London Olympic mega-brothels a worry for clerics

Wed Jan 21, 2009 8:23am EST
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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Church of England dioceses are to call for a government crackdown on human trafficking in the run-up to the London 2012 Olympics to prevent a repeat of the "mega brothels" set up in German cities for the 2006 World Cup.

Church members will discuss the matter at a General Synod next month following a motion set down by the dioceses of Newcastle and Winchester.

"We do not want this same kind of thing for London 2012," said the Revd. Canon Michael Webb of Newcastle Diocese.

"Anything like slavery is wrong, but as Christians we are concerned that this is not how God treats people."

The dioceses called for the government, police and officials to combat the "evil trade" of trafficking and forced prostitution through legislation and enforcement.

They pointed to the World Cup in Germany, where, they said, city officials adopted a "pragmatic" approach toward catering for the sexual desires of the estimated three million football fans who attended the tournament.

"Sex huts" or "sex garages" for prostitution were set up, filled with 40,000 extra prostitutes, while special licenses were issued allowing prostitutes to offer sex on the street, they said in a background paper.

Some studies however suggested that prostitution levels may have in fact decreased during the World Cup.

The dioceses also pointed to a campaign to legalize prostitution and brothels in South Africa in time for the 2010 World Cup.   Continued...

<p>A prostitute says goodbye to a guest at the infamous brothel 'Hotel Luxor' at the Reeperbahn red-light district in Hamburg March 18, 2008. REUTERS/Christian Charisius</p>