Prostitution. Prostitution is known as the practice of engaging in sexual activity for money. In many countries, prostitution is illegal, but that does not stop it from occurring. Anyone can go anywhere and find a prostitute. Unfortunately, many prostitutes are forced into their occupation by a pimp, but there are also many that want to do it. Some women argue that prostitution is empowering and gives them the ability to do what they want with their body when they want. Personally, standing on a corner and having sex with random men that could potentially kill me just does not sound empowering, but that’s just me. The link between prostitution and human trafficking is highly debated. Some believe legalizing prostitution will decrease human trafficking because people will choose the legal option along with providing a safer environment for prostitutes while others argue that legalizing prostitution will fuel the demand for human trafficking.
Thanks to the Netherlands, Germany, New Zealand, and different states in Australia, data on whether legalizing prostitution decreases rates of human trafficking is available. All of the places above have either legalized or decriminalized prostitution. Though prostitution is legal, specific regulations on the sex industry were implemented. After years of legal prostitution, not one of the countries reported a decrease in human trafficking or illegal prostitution according to Equality Now. In fact, many reported that the new laws made it more difficult to prosecute those involved in trafficking or go into brothels and search for trafficked victims. Equality Now reported, “In 2009 the University of Queensland found that an estimated 90% of the commercial sex industry existed outside the legal sex industry as “illegal forms of prostitution cater for a demand that is not met by the legal industry.” Ultimately, there was not a notable decrease in human trafficking. There was still a demand for underage children. Pimps were still around. If anything, there was more trafficking that was going undetected. Prostitutes were still put in situations they did not want to be in and they were not free to do what they wanted to do.
Looking at the data presented by Equality Now and many of the articles I looked at on the topic, there is not much data. There are many statements saying that legalizing prostitution did not decrease human trafficking, but the numbers were not always there. That being said, much of the data available came from credible sources such as the University of Queensland. Once again, finding specific data on human trafficking is scarce. It is hard to find the data online and even harder to be the person having to come up with the data.
So what does this data mean? Why is it important? Who cares? Well.. first off, legalizing prostitution does not seem to have a positive affect on anyone involved. Therefore, prostitution should not be legalized in the United States, not like it ever would be, but now there’s data to show it will not help anything. And second off, more data on human trafficking must be collected. I know that is not an easy task, but with little data, the topic can be highly debated with people on both sides saying it happens all the time and others saying it never happens and the numbers available are skewed. Personally, I want to see human trafficking taken down. Demolished. Never to be seen again. Probably not a very realistic goal, but it is obvious that legalizing prostitution will not aid in the efforts to decrease human trafficking. Something else needs to be done. What may that be? I really do not know, but the more I learn, the more I can help.