Swanee Hunt at Demand Abolition has written a compelling essay making the case against purchasing women and girls for sexual gratification. Demand Abolition highlights the demand side of human trafficking. They take the view that focusing on victim rescue & rehabilitation, and trafficker prosecution, will never solve the problem of slavery and commercial rape. Without addressing the buyers of commercial sex (the demand side of the business transaction), the fight against sex slavery is a losing battle. Hunt breaks the argument into 14 main points, carefully explaining every point, and summarizes each with a provocative statement, including:
- “Purchasing sex is an assault on the other’s dignity“
- “Buying sex is inhumane“
- “Most modern day prostitution is modern day slavery“
Demand Abolition has a lot of good information about why there needs to be more emphasis on addressing demand in order to effectively fight human trafficking. Customers of commercial sex (the johns) need to be educated and/or prosecuted in order to curb the winked-at practice of buying people’s bodies for sex. The article is provocative, and you may not agree with everything you read there, but it’s worth looking at if you’re serious about ending sex trafficking.
I had already been pretty convinced that non-trafficked prostitution, whether legal or illegal, encouraged human trafficking because the market for commercial sex created an economic incentive to supply the sex workers as cheaply as possible. But now, having read the article at Demand Abolition, I feel as if I can articulate the reasons better, and I have more reasons to consider that I didn’t really think of before.