Facts about the sextrade

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Prostitution, human trafficking and pornography are three interlinked social phenomena that each form a part of the sex trade. Below, we have collected some facts that we hope will provide some helpful insights about the sex trade.

But first, we want to share a quote out of Majgull Axelsson's Rosario Is Dead—a documentary about a little girl who becomes a victim in the child sex trade in the Philippines:

“A little girl dies in a country far away. Do we care? What does it mean to use? What is more, a decade has now passed since it happened. Her name was Rosario Baluyot. I never met her, yet she follows me constantly. Sometimes I dream that she is not dead—that she has grown into a beautiful woman. When she walks in a floral dress behind me, laughing, her face softened, her hunger lines disappeared, and her body scrubbed clean of dirt and scabies. In such dreams, she’s the one she was born to be. Other dreams are about who she really was: a skinny kid with a street-child’s dry skin and rough hands, a little girl with malnutrition’s black lines carved into her face, a dying child with matted hair and wild eyes. Then she goes behind my back – not only in dreams but also throughout my day – and whispers the questions: “What kind of world was I born into? What does it mean to be human if what happened to me was allowed to happen?”

Prostitution

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”I was not challenging the negative self-image I had been raised with and had carried with me all my life. Of course it caused me much suffering in the longer term, but at that time, in a sense, it was easier to accept that it would not be possible for me to assimilate into society than to set about the very frightening task of accepting my own potential.”

- Rachel Moran, Paid For: My Journey Through Prostitution

The word prostitution is derived from the latin word prōstituere, which means to be ‘exposed publicly, offered for sale.’ This implies that someone is set on display to the public eye, like an object in a shop window, with the purpose of being examined and sold to whoever is prepared to pay the price. The word quite accurately describes what those in prostitution face. And in prostitution, it is not just one’s body that is for sale—it is the person’s entire dignity.

Human trafficking & Procuring

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“I’ve been held down like a piece of meat while monsters disguised as men violated me again & again. ”

- Gladys Lawson, Blood Borne Connections

Typically, when we hear the word ”slave”, we think of the transatlantic trade that was abolished 200 years ago. However, there are actually more people enslaved today in so-called ”modern day slavery.” Human trafficking is defined as a situation where several perpetrators cooperate, usually across countries, to recruit victims who are transported from one place to the next to be abused, most often through prostitution.

Human trafficking for sexual purposes is driven by the demand. The demand to buy access to another person’s body, and do what one pleases with that body, is the reason why this horrific reality exists. Human trafficking is the fastest growing type of organized crime, and the most profitable alongside weapons and drugs.

Pornography

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Everyone that watches "Deep Throat" is watching me being raped

- Linda Lovelace

The internet has profoundly changed the nature of pornography consumption, offering consumers the 4 A’s of accessibility, affordability, anonymity, and even acceptability, thereby drawing in an increased number and variety of viewers. Porn has become a ‘norm’, with the overwhelming majority of children consuming pornography before the age of 16. Yet should mainstream porn be the norm? Should porn be teaching us about sexuality? Is there a link between pornography, prostitution, and trafficking?