Generally speaking, prostitution is illegal throughout the world. As it is so closely related to – even synonymous with – human trafficking (also illegal), nations have agreed that it poses a threat to their citizens and should be considered criminal activity.
However, there are places in the world which have revoked that position within the past few decades. Las Vegas, Nevada is one such city (although the entire state allows legal brothels within certain regulations). Amsterdam is another (this includes the Netherlands as a whole, as well). Both are notorious for their tourism-boosting brothels and clubs, which have been viewed by some as positive economic stimulation.
The infamous Red Light District in Amsterdam boasts hundreds of websites for the tourist-to-be, assisting these men and women as they plan where to stay, what brothels to visit, and what popular night clubs to explore. You can even compare prices! Los Vegas is no different: you can do a quick web search to choose the strip clubs and casinos of your choice. Sex in Amsterdam, Las Vegas, and similar world cities is a commodity sold like any other souvenir.
Much like you would go to Disney World for a pair of Mickey Mouse ears, India for an intricately woven sari, Switzerland for a block of decadent dark chocolate, or New York City for an “I Heart NYC” t-shirt, so too tourists and locals can enter the worlds of the Red Light District in Amsterdam or the Las Vegas strip knowing that they will go home having experienced exotic sexual pleasures…at the expense of another human being’s dignity and rights.
Arguments have been made, by the men making such laws, that legalizing prostitution can only increase the safety and freedom given to prostituted people. The idea is that prostitutes will have better health care and will be better able to find respect and equality in the working world; they would be treated as business women rather than sex toys. Her job is to sell sex, yes, but rarely for personal gain. Unless you’re counting STDs, bruises, and depression as personal gain.
There are women who chose to enter the profession, true; however, more than 9/10 prostituted women in the world are doing so under the threats or enslavement of a pimp. Typically, the women who heartily enter the sex industry do so because they will not be risking their own financial stability or safety (again, this is extremely rare). Prostitution by definition is a practice which turns a human being into an object; it is a myth that prostitutes cannot be raped. No businessman would treat a woman with the respect she deserved if he knew he could purchase her body in a shop window that evening.
In the months preceding the last World Cup in South Africa, the proposition was made to legalize prostitution for the event, so as to free up the police for “more important” issues. Incidentally, events such as the World Cup and Olympics result in a huge surplus of trafficking victims. Thousands upon thousands of young girls are shipped to the event location for the purpose of “servicing” the millions of sports fans. The idea was simply: if we legalize it, it won’t be something that our security has to worry about. Flawed thinking that was, thankfully, shut down prior to the thrilling sports event which was the FIFA World Cup.
Interestingly enough, traffickers who brought their human goods to the World Cup that year saw the lowest profit margin in history.
Legalizing prostitution is neither beneficial to the economy nor to the men, women, and children called upon to perform sexual services. It promotes human trafficking and child prostitution. It increases the risk for HIV/AIDS to spread. It increases the abuse and displacement of immigrants. It increases the number of women who turn to drugs and alcohol in order to cope with the things done to them on the job. It increases the number of unwanted pregnancies and, therefore, abortion rates rise.
Most devastating, it enables the consumer to claim authority over the human product they have purchased. For a price, you can buy that lovely girl in the window and, thanks to the size of your wallet, do anything to her. Literally. If you have paid your dues, you can exploit her to the point of extreme, irreversible injury and never be held responsible for your actions. You did, after all, pay someone for that “right”. Someone who will most likely never share an iota of his income with the woman you’ve just violated.
Janice G. Raymond, from the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women International (CATW), has listed and explained the top ten reasons why legalized prostitution is so dangerous. You can read her article, from Prostitution Research and Education, from the link provided below: