Trafficking and Prostitution

Food for thought: [from the United Nations Special Rapporteur – Sigma Huda – on the human rights aspects of the victims of trafficking in persons, especially women and children.]

Her report indicates that victims may not have had to cross any “borders”. The local “legal” prostitute may also be a victim of trafficking!

[extracts below:]

42. For the most part, prostitution as actually practised in the world usually does satisfy the elements of trafficking. It is rare that one finds a case in which the path to prostitution and/or a person’s experiences within prostitution do not involve, at the very least, an abuse of power and/or an abuse of vulnerability.

Power and vulnerability in this context must be understood to include power disparities based on gender, race, ethnicity and poverty. Put simply, the road to prostitution and life within “the life” is rarely one marked by empowerment or adequate options.

43. Thus, State parties with legalized prostitution industries have a heavy responsibility to ensure that the conditions which actually pertain to the practice of prostitution within their borders are free from the illicit means delineated in subparagraph (a) of the Protocol definition, so as to ensure that their legalized prostitution regimes are not simply perpetuating widespread and systematic trafficking.

As current conditions throughout the world attest, States parties that maintain legalized prostitution are far from satisfying this obligation.


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