What is the definition of decriminalisation of sex work?
There is no official definition of legalized or decriminalized prostitution. Those who are not familiar with the contemporary discussion about prostitution law reform usually use the term “legalization” to mean any alternative to absolute criminalization, ranging from licensing of brothels to the lack of specific laws dealing with prostitution. Most references to law reform in the media and in other contemporary contexts use the term ‘legalization’ to refer to any system that allows some prostitution. These common definitions of legalization are extremely broad. Conflicting interpretations of this term often cause confusion in discussions concerning law reform. ..There is much work to be done to create a meaningful framework for discussion of prostitutes’ rights. Each of the linguistic approaches can be problematic: The term legalization is overly broad. The term decriminalization has not worked its way into a contemporary discussion and can elicit confusion and misinterpretation. Obviously, all these terms will be evoked in thorough discussion of the issues. Consensus regarding definitions should be established early. As the discourse develops, it is essential that terms be developed from the perspective of those who will be affected by the legislation.
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