MOSCOW, November 26 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Right Cause party said on Monday it was considering including the legalization of prostitution in its platform if public opinion favors it.
“We want to bring attention to the problem that these women work in completely unbearable conditions and are used like slaves and then thrown on the street as useful to no one,” party spokesman Andrei Dunayev said an interview in the Izvestia daily. “They are often pimped by criminals or quite frequently by crooked cops,” he added.
The subject of legalizing prostitution is of enormous interest to the public, he said.
“I was amazed that…this topic got so much attention,” Dunayev said. “This is not a stand-alone topic, but should be dealt with along with the issue of slavery as a whole. It concerns women working in the sex industry and also foreign guest workers who live in cattle-like conditions,” he said.
Legalizing prostitution would allow women to enjoy the same rights as other workers, and open brothels, giving them a safe working environment, “access to regular medical checks and the retirement system,” he said.
Right Cause is to commission a survey in January 2013 by two leading polling organizations to test public opinion on the subject of legalizing prostitution.
Prostitution in Russia is currently not a criminal offense but is a minor administrative offense punishable by a fine of up to 2,000 rubles ($65). Organizing prostitution, however is punishable by up to five years in prison, according to the Interior Ministry.
A number of European nations have already legalized prostitution including Austria, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, and the Netherlands.