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UK court rules former prostitutes should not have to reveal past charges

[JURIST] The UK High Court [judicial website] ruled [judgment] Thursday that those convicted of prostitution do not have to reveal that conviction.

The plaintiffs were three women who were "groomed, trafficked, and prostituted" as teenagers and were later convicted of "loitering or soliciting in a street or public place for the purpose of prostitution" multiple times as adults. Although all three of the women stopped participating in sex work, they found it difficult to find employment because of their criminal records.

The court held "the disclosures required ... were not based on any rational assessment of risk and so failed the test of being necessary in a democratic society," because in this case, the plaintiffs provided a very low, if any, risk to society. The court said a better test was needed to balance public interest with the rights to individuals to be employed and criticized the "blanket approach."

In January a US federal court struck down [JURIST report] a challenge to a California prostitution ban. In May 2016 Amnesty International called for [JURIST report] a formal decriminalization of adult sex work. A month before the French Parliament passed [JURIST report] an anti-prostitution bill.

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