Human Trafficking & Prostitution- Our World #4

Prostitution legal and regulated Prostitution ...

Image via Wikipedia

The subject no-one wants to talk about, so you should be aware of the facts about an illicit trade that has gone on for centuries. It does no-good to think that it does not exist in your neighbour hoods, because chances are that it does. This evil is fueled by drugs, corruption and greed. If we want to stand-up and do something about it, we must first understand the problem at hand. Yes, you can close your eyes, you can avoid talking about it, until your child gets involved with drugs, or out of sheer desperation, to have more money, so they can be like the Jones’. Because, they want to have the I-phone, designer jeans and Brand names, so they look cool! Lets understand the problem before it is too late for us!

Prostitution is the act or practice of providing sexual services to another person in return for payment. People who execute such activities are called prostitutes. prostitution is one of the branches of the sex industry. The legal status of prostitution varies from country to country, from being a punishable crime to a regulated profession. Estimates place the annual revenue generated from the global prostitution industry to be over $100 billion.

Prostitution occurs in a variety of forms. Brothels are establishments specifically dedicated to prostitution. In escort prostitution, the act takes place at the customer’s residence or hotel room (referred to as out-call), or at the escort’s residence or in a hotel room rented for the occasion by the escort (called in-call). Another form is street prostitution. Sex tourism
refers to travelling, typically from developed to under-developed nations, to engage in sexual activity with prostitutes.

In some countries, there is controversy regarding the laws applicable to sex work. For instance, the legal stance of punishing pimping while keeping sex work legal but “underground” and risky is often denounced as hypocritical; opponents suggest either going the full abolition route and criminalize clients or making sex work a regulated business.

Many countries have sex worker advocacy groups which lobby against criminalization and discrimination of prostitutes. These groups generally oppose Nevada-style regulation and oversight, stating that prostitution should be treated like other professions. In the United States of America, one such group is COYOTE (an abbreviation for “Call Off Your Old Tired
Ethics”) and another is the North American Task Force on Prostitution. In Australia the lead sex worker rights organization is Scarlet Alliance. International prostitutes’ rights organizations include the International Committee for Prostitutes’ Rights and the Network of Sex Work Projects.

Prostitution is a significant issue in feminist thought and activism. Many feminists are opposed to prostitution, which they see as a form of exploitation of women and male dominance over women, and as a practice which is the result of the existing patriarchal societal order. These feminists argue that prostitution has a very negative effect, both on the prostitutes
themselves and on society as a whole, as it reinforces stereotypical views about women, who are seen as sex objects which can be used and abused by men. Other feminists hold that prostitution can be a valid choice for the women who choose to engage in it; in this view, prostitution must be differentiated from forced prostitution, and feminists should support sex worker activism against abuses by both the sex industryand the legal system.

For Sale!

Use of children

Regarding the prostitution of children the laws on prostitution as well as those on sex with a child apply. If prostitution in general is legal there is usually a minimum age requirement for legal prostitution that is higher than the general age of consent (see above for some examples). Although some countries do not single out patronage of child prostitution as a separate crime, the same act is punishable as sex with an underage person.

In India, the federal police say that around 1.2 million children are believed to be involved in prostitution. A CBI statement said that studies and surveys sponsored by the ministry of women and child development estimated that about 40% of all India’s prostitutes are children.

Thailand’s Health System Research Institute reported that children in prostitution make up 40% of prostitutes in Thailand.

Some adults travel to other countries to have access to sex with children, which is unavailable in their home country. Cambodia has become a notorious destination for sex with children. Thailand is also a destination for child sex tourism. Several western countries have recently enacted laws with extraterritorial reach, punishing citizens who engage in sex with minors in other countries. As the crime usually goes undiscovered, these laws are rarely enforced.

In illegal immigration

A difficulty facing migrant prostitutes in many developed countries is the illegal residence status of some of these women. They face potential deportation, and so do not have recourse to the law. Hence there are brothels that may not adhere to the usual legal standards intended to safeguard public health and the safety of the workers.

The immigration status of the persons who sell sexual services is – particularly in Western Europe – a controversial and highly debated political issue. Currently, in
most of these countries most prostitutes are immigrants, mainly from Eastern and Central Europe; in Spain and Italy 90% of prostitutes are estimated to be migrants, in Austria 78%, in Switzerland 75%, in Greece 73%, in Norway 70% (according to a 2009 TAMPEP report, Sex Work in Europe-A mapping of the prostitution scene in 25 European countries[54]).
An article in Le Monde diplomatique stated that 80% of prostitutes in Amsterdam were foreigners and 70% had no immigration papers.

Violence against prostitutes

Female prostitutes are at risk of violent crime, as well as possibly at higher risk of occupational mortality than any other group of women ever studied. For example, the homicide rate for female prostitutes was estimated to be 204 per 100,000, which is considerably higher than that for the next riskiest occupations in the United States during
a similar period (4 per 100,000 for female liquor store workers and 29 per 100,000 for male taxicab drivers) (Castillo et al., 1994). However, there are substantial differences in rates of victimization between street prostitutes and indoor prostitutes who work as escorts, call girls, or in brothels and massage parlors. While women who work on the streets are the most
likely to be victimized, attacks and even murders of prostitutes have also occurred in legal and licensed brothels (such as in the German brothel Pascha).

Sex tourism

Sex tourism is travel for sexual intercourse with prostitutes or to engage in other sexual activity. The World Tourism Organization, a specialized agency of the United Nations defines sex tourism as “trips organized from within the tourism sector, or from outside this sector but using its structures and networks, with the primary purpose of effecting a commercial
sexual relationship by the tourist with residents at the destination.” Often the term “sex tourism” is mistakenly interchanged with the term “child sex tourism“. As opposed to regular
sex tourism, which is often legal, a tourist who has sex with a child prostitute will usually be committing a crime in the host country, under the laws of his own country (notwithstanding him being outside of it) and against international law. Child sex tourism (CST) is defined as a travel to a foreign country for the purpose of engaging in commercially facilitated child sexual abuse. The term “child” is often used as defined by international law and refers to any person below the age of consent. Thailand, Cambodia, India, Brazil and Mexico have been identified as leading hotspots of child sexual exploitation.

Attitudes and legal issues

  • “Prostitution should be made to disappear”:
    • prohibitionism (both
      prostitutes and clients are criminalized and are seen as immoral, they
      are considered criminals): the prevailing attitude nearly everywhere in
      the United States, with a few exceptions in some
      rural Nevada
      counties (see Prostitution in Nevada).
    • abolitionism
    •  (prostitution itself is not prohibited, but most associated activities are illegal, in an attempt to make it more difficult to engage in prostitution, prostitution is heavily discouraged and seen as a social problem): prostitution (the exchange of sexual services for money) is  legal, but the surrounding activities such as public solicitation,
      operating a brothel  and other forms of pimping are prohibited, the current situation in the United Kingdom, Franceand Canada among others;
    • neo-abolitionism
      (“prostitution is a form of violence against women, it is a violation of human rights, the clients of the prostitutes exploit the prostitutes”): prostitutes are not prosecuted, but their clients and pimps are, which is the current situation in Sweden, Norway and Iceland (in Norway the law is even more strict, forbidding also having sex with a
      prostitute abroad).
  • “Prostitution should be tolerated by society”:
    • regulation: prostitution may be considered a legitimate business; prostitution and the employment of prostitutes are legal, but regulated; the current situation in the Netherlands, Germany, most of Australia and parts of Nevada (see Prostitution in Nevada). The degree of regulation varies very much, for example in Netherlands prostitutes are not required to undergo mandatory health checks (see Prostitution in the Netherlands) while in Nevada
      the regulations are very strict (see Prostitution in Nevada).
    • decriminalization: “prostitution is labor like any other. Sex industry premises should not be subject to any special regulation or laws”, the current situation in New Zealand; the laws against operating a brothel, pimping and street prostitution are struck down, but prostitution is hardly regulated at  all. Proponents of this view often cite instances of government regulation under legalization that they consider intrusive, demeaning, or violent, but feel that criminalization adversely affects sex workers.

Simply putting the facts on the table, accept it or not, its’ your call!” Hotdogfish!