Where to open your brothel: an international comparison

Plus: Russia’s military muscle, and how many British homes have rats

8 March 2014

9:00 AM

8 March 2014

9:00 AM

The best places to open a brothel

The Commons all-party group on prostitution has called for a Scandinavian-style law where selling sex would not be illegal but buying it would be. How does the world treat prostitution?
— In a survey of 100 countries by the educational charity ProCon, 50 were judged to treat prostitution as illegal, 39 as legal, with the remaining 11 making it an offence in some instances.
— Among the most liberal were Canada, where laws against brothel ownership and pimping were recently overturned by the supreme court, the Netherlands, Germany, New Zealand and Greece.
— The most severe criminal sanctions were found in Iran, where prostitutes face the death penalty, Iraq, Kenya and Saudi Arabia.

You and whose army?

The imbalance between the Russian and Ukrainian militaries:

Military personnel 845,000
Armoured vehicles 27,600
Warplanes 3,000
Warships 352
Military personnel 123,000
Armoured vehicles 6,430
Warplanes 400
Warships 25

Under Ukraine’s independence agreement Russia is allowed 25,000 troops in Crimea. Ukraine has 14,500 there.

Of human bondage

Various estimates of how many people are still living in enslavement:
— About 4,500 in Britain (Global Slavery Index, 2013)
2.7m worldwide (Anti-Slavery Society 1995)
12.3m worldwide (International Labour Organisation 2005)
20.9m worldwide (International Labour Organisation 2012, rounded to 21m by 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen in his Oscar acceptance speech last week)
27 million worldwide (Kevin Bales, University of Roehampton 2000)
29 million worldwide (Walk Free Foundation 2013).

Rat race

Several councils announced that they were to start charging for tackling rat infestations. What percentage of occupied properties in England have a rodent problem?

Mice inside 1.4%
Rats inside 0.3%
Rats outside 2.9%
Mice inside 2%
Rats inside 0.4%
Rats outside 3%

Source: English Housing Condition Survey, now defunct

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