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The issue of the benefits associated with prostitution decriminalization or legalization has formed the topic of many heated debates in the past. This is because the sex industry has assumed an international dimension and it is being appreciated for its economic benefits in many countries. This has led to many countries in the world to debate on the intrinsic worth of decriminalization or legalization of prostitution. The debates include the argument that legalization of prostitution will cut down on some of the abuse and inequalities that face the women who take part in the business. On the other hand, these countries also believe that by legalizing prostitution, the society will be able to change this type of work in an effort to promote the rights of these women and improve their statues. The main question that lingers in these debates is the issue of morality. Some people believe that prostitution is a vice and that those taking part in it lack proper judgment and are evil (Davies 102). This leaves the two possible solutions; is prostitution an occupation that should be legalized but regulated or be abolished?
Most women engage freely in prostitution because of many reasons such as low intelligence, latent lesbianism, desperate poverty and life abuse at home. More so, most of the people involved in prostitution consider it largely as being an occupation just like the others. Prostitutes contribute monetarily to the society they come from thus they should in return be given the rights to retirement and health benefits. This is because they pay tax just like the other independent employees and contractors thus should get similar benefits. The main concern is the increased victimization of the prostitutes. More than 70 percent of the prostitutes have reported to have been abused by their customers by either raping them or breached the agreement made (Decker 67).
The same women have fallen victims to verbal and physical violence, robbery, service theft, and regularly being beaten by their pimps. The worse of it all is that the prostitutes are abused further by police officers and other court officers when such issues are reported. In most situations, the victims find it almost impossible to have their cases pressed now that prostitution has become so vulnerable and lack of resources. By legalizing prostitution, officials will have to let go of the charade of holding on to anti-prostitution laws. This will lead to a situation where prostitution will be accepted by judges, lawyers, police and clerks (Douglas 120).
Legalization of prostitution will enable the prostitutes to positively contribute to the society and be safer as the law will be protecting them. Those against the legalization of prostitution argue that prostitution leads to children and women being forced to take part in the sex trade. This might be true but most prostitutes claim that it is their choice to be prostitutes and they never consider themselves as victims. The current situation makes it harder for the courts and the police to monitor serious crimes like child prostitution in the general criminality environment. An industry no matter how moral it is, if criminalized and unregulated, it will end up being run by criminals. Prostitution legalization will bring legitimacy, more safety and autonomy to the whole industry. The laws will be able to distinguish between forced and voluntary prostitution (Frost 78).
Decriminalization of prostitution is also a possible alternative but this will have to include some regulation. The reforms on the legality of prostitution have to go together with other reforms on social policies such as child welfare and poverty problem. The reality is that a politician who will stand out publicly to support prostitution decriminalization will be committing political suicide. Public opinion never goes well with any politician who seems to go soft on crime like being a supporter of prostitution. The only hope is to have the politicians gain more courage while addressing this issue and the public get more informed so as to allow reforms to take place.
The benefits associated with both the society and prostitution cannot be ignored. Prostitution decriminalization will help the sex workers life to be greatly improved as being legal workers, they will be able to report offenses and resist exploitation. The workers will also be better placed to access welfare, health and legal resources. The society on the other hand will have a better say in the workers health habits and it will possible to regulate them. This situation will leave the whole society safer just like any other business which loses its reputation will eventually loose its license (Frost 141).
Prostitution empowerment has the greatest promise in the fight on venereal diseases and AIDS prevention. A sex industry in which its workers are not outlawed and stigmatized, will be beneficial to prostitutes, all concerned parties and clients. The state should take the responsibility of providing health facilities for the prostitutes. Health advocates believe that legalization of prostitution will allow the sex workers to execute safety measures and work without fear. In places where the prostitutes are expected by the law to use condoms like in Nevada, the cases of AIDS and venereal diseases has greatly decreased. In some states where prostitution has been legalized, the prostitutes are expected to register as sex workers with the state. The same workers are required to appear at a special clinic twice in a week for venereal diseases examination. This care of prostitutes and health supervision including hospitalization is among the necessities of prostitution legalization and this should be done in every state (Roberts 56).
However, some of the rules enacted have proved to be hard for the sex workers to endure like not being allowed to get involved in a relationship with someone outside the brothels, but this can be easily managed by the authorities and officers from the respective states. The current system has proved inefficient where the sex workers are repressed but are not substantially punished. Societies still debating on the issue legalizing prostitution should learn from countries that have managed to decriminalize adult prostitution yet at the same time have been able to resist street prostitution. Countries such as German are good examples of societies where decriminalization as well as legitimizing prostitution is effective under specific circumstances. In such countries, regulations have reduced crime related to prostitution and venereal diseases. This has also increased the revenue earned by the states as the brothels and prostitutes are required to pay income taxes (Sullivan 45).
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