Should Prostitution be legalized?
Should prostitution be legalized? This issue has been debated for many years. There are those who believe that legalizing prostitution will bring benefits like, improved human rights, better health and economic benefits. They also assert that prostitution is the oldest profession and it will always be there. But, legalizing it will increase use of condoms and reduce sexual transmitted infections like HIV/AIDS. They also point out that prostitutes should be left to choose they way they earn their income as that is their right, therefore the society should not interfere with their rights. On the other hand, opponents of prostitution assert that many of these prostitutes are in the business against their will and legalizing it would only increase cases of forced prostitution. They also brought up the issue of sex trafficking and child prostitution; accordingly they point out that prostitution is dehumanizing, risky and dehumanizing. They restate that the abuses and possible dangers for legalizing prostitution outweigh the possible benefits of legalizing prostitution. And the debate goes on: Should prostitution be legalized? This paper enters into this debate by arguing that prostitution should not be legalized, the following points supports this position.
Legalizing prostitution will promote sex trafficking
Legalizing or decriminalization of prostitution will only increase cases of sex trafficking. One reason why prostitution was legalized in Netherlands was that it would help in reducing exploitation of hopeless immigrant women trafficked in the country for prostitution. Nonetheless, study by Budapest Group (1999) established that 80% of women working in Netherlands brothels were trafficked to that country. The international Organization of Migration in 1994 pointed out that in Netherlands alone, about 70% of women trafficked to the country were from Central and Eastern European Countries (Dutting, 2000).
One year after legalizing prostitution in Netherlands, twelve organizations offering support to victims reported increased cases of victims from foreign countries, while eight organizations reported an increase in cases of trafficking (Budapest Group, 1999).
The initial process to legalize prostitution in Germany started in 1980s, as at 1993, Altink (1995) observes that, 75% of prostitutes in Germany were foreigners from Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and other South American countries. When Germany was unified, it is estimated by Budapest Group (1999) that 8,000 out of 10,000 women trafficked to Germany came from Central and Eastern Europe countries. The huge number of women trafficked into Germany just highlights the one problem of legalizing prostitution.
Legalization does not regulate the sex industry it increases prostitution
Contrary to assertions that legalization of prostitution results in regulation and control of sex industry, it does not, instead it increases prostitution. For instance, since legalization of prostitution in Netherlands, the industry is reported to be growing at 25% (Dutting, 2000). All through the day and night, women of all races and sizes scantly dressed are on show in the infamous windows of Netherlands brothels as well as in sex clubs ready to offer their services.
In Australia, when prostitution was legalized in State of Victoria, it resulted in huge growth of the sex industry. As noted by Martin (2002) besides prostitution, other type of sexual activities such as bondage, peep shows, tabletop dances and pornography all grown in a more profitable manner than before prostitution was legalized. They add that, prostitution has turned to be an integral aspect of tourism attraction and casino tables at neighborhood brothel. In America, legalization of prostitution in Nevada has increased the numbers of prostitutes on the streets instead of reducing them as thought.
Legalization of prostitution increases clandestine, illicit and street prostitution
Many people argue that legalizing prostitution will move prostitutes from streets to brothels, clubs or any other indoor places, where they are supposedly less exposed than on streets. Nonetheless, a lot of women are in engage in street prostitution since they do not want to be controlled and used by pimps. As noted by (Raymond, et.al 2001) some women refuse to register or go for medical checks as stipulated by law in other countries that have legalized prostitution is legalized. Therefore, Raymond, et.al (2001, 76) concluded that, legalization of prostitution “may in fact result in some women in participating in street prostitution.”