“Advocates for Human Rights"?

A report was recently delivered by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) called “The 8 March Principles for  a Human Rights-Based Approach to Criminal Law Proscribing Conduct Associated with Sex, Reproduction, Drug Use, HIV, Homelessness  and Poverty.”

In a nutshell, the ICJ is trying to point out how “over-criminalization” of certain acts are leading to more harm to citizens. They believe that particular laws and punishments are hurting human rights even further and that this is a power-play by those in authority by stripping down human freedoms and rights that should exist, and it’s causing more harm than good. 

For example, they say that those involved in “sex work” are seven times more likely to be living with HIV than where it is partially legalized. 

To state the obvious, we at Kids Not For Sale and the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking do not agree with the moral compass of this organization that “advocates for human rights.”  There are many things to address in this, but we mainly wanted to discuss these two aspects from the report:

  1. Decriminalization of “sex work” by calling it “a freedom.”
  2. Not only allowing, but encouraging minors (those under 18) to pursue having sex with any aged person they desire – because it’s also “their freedom.”

What Is Our Moral Compass?

We recognize that in the country of the United States that we are free to live and express how we desire. We also understand that not everything immoral is considered illegal. We are not tied to one religion or, necessarily, one moral compass. 

However, we as a country do have law and order. We do have a moral compass in mind to establish right from wrong. In general, it seems that most laws are to help keep order or to help protect others from the harm of others (i.e. murder, slavery, abuse, etc.). 

So when we hear the defense of “Sex work” or the ability for adults to have “consensual” sex with adolescents, we question who that is really helping. 

They can use the example of “sex workers” being more likely to be living with HIV than where it is partially legalized, we do not ignore the fact that this is upsetting. However, to believe that allowing “sex work” to become legalized and flourish due to this one stat seems to be ignoring many, many others. It also seems interesting that allowing sex to be performed more frequently will lead to less HIV…a sexually transmitted disease. 


The Stat They’re Ignoring

We at the U.S. Institute would like to present a statistic they are seeming to ignore: over 90% of those currently “working” in prostitution want to get out, but feel like they are not able to.

The ICJ has chosen to ignore the fact that most “sex workers” and children involved in “sex work” were brought in by force or coercion? Why is the ICJ dismissive of the fact that most in that industry lack education and resources?

We at the institute strongly disagree with the ICJ’s assertion, and would no sooner see this same argument used to endorse bringing back the same kind of slavery that was abolished centuries ago.

We believe that if such a policy was put into place it would become an easy way for those who have the resources and power to take advantage of the vulnerable, and if that industry exists again, the demand will only rise. This worldview ultimately dehumanizes another person and removes their agency, objectifying another human being.


This Is The Opposite Of Fighting For Human Rights

The reason human trafficking exists at all in this world is because of the demand. It is driven by men and women (mostly white men) wanting to pay to have sex with other human beings, sometimes regardless of gender or age. 

According to this report, not only does the ICJ advocate for the legalization of “sex work” but also the legalization of adults having “consensual” sex with minors (they see it as the minor’s freedom).

This is the picture of modern-day slavery. It’s packaged as “this choice” that people are making. That they want this life. That it’s their freedom, even though most do not want to do it. Most feel that they cannot “get out.” 

At the U.S. Institute, we see a more dangerous opportunity for these perpetrators to not only take advantage of the vulnerable population of adults, but now children. 

The punishment of a buyer illegally engaging sexually with a prostitute has remained a minor offense in most cases, but being caught doing this with a child has carried a larger offense. 

According to this report, the ICJ believes that they are fighting for human rights to legalize this. At the U.S. Institute, we see this as a fight for the buyer to get away with taking advantage of the vulnerable population. 

Now more than ever, we need to fight human slavery. Now more than ever, we need to rally around our community and not let lack of resources, education, or opportunity lead our women, children, and men into being lured into this crime against humanity. 

It’s time to point out what is truly happening, those in power are finding new ways to manipulate those who are more vulnerable, under the guise of promoting “freedom.”