Monday, April 6, 2015

Prostitution is the Oldest Oppression

Prostitution, Sex-Trafficking, and the Human Rights Abuse Inherent to the Sex Trade panel was the most emotional of the CSW 2015. The panel was arranged by SPACE International (Survivors of Prostitution-Abuse Calling for Enlightenment) and Women’s Front of Norway. In her introduction, the chair provided examples of Norway and Sweden where prostitution is illegal. In Sweden, purchasing sexual services, pimping, procuring, and running a brothel are prohibited. In addition, Norway legally banned advertisements of sexual services. The panel called other countries to follow Scandinavian example.

Some statements from the panel: “Prostitution is a fundamental violence of human rights. Prostitution is a torture. Prostitution denies women rights. Prostitution is a slavery.”

Among panelists I saw wonderful, active, and cheerful ladies. The chair introduced some of them as survivors of the sex exploitation. Each of them shared their own personal story. They faced the other side of the society where everyone turned away from them.

After years of torture, violence, and abuse, she decided to start a new page of her life and get a higher education degree. She applied and was refused twice because of her past. “I was not seen as a human being with a heart and soul,” she concluded. Now, she has a degree in social work and got a job where she is not beaten and hurt.

A girl from Canadian First Nations did not choose it, she was forced to this at the age of 12. She got a trauma, it was a hell, her dignity was taken away. She become pregnant. “The birth of a little girl stopped me from prostitution. I decided that my girl will not go through this.” Society has failed to protect her. It labelled her as a parasite, a dangerous offender. She was beaten and tortured. He broke her jaw and arm. “I want to be reborn.” Her pimp is still free and continues to kill young girls’ future. In Canada, she says, indigenous girls are sold at the age of 8 and 9. They are called "blueberries because they are wild". Comparing to other girls, they are paid less. Human trafficking, prostitution, and pimping should be criminalized in every country. It can be stopped. Think of slavery or a death penalty.

Panelists ended saying: “Prostitution is not the oldest profession, it is the oldest oppression.”   

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