Vatican call to punish prostitution clients

The Vatican is calling for clients of prostitutes to not only face legal action but to also receive counseling and other help to stem what it called a form of "modern day slavery."

Associated Press reports that the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People has also called for greater protection of women through better enforced laws on prostitution and trafficking. It also urged the church and community at large to provide alternatives to women who are trafficked or otherwise forced into prostitution.

The recommendations are contained in a communique issued on Monday that stemmed from a two-day symposium on prostitution and human trafficking that the Vatican hosted last month.

In the document, the Vatican called for the clients of prostitutes to be punished, since they fuel the industry, but also to be counselled about why they are buying sex and how it demeans women.

"The 'client' needs more than social condemnation and having to face the full rigors of the law," the communique said. "He must also be helped to face his deeper problems and to find other ways of dealing with his personal needs. Buying sex from a prostitute does not solve problems that arise from loneliness, frustration or a lack of true relationships."

Women forced into prostitution must be protected by the law because they are victims of violence and exploitation and have had their fundamental human rights violated, it said.

Vatican: Punish Clients of Prostitution (The Herald-Sun Durham North Carolina/Associated Press 12/7/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Church's Strategy to Help Women of the Street (Zenit 11/7/05)
Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People
Stop Trafficking: Anti-Human Trafficking Newsletter

Vatican says fight sex work by stemming demand (CathNews 22/6/05)
Vatican Calls for Pastoral Reflection on "Women of the Street" (CathNews 17/6/05)
Youth crusader warns on child sex trafficking (CathNews 19/11/04)
Joint effort to fight trafficking of women and children (CathNews 17/11/04)
Vatican observer warns against "lawless" sex tourism (8/4/03)

Vatican: Church must play bigger role fighting trafficking of women (Catholic News Service 11/7/05)
Prostitution Is a Form of Modern Day Slavery (Vatican Information Service 12/7/05)
Vatican Weighs In On Prostitution (Associated Press/CBS 12/7/05)
Prostitution is modern slavery: Vatican document (Catholic World News 12/7/05)

13 Jul 2005