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Paloma Viegas

Common Law

Year of study:


Breaking the Silence: Unveiling the Humanity Within Prostitution Legislation


In the shadows of society's consciousness, lies a realm fraught with pain and exploitation – prostitution. As we embark on this emotional journey, we confront the harsh realities woven into the fabric of our communities. The backdrop is one of acknowledgment – the UK government's recognition of the myriad harms that plague the lives of those ensnared in the world of prostitution. From the dark tendrils of organized crime to the heart-wrenching stories of abuse and exploitation, the multifaceted nature of these harms pierces the soul.
Yet, within this landscape of despair, our legal framework stands as a paradox - while not directly outlawing prostitution, it criminalizes associated activities. The 2014 All Party Parliamentary Group report exposes this inefficiency, calling for much-needed reform amidst a chorus of voices demanding change. Different opinions clash loudly: some support legalizing prostitution for safety and to reduce stigma, while others demand its abolition, condemning its inherent exploitation. Yet, amidst this divide, the urgent call for protection rings out. In the shadows, vulnerability lurks – vulnerability to coercion, violence, and the cruel whims of fate. As we journey beyond borders, we confront the global mosaic of legislative approaches, from legalization to the Nordic Model, each with its successes and failures. Yet, amid the chaos, a glimmer of hope remains – hope for better laws, hope for societal progress, and hope for the safeguarding of those too often silenced.
As we approach understanding, we see the complexity of prostitution laws. But within this complexity lies a fundamental part of who we are – ongoing debates, careful analysis, and a strong dedication to balancing protection with justice. In this delicate balance, we may find comfort amidst the turmoil, and maybe even a chance for those in need to find hope.


Tori Amos once said, “Sometimes you have to do what you don’t like to get to where you want to be.” This has gotten me through so much of the life I have lived so far, and I believe is also very relevant to the research I hope to present.  I was born and raised in Dubai with an Indian heritage and enjoy travelling across countries and continents. This alongside my passion for reading has helped me draw the conclusion that no matter who you are or who surrounds you, you live an entirely unique life, you are subject to different circumstances and therefore make different choices. This was one of the primary reasons I chose to pursue a career in law. My passions within the subject lie within the realm of research to understand why people make the choices they do and to understand how the law and most importantly how society perceives these choices.

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