01 August, 2021

To Let / For Sale?

Legalising prostitution is not the answer. Nab the traffickers.

Illustration by Sorit
To Let / For Sale?

When a problem is big and tends to profit a powerful group, there’s a time-honoured temptation to sweep it under the rug by assuming it’s natural and inevitable. This was true of slavery until the abolitionist movement of the 19th century, and of colonialism until the contagion of independence movements in the 20th century. Now these same forces are at work in attitudes toward the global and national realities of sex slavery.

The biggest normaliser of profiteering from the rental, sale and invasion of human bodies is the idea that it is too big to fight, that it has always existed, and that it can be swept under the rug by legalising and just accepting it. Those who profit—in this case, the global network of sex traffickers, sex tourism operators and brothel owners—are the major force behind the argument to legalise and increase profits that already rival those from the global arms and drug trade.

What will diminish and end this injustice? Exposing its reality: the lack of alternatives for those who are...

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