In “Deconstructing Demand: The Driving Force of Sex Trafficking,” published in the Spring/Summer 2013 issue of the Brown Journal of World Affairs, Ambassador Swanee Hunt challenges the idea that the decriminalization and regulation of prostitution are enough to combat the sexual exploitation of women and children.

Without making the link with trafficking, societies traditionally frown upon but tolerate what they call prostitution, because they see it as a consensual transaction between adults. But that distinction is more fiction than fact. Defenders of the sex industry argue that those who choose to enter it should be allowed to operate like any other ‘business”… Apologists further argue that individuals selling sex would be safer and face less social stigma if they were engaging in legal activity… The bottom line, however, is that prostitution is about the commodification of the human body and of human sexuality.

She goes on to present a 14-point case detailing the most salient reasons why purchasing sex is damaging, both to the individual and to society, and argues that the only way to take down the system is to go after the buyers of illegally purchased sex.

“Too often, society puts the onus on the victims rather than the perpetrators of sex trafficking and other prostitution. But by far the most efficient approach in stopping this abuse is to focus on the sex buyers: When they stop buying, the entire system of degradation collapses.”

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Posted on May 2, 2013