History is riddled with human beings using other human beings as their personal property. From the Roman Empire, to medieval Europe, to America’s cotton fields of yesterday, to its cities and towns of today; human slavery is real, it is now, and it needs your help to be stopped. Some people say that prostitution is the world’s oldest profession, and that it has always existed and always will. Since there are not resources available for human trafficking, modern day slavery, which includes the sexual slavery of prostitution, this essay is about the negative effects of prostitution and the argument that some people make that it should be legal. This will then be compared with the argument explored in my previous essay dealing with the negative consequences that human trafficking brings to the world.
According to Procon.com, which summarizes the pros and cons on various issues, those who want to see that prostitution should be legal say that it would cause crime to go down, help public health, bring in bigger tax revenues, help people out of poverty and get prostitutes off the streets. They say that two adults who consent to make their own choices can do what they want. They say that prostitution has no victims because people who do it do it on their own free will (prostitution.procon.org). Throughout the world there are various countries where prostitution is legal. In the United States there are 11 counties in the state of Nevada where it is legal.
There are different thoughts on the issue. One person, Walk Walman in his NY Times article “Criminalize Only The Buying of Sex” does not believe that only the people buying the prostitutes and not the prostitutes themselves.
The fact of the matter is though. Rachel Lloyd, the author of the book about human trafficking “Girls Like Us” believes that legalizing it leads to more human trafficking where people are forced to have sex with others. She believes this because she believes if you create a legal supply, you will create a demand and there will not be enough willing people to fulfill this (Lloyd).
If her premise is right, and her reasoning is sound, then letting prostitution be legal will cause many more people to be illegally forced into prostitution. The trafficking of human beings to be sold as sex, labor, or companionship slaves; sold for organ harvesting, or kidnapped from their families and sold in orphanages is one of the most horrifying crimes being committed around the globetoday. It is a problem of monumental proportions that occurs on our soil today
Modern Slavery is not a scourge happening somewhere else. It is a thriving business run by society’s underworld that is present wherever a profit can be made—this causes it to silently exist virtually everywhere.
Beyond the usually suspected and far away places like Saudi Arabia, Thailand, or Africa, Secretary of State Condeleeza Rice has stated that there are 20,000 children and adults who are brought involuntarily INTO the United States each year.
Every thirty seconds another person becomes a victim of human trafficking somewhere in the world.
UNICEF estimates that this year alone – 2,000,000 CHILDREN will be forced into prostitution – not all of them girls.
After arms and drugs, the trafficking of human beings is now the third largest source of money produced by organized crime.
The physical repercussions faced by victims are unimaginable. They are often beaten unmercifully, starved to the point of severe malnutrition, and for those trafficked through the sex industry, have contracted HIV/AIDS or another STD.
Even more traumatic than the physical injuries victims suffer, are the psychological ones. The physical, psychological and sexual abuse victims face carve deep, lasting scares. Severe depression, mental isolation, post-traumatic stress, and the inability to interact with others all result with an unsettling regularity.
The United Nations defines Human Trafficking as “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability.
Put simply, human trafficking ALWAYS involves either FORCE or FRAUD as a means to its end.
As an ongoing problem affecting humanity’s most defenseless members, the question of how to combat and stop human trafficking needs to be asked and answered.
We can begin by asking a question of Human Trafficking’s most defenseless victims, “Why is trafficking of persons, especially children, so popular?”
Though no one answer will satisfy the question, extreme poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, and ignorance are all culprits at the heart of the problem. When we work to alleviate these scourges, we shrink the size of the pool from which Human Traffickers draw.
Most victims do not choose to place themselves at risk of being trafficked. They often take the risk out of economic necessity or are completely innocent victims of the crime.
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