10 Reasons for Not Legalizing Prostitution

4323 Words Dec 18th, 2010 18 Pages
10 Reasons for Not Legalizing Prostitution

Janice G. Raymond
Coalition Against Trafficking in Women International (CATW)
March 25, 2003

The following arguments apply to all state-sponsored forms of prostitution, including but not limited to full-scale legalization of brothels and pimping, decriminalization of the sex industry, regulating prostitution by laws such as registering or mandating health checks for women in prostitution, or any system in which prostitution is recognized as sex work or advocated as an employment choice.

As countries are considering legalizing and decriminalizing the sex industry, we urge you to consider the ways in which legitimating prostitution as work does not empower the women in prostitution but does
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The government of the Netherlands promotes itself as the champion of anti-trafficking policies and programs, yet cynically has removed every legal impediment to pimping, procurement and brothels. In the year 2000, the Dutch Ministry of Justice argued for a legal quota of foreign sex workers, because the Dutch prostitution market demands a variety of bodies (Dutting, 2001: 16). Also in the year 2000, the Dutch government sought and received a judgment from the European Court recognizing prostitution as an economic activity, thus enabling women from the EU and former Soviet bloc countries to obtain working permits as sex workers in the Dutch sex industry if they can prove that they are self employed. NGOs in the Netherlands have stated that traffickers are taking advantage of this ruling to bring foreign women into the Dutch prostitution industry by masking the fact that women have been trafficked, and by coaching the women how to prove that they are self-employed migrant sex workers.

In the one year since lifting the ban on brothels in the Netherlands, NGOs report that there has been an increase of victims of trafficking or, at best, that the number of victims from other countries has remained the same (Bureau NRM, 2002: 75). Forty-three municipalities in the Netherlands want to follow a no-brothel policy, but the Minister of

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