On 19 June 2020, Carlotta Rigotti will present her paper Prostitution Laws across the European Union: To Go beyond the Existing Dichotomy, at the First International Workshop on Gender Based Approach to the Law and Juris Dictio in Europe, hosted by the Universitá di Pisa.
By representing a major ideological target for policy makers and scholars, prostitution has often been a thorny issue to analyse. Accordingly, relating legal discourses tend to be extremely polarised in their theoretical premises and usually rely on the conflicting dichotomy between prostitution ‘as violence’ and ‘a job like another’. To date, whilst the European Union refrains from including ‘the oldest profession in the world’ in its Strategic Engagement for Gender Equality, Member States are reflecting such dualistic paradigm by means of neo-prohibitionism (where criminalisation is merely addressed to the client), abolitionism (where all the ancillary activities are prosecuted) and neo-regolamentarism (where prostitution is legalised and regulated by law).
Against this background, the presentation will seek to understand to what extent the legal reasonings behind these frameworks are divergent and whether the legal solutions in force are suitable and effective within the multi-faced realm of prostitution. In addition, the final aim is to define potential criteria that could go beyond existing policies, while taking into account that prostitution deals with both social order and fundamental rights.
When it comes to methodology, the presentation will be limited to the female provision of sexual services amongst heterosexual adults, clarifying the terminological difference amongst prostitution, sex work and human trafficking for sexual exploitation. The analysis will be carried out through comparative lens and will be mainly focused on the legal systems of Italy (abolitionism), France (neo-prohibitionism) and Germany (neo-regolamentarism).