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Nurses call for legalised brothels

Nurses have called for the legalisation of mini brothels to protect prostitutes from the threat of violence.

The move would also make it easier for health workers to give sex advice, condoms and test for sexually-transmitted diseases, while helping them address problems of alcohol and drug abuse among prostitutes, they said.

At a Royal College of Nursing (RCN) conference in Harrogate, 93% of nurses voted in favour of allowing such mini brothels.

Each of these could see up to four prostitutes work without fear of prosecution.

A similar plan was dropped by the Home Office in 2006 after local communities opposed it, fearing it would cause more brothels to appear. The Home Office also failed to gather enough evidence that such establishments would be safe.

Carol Watts, a nurse from Cambridgeshire who introduced the motion at the RCN conference, said: "This is not a debate about whether prostitution is right or wrong - it is about whether this legislation will protect sex workers.

"Allowing these workers to have the same standards of safety as others in the community is surely what we should all be responsible for."

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"This would allow women to work in more safe places and reduce the potential for harm." - Kathy French, Bromley