26 Sep 2022


Benefits of Legalizing Prostitution to Victims of Sex Trafficking

Format: APA

Academic level: College

Paper type: Essay (Any Type)

Words: 1268

Pages: 5

Downloads: 0


According to many researchers, prostitution and sex work is one of the oldest professions on earth. The debate of whether prostitution should be legalized is one of the oldest topics of discussion. While some countries have embraced the idea of decriminalizing prostitution, some are yet to legalize the practice (Jackson, 2014). For understanding, prostitutes and sex workers are men and women who engage in sex work consensually. Victims of sex trafficking are men or women who are coerced in sex work by a violent pimp or gang. This paper strives to discuss the benefits that would come with decriminalization of prostitution in a regulated environment and policies. Legalization of prostitution would allow prostitutes to work with law enforcement to protect themselves from violent customers or pimps without fear of arrest as well as allowing prostitutes who know sex trafficking victims or victims of trafficking themselves to come forward to the police without fear of arrest for prostitution. 

Reducing Violence against Prostitutes 

Legalizing prostitution has some of its advantages and would entail policies which regulate sex work and protect sex workers According to Amnesty International, all governments should legalize consensual prostitutes and include them in the development of rules and regulations that impact their safety and lives (Hall, 2016) . Additionally, Amnesty International recommends that the decriminalization of prostitution would be of benefit to the countries and the sex workers themselves. However, proponents believe that legalizing sex work would greatly benefit the sex traffickers and pimps which would, in turn, promote sex trafficking. Moreover, the proponents argue that decriminalizing prostitution would be disastrous for the health of the women involved in the practice and would additionally increase violence against women. Although it may be considered controversial, Amnesty International's recommendations would prove beneficial as the practice is going on and would continue to harm millions of people. As a result, prostitution is considered illegal while an estimated 1 million people practice prostitution in the US alone. 

It’s time to jumpstart your paper!

Delegate your assignment to our experts and they will do the rest.

Get custom essay

Decriminalization of prostitution would mean creating a system where law enforcement officials would not arrest buyers or sellers of sex. According to Hall (2016), many women rights activists and governments believe that the criminalization of prostitution severely limits the sex work market. However, according to Amnesty International and the Gender and Sexual Health Initiative of the BC Center for Excellence in HIV/AIDS in British Columbia, criminalization of prostitution only pushes consensual prostitution underground while creating opportunities for people who are involved in sex trafficking. For instance, because they believe the practice is illegal, the sex workers have little or no recourse when they are offended, and they cannot report the offenders to the authorities without incriminating themselves. Accordingly, the crimes against prostitutes are committed with practical impunity, and approximately 90 percent of sex workers are sexually assaulted. The report by Amnesty International gives an estimate of the prostitutes who have been raped at 60 to 75 percent. 

According to Brown (2014), in her article “ What the Swedish Model Gets Wrong about Prostitution” the steps were taken by many countries to legalize sex work including the Netherlands, parts of Mexico, Switzerland, as well as others; are commendable. In countries such as New Zealand, the government decriminalized prostitution in 2003 and through its review in 2008, it was noted that the practice was regulated and the sex workers were working in secure conditions (Wahab & Abel, 2016). Consequently, the researchers found out that there was a high level of sensitization on condom use leading to the low rate on new HIV infections. On the other hand, decriminalization of prostitution would counter-intuitively be of benefit to the prostitutes by reducing sex trafficking. Additionally, legalizing consensual prostitution would lower sex trafficking profitability; as a result, making it less attractive to criminals. 

Ironically, criminalization of prostitution focuses on the efforts of enforcement of the law while siphoning the taxpayers' money trying to fight the practice (Hall, 2016). In turn, the victims are arrested, jailed, and fined heavily for consensual sex. Decriminalizing sex work would reduce violence against women by removing all statutory penalties for sex work. Conversely, decriminalizing prostitution does not mean that municipal and general codes of conduct would not apply in the process. For instance, a study conducted in Nevada revealed that legal brothels there were rules for the prostitutes to comply with and practices such as sex trafficking and sex from minors were crimes punishable by the law. 

Benefits to Victims of Sex Trafficking 

According to Fuchs (2013) article titled “ 7 Reasons Why America Should Legalize Prostitution ,” legalization of prostitution has many benefits to the victims of trafficking. Since the prostitutes are aware that the practice is illegal, they are sometimes reluctant to contact the police because they fear that may be arrested and charged for the practice. On the other hand, prostitutes who are in licensed brothels are advantaged because there are people who would back them up it violence erupted in their line of duty. Consequently, since it is a legal business, brothel owners have a clear motive in guarding their image as law-abiding citizens to maintain their relationship with the authorities and to keep their licenses. Consequently, the brothel owners ensure they call the police at a slight incitement to ensure the safety of the workers. Further Fuchs (2013) states that decriminalization of prostitution has other many benefits including; the prostitutes getting labor rights, guaranteeing the sex workers are in healthier business, prevention of sex trafficking, as well as others. 

According to Wahab and Abel (2016), pressure from pimps and other sex offenders sometimes might force prostitutes to forgo the use of condoms thereby putting their lives in jeopardy. Conversely, countries that decriminalize prostitution would ensure the sex workers use condoms and even get tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. For instance in Nevada, prostitutes in Nevada are entitled to monthly testing for HIV and syphilis and monthly testing for Chlamydia and gonorrhea. Additionally, Nevada requires that all the sew workers to uses condoms when they are in their business. As a result, the laws of testing and using protection are posted on the notice boards of all the Nevada state brothels. 

In a study conducted by the Urban Justice Center revealed that the New York Police were using the condom evidence they found from the sex workers in criminal cases of prostitution against them (Fuchs, 2013). Consequently, criminalization of prostitution would drive the sex workers underground preventing them from getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases and practicing safe sex. In another study by the United Nations Development Programme, Fuchs (2013) revealed that criminalization of sex work could be damaging to the women prostitutes. The report indicated especially in Pacific and Asia, that criminalization of prostitution leads to discrimination, limiting access to healthcare services, and condom reduction services, as a result, increasing vulnerability to HIV. 

Sex workers just like other workers need labor rights (Wahab & Abel, 2016). In America for instance, legally hired individuals obtain human rights such as freedom from discrimination, safe work conditions, and minimum wage. Since prostitution is not considered legal employment, these workers do not understand these essential rights. Another report by the United Nations Development Programme indicated that it is problematic when prostitutes do not get their legal rights for work (Fuchs, 2013). The report stated that prostitutes from all states except for New South Wales and New Zealand are not allowed the labor rights to work in healthy environments and work on reasonable terms of employment. Further, the report indicated that the laws that do not recognize prostitutes as legitimate workers encourage marginalization and stigmatization of prostitutes. 

In conclusion, if a woman engages in prostitution, she has a right to practice her right in a safe environment that is facilitated by legalized sex market. Consequently, criminalizing prostitution is generally done in the name of women although it only propagates sexual violence against them while at the same time expanding the reach of the state. Legalization of prostitution would stop the punitive system where consensual sex works are jailed, fined, and separated from their friends and family workers (Jackson, 2014). Also, legalization of prostitution would allow them to take precautionary measures in seeking health services and obtaining legal protection. Finally, the decriminalization of prostitution will protect sex workers from violence and sex trafficking. 


Brown, E. N. (2014). What the Swedish Model Gets Wrong About Prostitution: Times . Retrieved on 25 November 2018, from http://time.com/3005687/what-the-swedish-model-gets-wrong-about-prostitution/ 

Fuchs, E. (2013). 7 Reasons Why America Should Legalize Prostitution. Business Insider . Retrieved from: https://www.businessinsider.com/why-america-should-legalize-prostitution-2013-11?IR=T 

Hall, A. R. (2016). The case for decriminalizing prostitution. Independent Institute . Retrieved on 25 November 2018, from http://www.independent.org/news/article.asp?id=8816 

Jackson, C. A. (2014). Legalizing prostitution: From illicit vice to lawful business. Contemporary Sociology, 43 (3), 425–427. 

Wahab, S., & Abel, G. (2016). The prostitution reform act (2003) and social work in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Affilia, 31 (4), 418–433. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/0886109916647764 

Cite this page

Select style:


StudyBounty. (2023, September 14). Benefits of Legalizing Prostitution to Victims of Sex Trafficking .


Related essays

We post free essay examples for college on a regular basis. Stay in the know!

Tracing Nationalist Ideology across the Decades

Nationalism and national identity in Japan assert that Japan is a united nation and promotes the maintenance of Japanese culture and history by citizens. It is a set of ideas that the Japanese people hold, drawn from...

Words: 899

Pages: 3

Views: 372

Pectoral of Princess Sithathoryunet and Gold Bracteate

Introduction Jewelry has been in use for many years, and this can be proven from existing ancient objects and artifacts. The first piece to be analyzed is the Gold Bracteate which has its origins in the culture...

Words: 1986

Pages: 7

Views: 354

Plato and Pericles

Plato and Pericles Ancient Greece forms the basis of many civilizations in the world today. Greece influenced art, literature, mathematics, and democracy among other things. Through philosophy and leadership,...

Words: 513

Pages: 2

Views: 363

The Yalta Conference: What Happened and Why It Matters

Churchill and Roosevelt got into a gentle disagreement during the Yalta conference in opposition to Soviet plans to maintain Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia (Baltic states), and a vast eastern Poland section reinstating...

Words: 289

Pages: 1

Views: 94

Paganism in European Religion

Introduction In the ancient era around the fourth century, early Christians had widely spread their religion gaining a huge Christian population. Nevertheless, the Christian population never encapsulated...

Words: 1185

Pages: 5

Views: 88

The Louisiana Purchase: One of the Most Significant Achievements of President Thomas Jefferson

The Louisiana Purchase is among the most significant achievements of a presidency in the US. Executed by President Thomas Jefferson in 1803, the project encompassed the acquisition of approximately 830 million square...

Words: 1253

Pages: 4

Views: 124


Running out of time?

Entrust your assignment to proficient writers and receive TOP-quality paper before the deadline is over.