Julia O'Connell Davidson

The debate about prostitution is conducted between two poles. Abolitionists hold that prostitution exploits women per se and call for the prosecution of the pimps and even customers as a measure against sex slavery and trafficking in human beings. Liberals hold that sex is a commodity like any other and call for the social recognition and official regulation of prostitution in order to improve prostitutes’ working conditions. Both positions are simplifications, writes Julia O’Connell Davidson. Any policy genuinely aiming at improving the lives of migrant sex workers must focus on reducing poverty in the countries of origin.