Human Rights Watch, an independent multinational organization dedicated to investigating and reporting on human rights abuses around the world, recently published this powerful call for the full decriminalization of consensual adult sex work. Calling on research from countries as diverse as Cambodia, China, Tanzania, the United States and South Africa, the study concludes:
Human Rights Watch has consistently found in research across various countries that criminalization makes sex workers more vulnerable to violence, including rape, assault, and murder, by attackers who see sex workers as easy targets because they are stigmatized and unlikely to receive help from the police. Criminalization may also force sex workers to work in unsafe locations to avoid the police.
Governments should fully decriminalize sex work and ensure that sex workers do not face discrimination in law or practice. They should also strengthen services for sex workers and ensure that they have safe working conditions and access to public benefits and social safety nets.
And consider the source: unlike many “Rescue” or “Anti Prostitution” lobbies, Human Rights Watch is fully independent, accepting no government funding or corporate ties.