Help Wanted. No experience required. Training provided. Minorities are encouraged. Job location: various, and may include cars, alleys, motels, and flop houses. Schedule: at the discretion of manager. Dress: whatever the client requests. For outdoor assignments: Comfortable clothing and shoes appropriate for running should be worn. Weapons carried should be relegated to those which cannot be taken from you. Compensation: 100% of profits will be paid to manager. Potential work hazards: abuse, violence, rape, drug addiction, and/or death may occur.
Amnesty International has long been known as an organization in defense of human rights—an advocate for the vulnerable, those whose lives are at stake, and people in need of refuge. In essence, their push has been to free those enslaved by moral injustice. In an ironic twist of policy, Amnesty International is now calling for a sweeping international decriminalization of prostitution, allowing pimps free rein (and reign) and increasing the victimization of women.
Yes, this is hard to believe, in light of Amnesty International’s long track record of good work. This movement stems from a misguided belief that legalizing the sex trade protects vulnerable people, and that prostitution is “sex work” and a legitimate occupation.
But studies show that normalizing the sex industry does not protect women and children. In fact, it only serves to increase sex trafficking and sexual exploitation. This can be seen in countries where prostitution has been legalized. Even Amsterdam has pared back their red light district. Women are not lining up to fill “sex worker” positions. In reply to this reduction of supply, young women are trafficked from Asia and Africa (where poverty dictates desperation and begets exploitation) into cities like Amsterdam and Sydney for the purpose of forced prostitution.
A recent Chicago study shows that 50% of women prostituted through escort services have been raped. 21% of women prostituting within their homes have been raped ten or more times. If these women who are prostituting voluntarily (assumedly) are raped and abused with such regularity, higher statistics may only be expected within the violent underworld of street prostitution.
Many have asked over the years why there can’t be union oversight and government regulation. Wouldn’t that curb these numbers? When a practice is entirely based on violence, abuse, and exploitation, what is there to unionize? Better rates for being raped? Cushier digs in which to be beaten and violated with foreign objects? No. This will simply force exploited women into deeper shadows of shame and allow the abuse to continue under the guise of regulation.
Although the victimized and prostituted person shouldn’t be criminalized, those who victimize and prostitute them should. The men and women who prostitute vulnerable people are often directly connected to organized crime and other illegal activities. These are not promising and enterprising young men and women with business acumen; they are traffickers, exploiters, and criminals.
One final note in address to Amnesty International’s push to decriminalize prostitution. Historically, Amnesty International has fought for the release of prisoners of war. POW torture takes many forms. One of these methods includes isolation of the prisoner while subjecting them to severe discomfort. Sometimes the prisoner is not allowed to sleep, thereby causing disorientation and anxiety. This deprivation is then tempered by the occasional treat, supplied by the captor, creating a Stockholm Syndrome-type of attachment.
This is exactly what pimps do.
Don’t be fooled. Pimps do not deserve amnesty.
There is something you can do.
I’m honored that one of my best friends, Lisa Thompson, is the Vice President of Education and Outreach for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. All of the information I have provided above comes directly from them. You can access their website here.
As one of their many projects, NCOSE is organizing an outcry against AI’s move to decriminalize prostitution. On their website, they list several ways you can help through e-mail, Twitter, and Facebook. You can check out the movement and the website here.
The only true answer to the violence and exploitation of prostitution is to abolish it.