Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Prostitution -- What it could be leading to.
Posted by halie
Here in America the idea of prostitution and human trafficking does not come up often, especially since prostitution can only be found legally in Nevada, where it is best known in Las Vegas. However, in Germany prostitution is legalized therefore there have been some recent debates on the effects of it being legal.
The choice of legalizing prostitution was made in part to reduce human sex trafficking and to make prostitution itself a safer practice: “an earnest attempt to protect prostitutes’ working conditions and even offer them some protection against violence and exploitation.”
Legalizing prostitution to make it safer and to reduce trafficking however has not seemed to work; “The modern slave trade is estimated to be worth $35 billion a year.” Although there are speculations that human trafficking has not actually increased, rather police have been getting better at finding the trafficking. As much as it may be true that they are uncovering more human trafficking because of legalizing prostitution, there is still evidence that human trafficking has increased with relation to the legalization of prostitution.
Since prostitution has become legal in Germany in 2002 there has been an increase in human sex trafficking by 70 percent in five years leading up to 2010 and it has increased by eleven percent in the year of 2009 itself. Not only has human trafficking increased but also the age demographic of the people, mainly women, involved is very young. It is said that 65 percent were below 21 years old and one in five are under age, some being younger than fourteen years old. With all this information I wonder, does the legalization of prostitution directly relate to the increase of human sex trafficking?
There seems to be a strong correlation between the two, however there is also evidence being brought up that shows there are more factors involved like the recent economic crisis.
I found this really interesting to read about because prostitution is not legal in America and we also suffer from human sex trafficking. Comparing the two countries may shed some light on similar factors of what could be contributing to the human sex trafficking. Although other countries like Australia may be better to look at to see if prostitution has a direct correlation with human sex trafficking increasing due to having similar issue. However I think it might be beneficial to compare two countries wit similar issue and seemingly different circumstances.
In America there is less information on the relationship between legal prostitution and human sex trafficking, however there is not a void of personal accounts, many from women, about how they were fooled or taken into illegal prostitution or sex trafficking.
Personally I find the numbers of the amount of people trapped in this business in America to be staggering. In research done by the Office of Justice Programs of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, they found just alone in Minneapolis 8,000 to 12,000 people are estimated to be involved in prostitution or sex trafficking every day. Similarly to Germany many of these people are under age, 56 percent of the people in the Office of Justice Programs of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety where under age while other American cities had similar data: Chicago, 62%; San Francisco, 78%.
Having seen that America is just as effected by human sex trafficking as Germany, I start to wonder if prostitution does play a center role in why human sex trafficking is increasing in Germany, or if it is something else entirely.
After reading endless accounts of people going into human sex trafficking and seeing the statistics I am starting to think that it is not the place that makes human sex trafficking possible, although it will affect it, but rather the circumstance. Traffickers tend to target “vulnerable populations, including migrants, oppressed or marginalized groups, runaways or displaced persons, and the poor.”Both in Germany and in America the people in human sex trafficking are both foreign and domestic, however the majority are women and children. This is one constant that I have found. So with this information I wonder if studying more in-depth the human sex trafficking in both American and Germany could shed light on what each country could do to stop it, and it could help Germany decide if the legalization of prostitution does or does not effect human sex trafficking.
Something to look at: