Women and Equalities Committee

Prostitution inquiry

Inquiry status: Concluded

Due to the general election on 12 December 2019 the Committee has now closed this inquiry. Following the dissolution of Parliament on 6 November, all Select Committees will cease to exist until after the general election. If an inquiry on this subject is held in the future, the Committee may refer to the evidence already gathered as part of this inquiry.

Scope of the inquiry

The Committee will look into:

  • What harms are associated with buying and selling sex?
  • How effective are Government policies in tackling this?
  • What more could be done?

The Committee is calling for written evidence and is particularly interested in receiving submissions which address:

  • What, if any, harms associated with buying and selling sex? Who is affected? How?
  • How does buying and selling sex affect attitudes towards women more widely?
  • What local initiatives are you aware of that address these harms? Are they effective? Why?
  • What, if any, are the challenges for those facing harm in accessing services (for example, healthcare; support services; advice; exit services)? What needs to change?
  • What relevance does the Public Sector Equality Duty have for the way that public authorities?
  • How does the law currently treat paying for sex? How could law and policy be improved to address harm?
  • How effective are different international approaches at addressing any harms associated with buying and selling sex?
Terms of reference

Latest evidence

  • 30 Oct 2019 - Prostitution - oral evidence | PDF version (PDF211 KB) HC 255 | Published 05 Nov 2019

    Evidence given by Professor Teela Sanders, Professor of Criminology, University of Leicester, Lynette Woodrow, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for London South, Crown Prosecution Service, Kate Garbers, Director, Unseen; Professor Marianne Hester OBE, Chair in Gender, Violence & International Policy, University of Bristol (via video link)

    Watch this evidence session


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