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Prostitution and Euro2012

March 11, 2012

Elsewhere in cyberspace, in the Ukrainian and Russian forums to be exact, a debate is running relating to prostitution and the Euro2012 football tournament to be held here in about 3 months time.

The debate is along the lines of prostitution remaining illegal and thus those traveling foreign fans, some of whom hail from nations where prostitution is legal, regulated and taxed by the State,  falling foul of the local police when indulging in carnal pleasures, or whether it should be legalised for the duration of the tournament in the hosting cities (or at least not pursued by the police for the duration of the tournament) or whether it should be legalised (or decriminalised)  anyway.

Should Ukraine follow the German (and others) route with regulation and tax, or should it keep its own domestic laws as they are?

Should the authorities turn a discrete blind eye during the tournament, particularly in regard to foreign fans and avoid unnecessarily arresting foreigners and the diplomatic issues related to persons detained?

See no evil......

All very tricky when good arguments can be made for all 3 options.  As it happens this is more of a philosophical debate than a real policy debate as there is little noise coming from the RADA relating to the issue at all.  Thus the law is unlikely to change.  That does not mean, of course, the blind eye policy will not be quietly encouraged.

Fortunately I live in a city that is not hosting the tournament so these issues will not affect Odessa unless the law does change.  One suspects that it is only a matter of time before somebody in the EU thinks it is a good idea to recognise prostitution as a profession and regulate and tax it similar to Germany across the entire EU block, but that is something for the future one suspects.

For me, the core issue is not one of prostitution being legal or otherwise.  It will happen regardless.  It is the question of choice of those involved in such activities.  There are some involved, male and female, who do this through absolute free choice.  There are others forced and coerced into it.  The latter to me is completely and utterly unacceptable.  The former as far as I am concerned is fair enough.

There are of course social issues when it comes to known red light districts for those residents who live there and are not involved in such activities but that is a regulatory and enforcement issue which some nations cope with quite well and others fail miserably at.

Now I have to make a full disclosure and say I don’t know any prostitutes who work the streets of Odessa.  I do know a Madame and several escorts who work for her but on no account work the streets or the bars and clubs.  I suppose at $100 per hour to visit a local hotel by appointment, there is no requirement to work for less or to have to hunt out men in bars and clubs at lesser fees and with the overheads of club entry.

To be honest it is not a conversation I have ever had with any of the ladies involved and I should point out rather robustly that as a married man whose wife also knows the Madam and the same escorts I do, then I have never met them in their professional capacity.  In fact the only reason I know them is via my wife and she knows the Madam from her school days.

It is difficult to say the escorts involved are doing it against their will.  They work only 3 or 4 days a week and also work unaccompanied across Europe for several days at a time via the services offered by this business and earning a very respectable Euro 1500 – 2000 per day.

It seems to me to be very different from those poor men and women who are forced into such a profession against their will, which is where my objections I have to such a business lay.

An interesting and quite passionate debate nonetheless on the local forums, with debaters of both sexes on all sides of the discussion.

One wonders how the Ukrainian authorities will deal with this issue when it rears its head in a few months time.

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