The Link Between Prostitution and Sex Trafficking

Author: Babette Francis

  *  Article 6 of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of  Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) says:  "States Parties shall take all appropriate measures, including  legislation to suppress all forms of traffic in women and exploitation of prostitution of women.  Unfortunately several Australia states have legalised brothels, with the result that both legal brothels and the illegal trade has flourished. 

  *  Where brothels are legalized or tolerated, there is greater demand for foreign trafficking victims and an increase in the number of women and children trafficked into commercial sex slavery.  ALL prostitution is  brutal, dangerous and damaging  to women -    60-70% of women in prostitution are raped,  70-95% are physically assaulted.  68% exprience post traumatic stress disorder. 

   *  Prostitution fuels public health problems including HIV/AIDS,   Hepatitis B,  Cervical Cancer and Fertility Complications. Profits from the sex trade fuels other criminal activities.

*  A  June 20-21 conference, organized by the   Vatican's Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers, presented shocking statistics and stories of the victims who are bought, sold and trafficked across the globe. Many of these souls face extreme physical and psychological exploitation.  An estimated 500,000 women from Eastern Europe are enslaved and forced to prostitute themselves on the streets of Western Europe alone. The data are even more staggering from Asia, India, Africa and the Americas.

*  Catholic organizations and religious communities are already active in the field of rescuing the victims of human trafficking.  Officials said that human trafficking is the third biggest crime in the world, rivaling the illicit sale of drugs and arms.

*  The US Government adopted a strong position against legalized prostituion in a December 2002 National Security Presidential Directive  based on evidence that prostituion is inhrently harmful and dehumanising and fuels trafficking in persons, a form of modern-day slavery.  The U.S. Embassy  in Rome and the Vatican  have joined  forces in the fight against the illicit trade of human beings.  Their focus led them to combine their contacts in the field to analyze the action being taken to destroy the network that fuels the slavery -- paying men.

*     On the 23rd June 2005, The 94th  UN General Assembly has passed the Victim Trafficking law creating the offenses of involuntary servitude, sexual servitude of a minor, and trafficking of persons for forced labor and services.

Babette Francis
National & Overseas Co-ordinator,
Endeavour Forum Inc.