My view on this is clear. I simply do not believe that any more than an eccentric few go into prostitution through genuine preference. Prostitutes tend to enter the job young and to come from deprived backgrounds. Many have histories of abuse and addiction.
MEP for London and Labourâs spokesperson for women in Europe
A pro-European feminist of a pacifist disposition, Mary has been Labour MEP for London since 2000. She sits on the Womanâs Rights and Gender Equality Committee and the Culture and Education Committee, and is a strident campaigner on issues including equal pay, sex trafficking and Britainâs role in Europe.
2014 will be a big year for the issue of prostitution. France and Ireland are both looking to move towards a Swedish-style system - which criminalises buying sex but legalises selling it - and Holland and Germany appear to be retreating from their previous laissez-faire stances. Countries like Britain (which has a muddled approach) are coming to a crossroads, and will need to choose their path: Swedish or Dutch.
23/01/2014 11:48 GMT
I believe, like countless others, that staying in Europe is the only way of securing Britain's future prosperity. But for me these economic arguments run deeper, to the core question of what type of country we want to be.
03/12/2013 17:19 GMT
Ahrendts' departure was timely, coming on the same day as European Parliament committees voted in favour of draft legislation requiring 40% representation for women among non-executive board members... London, Europe's main financial centre and home to some of the world's largest companies, should be leading the way on this issue.
15/10/2013 17:03 BST
Blanket criminalisation clearly isn't working. It doesn't address the core problem, and sometimes perpetuates it; prostitutes are convicted, criminalised, have less of a route out than before, and thus return to the sex industry. A subterranean economy is created, which is demeaning at best and dangerous at worst. So, if the current system is failing then where do we go from here? This is the question I've tried to answer through my work at the EU. There are two alternatives for the UK. The first is the well-publicised Dutch model, which legalises both being a sex worker and using one.
04/10/2013 16:51 BST
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements. Learn more