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Prostitution is Not a Victimless Crime

Human+trafficking+has+become+the+second+largest+criminal+industry+in+the+world%2C+surpassing+even+firearms.
Human trafficking has become the second largest criminal industry in the world, surpassing even firearms.

Human trafficking has become the second largest criminal industry in the world, surpassing even firearms.

Human trafficking has become the second largest criminal industry in the world, surpassing even firearms.

Trevor Branch, Author

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Each day, more and more people speak up against the illegality of prostitution, claiming it is a violation of the people’s rights to their own bodies and is a crime without merit. Politicians from all over the United States have proposed bills hoping to label sex work as a legal profession, but prostitution is not the victimless crime many see it to be.

Human trafficking is the third largest illegal industry in the world, following drugs and firearms. According the Polaris Project, approximately 21 million people are currently in forced labor, with many of them trapped in forced sexual exploitation. With prostitution illegal, it is much easier for officials to detect victims of forced prostitution. By providing sexual acts in exchange for money, goods or services, the individual has already exposed him or herself.

But if this exchange is legalized, there will be no way for officials to remove victims from the sex-trade, nor will they be able to investigate traffickers due to the fact that prostitution alone will not be enough to raise suspicion. There will be little proof to indicate that the labor is forced and not consensual.

Some politicians have claimed that by legalizing prostitution, clients will have the option to choose workers who appear to work under consensual conditions. Not only that, but consensual workers have spoken up about the benefits associated with legalized prostitution. For instance Kimberlee Cline, an independent worker based in Calif., has remarked that legalization will provide new health and safety measures, political representation, and individual rights and will allow prostitution to occur in safer locations outside of the underground. What they fail to realize, however, is that many customers of the industry are well-aware of the circumstances of the prostitutes and will continue to abuse and rape forced sex-workers (except now there will be no repercussions if exposed, as prostitution will no longer be a crime). Not only this, but most victims of human trafficking are children (under the age of 18), allowing individuals to carry out illegal fantasies without consequences.

Regulating the industry and requiring individuals to register themselves (i.e. requiring a federal permit to provide sex services) and provide proof of medical inspection may be a possible solution, but this topic must be approached in a manner that does not turn our backs on the victims of slavery within the U.S.

The illegality of prostitution should not be considered definite and irreversible, but people must be informed of the risks associated with making sex work a legitimate profession and be made aware of the victims of a so-called victimless crime.

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.   – 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

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Prostitution is Not a Victimless Crime