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Sex Industry

Volume 404: debated on Tuesday 15 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the number of (a) men and (b) women known to be working in the sex industry who have (i) reported being raped and (ii) been murdered in the United Kingdom in each of the last five years. [108051]

The Crime Statistics, published annually, do not identify victims of rape or murder in terms of whether or not they are/were prostitutes.The Government takes this issue very seriously. We are currently examining the scope for a review of prostitution and associated issues.The Sexual Offences Bill, currently in the House of Lords also introduces new legislation to deal with trafficking for sexual exploitation. Provisions in the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, which came into force last month, are only a stop-gap measure until this more comprehensive legislation is introduced. The new offences in the Bill tackle the movement of people into, within and out of the UK for the purposes of sexual exploitation, and will carry maximum penalties of 14 years imprisonment. Obviously we hope that these offences will reduce the number of people being trafficked for sexual exploitation, and subjected to such violence.