Most people in this country feel as though if we legalize prostitution, that sex trafficking will go away. However, there is still no arguments I have heard or read that has help me agree with this argument. At this time from the research that FCAHT has read, it seems as though legalizing prostitution would have the reverse effect. For example, in Germany, once the legalized prostitution, sex trafficking cases increased by 70%. This is not a good thing. If prostitution in America were to be legalized, our numbers would definitely double.
Please read this guest column and see if you too agree with this LSU student.
Guest Column: Making prostitution legal is a step in the wrong direction
By Jennie Armstrong
Special to The Daily Reveille
Published: Sunday, November 14, 2010
Updated: Sunday, November 14, 2010 23:11
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Editor’s note: This guest column was written in response to Zachary Davis’ Nov. 7 column “Marijuana and prostitution should be legal, taxable in U.S.”
It seems there’s been a lot of talk in America lately about changes in major social laws — everything from legalizing marijuana and eradicating the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy to legalizing and regulating prostitution.
While I respect and many times agree with the idealism that more social freedom and regulation may lead to a boost in our wavering economy and (for argument’s sake) our country’s image, it’s imperative to point out why legalizing prostitution is definitely not the “solution” our country — or any country for that matter — needs.
There are a variety of reasons why people are interested in seeing a legal sex trade in the United States. More tax revenue could be pumped into our economy, and fewer STDs would be passed around because prostitutes would have to be registered and undergo periodic health checks.
While this may look good on paper, the reality is the legalization of prostitution opens the doors for sex trafficking and the exploitation of young girls and women around the world.
Case studies show that the legalization and decriminalization of prostitution is a root cause of the rapid expansion of sex trafficking in the 21st century. Let’s take a look.
A 2001 New York Times article by Suzanne Daley reported that the legalization of prostitution in the Netherlands correlated with an influx of foreigners trafficked across their borders. Legalizing prostitution in the Netherlands didn’t control it — it expanded it by 25 percent.
After Germany legalized prostitution, studies showed that nine out of 10 women found in the brothels were foreigners trafficked from eastern Europe.
The legalization of prostitution in Australia led to an increased number of eastern Asian women trafficked across its borders and sold as sex slaves in so-called “regulated brothels.”
In the U.S., Nevada is the only state that has legalized prostitution. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Nevada has the highest rate of child prostitution in the U.S. and is one of the most likely destinations for human trafficking.
Does it seem like legalizing prostitution is a solution now?
Women sold into sex trafficking, whether it occurs in countries where prostitution is legal or not, suffer from extreme abuse, malnutrition and loss of the basic human right to life. These women are forced to serve up to 40 men a day, and once they are considered ‘used up,’ they are left to die.
Many women who end up trafficked are trying to escape poverty, gender discrimination and violence in search of a better life but get sold by third-parties to traffickers, many of whom sell them as sex slaves repeatedly in countries where prostitution is legal.
In America, a cop is not going to approach someone running a hot dog stand because it is a perfectly legal activity. In places where prostitution is legal and said to be ‘severely regulated,’ cops are not going to stop and question girls standing on the corner, either.
The problem is most of these young girls and women are there completely against their will.
With an estimated 27 million people currently enslaved — 80 percent of which are women and children sold into sex slavery — now is not the time to legalize the sex industry. We must unite and work to create policies to combat sex trafficking, not support laws that would expand it. We must spread awareness of this issue and mobilize our community to fight it.
We must be the change.
Every 47 seconds in Greece (where prostitution is legal), a girl is sold within a brothel completely against her will. In the time it took you to read this article, how many women do you think were sold into sex slavery?
Do you still think legalizing prostitution would be the answer to solving this injustice?
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