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Lord Lucas: I am quite happy to do so. If the noble and learned Lord could include in the letter he may already be sending me confirmation that there will be nothing left in the law that will enable the police to prosecute a newsagent for carrying prostitutes' cards—provided the cards are decent and conform with the law—I shall be most grateful. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendment No. 300 not moved.]

Clause 56 agreed to.

Clause 57 [Controlling a child prostitute or a child involved in pornography]:

[Amendment No. 301 not moved.]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton moved Amendment No. 302:


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The noble and learned Lord said: Amendments Nos. 302, 306 and 311 make clear that the offences at Clauses 57 to 59 refer to the controlling, arranging or facilitating of prostitution, including that by children, and the involvement of a child in pornography anywhere in the world. This was always our policy intention when formulating the offences but it is not clear from the Bill as drafted.

We want to cover situations where an offender in this country arranges, facilitates or controls the prostitution and pornography of children and controls the prostitution of adults in other countries as well as here. The amendments seek to cover situations where someone in this country knowingly leases their apartment abroad to child pornographers to film in or, for example, where a pimp may direct a prostitute under his control to fly to a client abroad. It should not matter where the prostitution or pornography takes place if the control, arranging or facilitation is done from the United Kingdom. We should be able to prosecute those in this country who exploit others in that way. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendments Nos. 303 to 304 not moved.]

Clause 57, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 58 [Controlling prostitution for gain]:

[Amendment No. 305 not moved.]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton moved Amendment No. 306:


    Page 27, line 8, after "prostitution" insert "in any part of the world".

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendments Nos. 307 to 308ZA not moved.]

Baroness Walmsley moved Amendment No. 308A:


    Page 27, line 9, at end insert—


"( ) Two sex workers operating together for their mutual personal safety will not be deemed to commit an offence under this Part."

The noble Baroness said: In Amendment No. 308A, we return to the issue we debated only a few minutes ago. The purpose of the amendment is to protect the personal safety of sex workers and prevent them from falling foul of the Bill. As we have said, prostitution itself is not illegal in this country—it is all the activities surrounding it that often bring sex workers into conflict with the law. That is why we have a duty to do whatever we can when a legislative opportunity arises to protect sex workers from the dangers with which their type of work is beset. We should also avoid a new piece of legislation unduly or accidentally criminalising them further. That is why the noble Lord, Lord Lucas, and I have put down this amendment.

According to the Josephine Butler Society, a charity that works with prostitutes and their dependants, the safest place for a prostitute to work is in her own premises. However, if she works alone she puts herself in danger because if she is attacked by a client there is no one there to help her. Brothels are currently illegal and anyway, they could, if not properly regulated, lay

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the way wide open for traffickers and drug dealers. The solution is for two women to work together. However, if they do so, they risk being caught by the provisions in Clause 58 on controlling prostitution for gain, as they might be seen to be controlling each others' activities in some way.

The Bill is not really about prostitution. Sadly, the whole spectrum of legislation that affects prostitution has been put together in a very piecemeal way, and that has become very clear this afternoon. It really is time the Government grasped the nettle and I hope they will do so very soon. However, the Bill will affect prostitutes, as the noble Lord, Lord Faulkner of Worcester, mentioned, in several ways—we will come to the matter of public places later. Unfortunately, neither sex workers nor those who work for their welfare have been consulted about it.

No country has ever been able to stop prostitution. Not for nothing is it called the oldest profession in the world. In a civilised society, we should be concerned with harm minimisation and welfare as well as human rights. Unless we give these sex workers a safe way of working, where they can be independent and not constantly run the risk of falling foul of the law, we are playing right into the hands of the pimps, traffickers and drug dealers who seek to control women by getting them addicted to hard drugs. This amendment offers them a way of achieving that safety. I beg to move.

Lord Lucas: I entirely support what the noble Baroness has said. I have no wish to push the Government down the road towards legalising brothels in this Bill—it is road that I suspect I would not wish to travel myself. But the difference between one and two is the difference between being alone and feeling a great deal safer than that, between a partnership, or at least some form of support, and none at all. That is a step we can take without any fear of opening up the question of whether we are into the business of legalising brothels or, indeed, instituting "Ofbroth", or whatever the Government might choose to call it.

Baroness Noakes: If there is any doubt whatever that two sex workers working together would fall within Clause 58, this is a good amendment, for the reasons that the noble Baroness, Lady Walmsley, has given.

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: I understand exactly why the noble Baroness, Lady Walmsley, has moved the amendment—she put the reasons very clearly—but we do not think it is necessary. It would amend a clause which makes it an offence to be controlling prostitution for gain. The clause is designed to cover exploitative relationships. Where two prostitutes are working together, consensually, for each other's protection—for example, standing on the same street corner, noting the registration numbers of the cars that their partner or friend gets into, which is quite a common form of mutual protection—it is very unlikely that either could be said to be "controlling" the other. It is also very unlikely that either could be said to be gaining from the prostitution of the other.

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Where one prostitute is exerting exploitative control over the other—for example, where she is working with a pimp to help him control prostitutes or exercising by herself a pimping role over other prostitutes and is gaining from that control—that is obviously a different sort of offence. If we accepted this amendment, we would not be able to cover such a situation. We do not think it is necessary to cover the situation that the noble Baroness has identified. We think it is sensible not to have such a provision in the Bill, for the reasons I have indicated. I hope that in the light of that reassurance the noble Baroness will feel able to withdraw her amendment.

Baroness Walmsley: I am grateful to the noble and learned Lord for the words of comfort that he has given to me from the Dispatch Box, which he of course realises is very significant in law. It will give comfort to sex workers who want to protect themselves in the way that I described. Therefore, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendments Nos. 308B and 309 not moved.]

Clause 58, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 59 [Arranging or facilitating child prostitution or pornography]:

[Amendment No. 310 not moved.]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton moved Amendment No. 311:


    Page 27, line 18, after "pornography" insert "in any part of the world".

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendments Nos. 312 to 313 not moved.]

Clause 59, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 60 [Sections 55 to 59: interpretation]:

[Amendment No. 314 not moved.]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton moved Amendment No. 315:


    Page 27, line 37, after "services" insert "(including sexual services)"

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Baroness Walmsley moved Amendment No. 316:


    Page 27, line 38, leave out paragraph (b).

The noble Baroness said: This is a probing amendment designed to tease out what is meant by "goodwill" in this context. Clauses 55 to 59 require the prosecution to prove, as an essential element to the offence, that the activity in question is done,


    "for or in the expectation of gain".

Gain is then defined in subsection Clause 60(2) in the terms set out.

I would like to know what the Government have in mind. Is it pleasing a potential employer or a superior, like Jack Lemmon did in providing a flat in which his boss could carry out an illicit assignation in the film "The Apartment"? That is not so far a criminal offence, as far as I know.

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I have no particular objection to the concept, provided that it is clearly established what the limits of the proposed criminality are. I would be most grateful if the noble and learned Lord could clarify that.


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