Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Human Trafficking and Regulating Prostitution

An email from Samuel Lee with a link to his paper with Petra Persson: Human Trafficking and Regulating Prostitution

NYU Law and Economics Research Paper No. 12-08 

The paper argues theoretically that none of the currently prevailing regulatory approaches---outright legalization and criminalization---are unambiguously effective in combating sex trafficking. Moreover, they create a conflict between the protection of voluntary sex work and the prevention of trafficking. The paper proposes a novel policy approach:legal, regulated brothels with severe criminal penalties for johns who purchase sex outside of these brothels. We explain in the paper why this policy can achieve both goals---safeguard voluntary workers and prevent trafficking---and how it could be implemented. We believe that this policy is not only more effective but might also be cheaper than enforcing an outright ban and/or law enforcement efforts targeted directly at traffickers.

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