states to take action in the areas of prevention, decriminalisation of people in prostitution, exit programmes, demand reduction, punishment of clients, destigmatisation and the elimination of stereotypes (Para 38).

Further the report underlines that “the greater the asymmetry between national prostitution legislation within the EU … the more victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation there are” (Para 2).

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