Legalization of Prostitution
The law on prostitution varies from one country to another and between jurisdictions that exist within a country. In some parts of the world, prostitution is legal and considered a professional like any other while in other parts, it is viewed as a crime that is only punishable by death.
Proponents believe that legalizing prostitution will help curb crime, increase tax, help people get out of poverty, improve public health, help get prostitutes off the streets and make it possible for consenting adults to make choices. They argue that prostitution does not hold any victims and especially in the 11 Nevada counties where it is legal.
Opponents on the other hand believe that by legalizing prostitution, there will be an increase in diseases that are sexually transmitted like aids, increase in human trafficking and increase in violent crimes such as homicide and rape. They content prostitution is immoral, empowering to the underworld, commercially exploitative and bound to promote repression of women.
In majority of countries, prostitution is a controversial topic with most religions condemning it. Religions see it as a threat that is contrary to their moral codes while others see it as a necessary evil. For instance, in parts of Europe such as Italy, Portugal and Turkey, prostitution appears to have a legit place in religious and conservative parts.
This is attributed to the underlying assumption women do not necessarily choose to participate in prostitution but they are forced to do so as a means of surviving. Sex worker organizations and activists believe that the issue of prostitution is a matter of human rights that should be given importance in relation to immigration, freedom of speech, marriage, health insurance, parenthood, housing and travel.
There is however feminist organizations that are opposed to legalization of prostitution by claiming that it is some form of exploitation where males dominate over women. For instance, the European Women’s Lobby which sees itself as the largest association of women in the EU condemns prostitution and labels it as ‘an intolerable form of male violence’.
However, this does not translate to the thoughts of prostitutes who continually fight for the legalization of prostitution. In countries where it is legalized, there is also notable discrimination against prostitutes. For instance, Turkey has registered 15,000 prostitutes who work in fifty six brothels but they are not permitted to marry and any children they might have are prohibited from holding high ranking positions in the army.
However, they are allowed to serve in other areas within the government. In countries such as Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Singapore, Cyprus, UK, Portugal, Canada and Cuba etc, prostitution is legal but procuring the services is termed as illegal.
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