The current movement to decriminalize prostitution has its roots in the general liberalization of the economy and objectively serves its interests. We also hear increasingly, at the United Nations or in the media, statements in which the sex trade is presented as an alternative to economic problems if not even an avenue for development. The interests involved are substantial and it is easy to assume that all resources, whether political or economic or those of the media, will be used to promote the decriminalization of "sex work" and the highly profitable commoditisation of women. Is it necessary to pass legislation that binds the whole of society to the individual demands of a minority that portrays prostitution as a freely made lifestyle choice? Instead, when an international study has shown that 92% of prostituted women would leave the trade if they could, should we not be questioning such assertions ?
A substantial body of research shows that the majority of prostituted women are on average recruited at the age of about 14, after being made vulnerable by the violence in their surroundings, poverty, unemployment or drugs. Is it realistic to assume that at the age of 18, a miracle will occur that suddenly releases them from all constraints? As between juvenile and adult prostitution, there is also a continuum between local prostitution and international trafficking in women for the purpose of prostitution. Criminal gangs import and export women for prostitution in order constantly to offer new women to their clients and maximize their profits.
This article attempts to highlight the essential role played by the client in the perpetuation of prostitution and to show, on the basis of various pieces of research, that a world without prostitution is possible, just as it was possible to abolish slavery and apartheid.
Read full story: The need for a public debate on prostitution and its social consequences, Elaine Audet
Others titles on prostitution, pornography and sexual traffic
* Helping the prostituted women or promoting prostitution? Letter sent to the Québec Health Minister (June 20th 2004), Elaine Audet
* The legalization of prostitution and its impact on trafficking in women and children, Richard Poulin, professor of sociology, University of Ottawa
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* Globalization and the Sex Trade: Trafficking and the Commoditisation of Women and Children, Richard Poulin, professor of sociology, University of Ottawa
Canada Contributes to the Sexual Trafficking of Women for Purposes of Prostitution, Elaine Audet
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* Legitimating Prostitution as Sex Work: UN International Labour Organization Calls for Recognition of the Sex Industry (Part Two), Janice G. Raymond
* Prostitution: Rights of Women or right to women? Elaine Audet
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