The owner of brothels, too, must apply for and obtain yearly renewable license to operate brothel business. Such applications shall certify that the brothel owner only employs prostitutes who have attained the requisite age, have satisfied the requirements for and have obtained written proof of a valid health license, and are working as prostitutes of their own volition, without being coerced into working as prostitutes31. It is the responsibility of brothel owner to dismiss and report to the licensing body if any woman is later found to be STD positive.
Failure to do so would risk severe financial penalty and their license being suspended or revoked. Repeated breach of these requirements will lead to imprisonment. Setting a licensing system is effective in obtaining information about prostitutes and brothels, as well as locating and protecting prostitutes if anything goes wrong, for example an outbreak of STD or serial murder of prostitutes. The licensing system also controls the sex industry by limiting the number of prostitutes and ensuring that brothel owners meet the zoning criteria mentioned above.
According to the Becker model, in order to deter prostitutes, pimps and clients from violating the law, the severity of legal sanction and the frequency of law enforcement must be the same or higher than the benefit of committing criminal prostitution. Thus, law enforcement such as police patrols and undercover investigations will be made frequently, and the sanctions imposed will range from warning to more severe form of mandatory imprisonment depending on the seriousness of the offence.
On a global perspective, every country should adopt similar, if not the same, rules on the regulation and sanctions of prostitution. This could reduce human trafficking offences since criminals would not have incentive to trade women overseas, and also to prevent prostitutes from relegating to other countries that adopt an abolitionist approach to prostitution, or where the legal enforcement and sanctions are low. Prostitutes under my framework are required to pay taxes just like other working citizens but are not eligible for unemployment compensation and social security benefits32.
Rather than try to impose certain choices by outlawing commercial sex, the state can and should, through non-legal mechanism, ensure that a woman's choice is as informed and free as possible. Free choice can be encouraged by offering education, job training and counselling programs to assist sex workers to exit prostitution33. Limitation and Weakness My framework aimed at achieving the said goals is likely to make the sex industry even more attractive for women to enter prostitution industry than when it is criminalized34.
To them, sex work is seen as a legal source of income and would enter that industry to make ends meet, knowing that many common problems associated with legalized prostitution have been taken care of. Also, as in most countries regulating prostitution, illegal and unregulated street prostitution continues to coexist with regulated prostitution35. This is because there will be a number of prostitutes who do not want to be registered due to the troublesome procedural requirements, unwillingly to pay tax or share their income with brothel owners, underage, failed or refuse to undergo health screening, and they prefer to work illegally.
My framework may thus be criticised for forcing these prostitutes to go underground. When many of these prostitutes go underground, it becomes more difficult for public health and social workers to reach prostitutes and to provide them with health care, counselling programs, protection against violence and alternate employment opportunities36. My framework stresses on vigorous law enforcement as an effective deterrence of criminal prostitution. However, there are four main obstacles that my framework faces in enforcing prostitution law.
Firstly, with limited financial and manpower resources, police tend to adopt selective enforcement and not to rigorously impose prostitution law so long as the trade remains relatively unnoticed37. Secondly, with the development of internet prostitution, criminal enforcement requires more resources and sophistication, and is ever less likely to succeed38. Thirdly, bribery and corruption are inevitable when public authorities have discretion in granting prostitution licenses.
Fourthly, local authorities and brothel owners could gang up, for their private interest, to limit the number of brothels so that the existing brothel owners can monopolise sex industry and earn more profit. All these factors would help criminal prostitution to survive. Furthermore, my framework seeks to impose a range of penalties and sanctions with different severity to prevent prostitutes, johns and other interested parties from violating the law.
Most of the more severe offences, such as human trafficking, forcing and deceiving women into prostitution, repeatedly violating the zoning, age and licence requirement, would lead to a sentence in jail. The heavy penalties and sanctions imposed on the offenders again may force prostitution to go underground. Moreover, statistics has shown that 70% of female inmates in American prisons were initially arrested for prostitution. Overcrowded? The cost of these sanctions would be distributed to the taxpayers. Lastly, my framework cannot be applied effectively especially in developing countries like Thailand which rely heavily on sex tourism.
In such countries, where prostitution is illegal, the government would turn a blind eye to prostitution bans and its legal enforcements to allow the sex industry generates massive income for the country. Conclusion My framework which is based on legalization model would not solve all of the problems related to prostitution, especially where there are intrinsic problems of poverty and underdevelopment or huge social inequality, but would create an environment in which prostitutes could gain protection, self-esteem, become more empowered, and better standing in the society39.
Also, by making selling of sex a criminal prostitution if the prostitution is performed in a public area, involving minors, involving coercion of persons to be or become prostitutes, or performed by prostitutes who have failed to acquire a valid health license. Despite its weakness, I believe my framework will be effective to reduce most harms and problems of prostitution to both the society and prostitutes.