Advocates used a report backed by the United Nations that says selling sex should be legal, The Washington Times reported Friday.
The report by the Global Commission on HIV -- supported by the U.N. Development Program and Joint U.N. Program on HIV/AIDS -- called for an end to "punitive" laws, which it said are stifling efforts to prevent the transmission of HIV.
"Rather than punishing consenting adults involved in sex work, countries must ensure safe working conditions, and offer sex workers and their clients access to effective HIV and health services and commodities," the report said.
Anti-prostitution groups said legalizing prostitution is not the answer and oppose it on moral grounds, the Times reported.
"Legalizing and trivializing prostitution as just another job passes numerous problems on to government and society," said an editorial in Thailand's Bangkok Post Tuesday in response to the report. "Who will care for the health of the workers? How can society accept brothels as neighbors to schools?"