Though human trafficking is a devastation that affects women whom we serve every day, it often becomes a hot topic for politicians used to gain political support. While it is important to keep an open mind when trying to solve any injustice, there is abundant research on how to combat human trafficking, and we can learn from what has and has not worked in other parts of the world when considering what action we should take in our country.
There are many different theories on how to end sex trafficking. The Nordic Model, used in Sweden and several other countries, has proven that decriminalizing prostitution and offering services to survivors, while buying sex and sex trafficking both remain criminal offenses, has successfully lowered the rate of prostitution and exploitation. Others claim to believe that decriminalizing the ENTIRE sex trade, including decriminalizing pimping, brothel owning, and purchasing women for sex, can lower the exploitation factor in prostitution.
The problem is that some political leaders choose to mask this decriminalization of the entire sex trade with the slogan “fighting trafficking,” using specific language to mislead potential supporters into believing that their mission is to end trafficking, not mentioning that how they plan to do so is by decriminalizing the trafficking and buying of sex, which continues and maximizes exploitation and victimization. This is clever: If we live in a society where we no longer prosecute traffickers, then there are no more traffickers to hold accountable for exploitation. That doesn’t mean that traffickers cease to exist; just that they are now exploiting women legally. This results in appearing that trafficking rates are down, when in reality, they are not.
Studies have shown that in countries that have experimented with this theory (decriminalizing the entire sex industry, including sex traffickers and buyers,) prostitution increases tremendously, around three or four times what they were before the decriminalization or legalization, as they have in Germany. In result, more women are exploited by the sex industry as demand skyrockets, creating major problems for the women that sex traffickers are now making a growing profit from… Legally.
To truly help women and preserve or expand on their rights, we encourage the provision of more opportunities for women where they do not have to engage in sex work. We believe that women and children should never be a commodity that is bought and sold. We have seen that employment or educational opportunities can be key to a survivor’s healing and independence. If you would like to learn more about how you can provide these opportunities through your small business, or if you want to be a part of our mission to empower survivors but simply don’t know where to begin, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, thank you for supporting us.
written by Amanda Moon Ellevis