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Discussion show hosted by Sian Williams. Should it be legal to pay for sex? Does social media bring out the worst in us? Does belief in the afterlife make you a better person?

Should the sex trade be decriminalised?

Human rights group Amnesty International has voted to support the decriminalisation of prostitution at their International Council Meeting in Dublin. The resolution recommends the full decriminalisation of all aspects of consensual sex work including the buying and selling of sex. They argue that decriminalisation is the best way to protect the human rights of sex workers.

Some proponents also see the decriminalisation of prostitution as simply an extension of the idea that two consenting adults should be able to have sex without the interference of the government.

However, there is opposition to the idea, most prominently from actors like Lena Dunham, Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet and many others. They were included in a list of signatories on a letter to Amnesty International written by the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women. It said that the decriminalisation policy "flies in the face of Amnesty International's historical reputation." It also said the organisation's proposal was "incomprehensible", and said the decriminalisation of prostitution would increase the rates of trafficking and abuse.

So would decriminalising the sex trade help protect some of the most vulnerable in society? Or does it send out the message that sex is a commercial product and that women's bodies can be bought and sold?

Joining Sian Williams this week are:
Kiran Bali - CEO of United Religions Initiative UK
Nick Ferrari - talk show host
Anne Atkins - Christian commentator
Charlotte Rose - sex worker

Also on the programme:

Does social media bring out the worst in us?

A 14-year-old boy who stabbed a supply teacher in a racially-motivated attack in Bradford has, this week, been sentenced to 11 years detention. About 20 minutes after the attack the boy posted a message on Facebook boasting about what he'd done. The post received at least 69 ''likes'', the court heard. At a sentencing hearing for the teenager, the judge in the case said those who had acted in this way were "sick". He said: "It's an appalling reflection on a small microcosm of our society that within minutes or hours after posting, 69 people 'liked'. How sick."

Just what impact has social media had on us as a society? Does the anonymity it grants bring out the worst in us? Or is it generally a tool for good, shining a light on the disturbing elements in our society which would otherwise remain hidden.

Nikki Bedi interviews Kellie Maloney. She talks about frankly about boxing, family and faith as International Transgender Awareness Day is marked this weekend.

Does belief in the afterlife make you a better person?

Saturday marks the Catholic feast day of The Assumption of Mary. The day celebrates Mary being taken into heaven body and soul. It is also celebrated by some Anglican traditions. Mary was able to enter heaven in her human body as she was untouched by original sin. To many Christians nowadays the thought of heaven (and indeed hell) has a huge impact on the way they live their lives as they look forward to the rewards of heaven. So, does a belief in the afterlife lead us to make more considerate life choices, or is it an old-fashioned concept designed to keep people under control?

We also hear from a person who believes they visited heaven after dying temporarily - completely changing the way they lived their life after recovering.

Professor Steve Jones joins the panel for this debate.

Rapper and poet, Akala will perform at the end of the programme.

1 hour

Last on

Sun 16 Aug 2015 10:00


Role Contributor
Presenter Sian Williams
Production Coordinator Caoimhe Cassidy
Producer Neil Dimmock
Assistant Producer Sarah Carson
Participant Kiran Bali
Participant Nick Ferrari
Participant Anne Atkins
Participant Charlotte Rose
Participant Nikki Bedi
Interviewed Guest Kellie Maloney
Participant Steve Jones
Performer Akala