The system of prostitution is a form of violence.
- The vast majority of prostituted persons have suffered from violence, often sexual, before entering prostitution.
- The vast majority of prostituted persons are victims of many forms of violence while in prostitution (physical, verbal, sexual, psychological violence).
- The repetition of sexual acts without physical desire, but instead experienced as a result of financial need, inequality and/or as exploitation of vulnerability, constitutes in itself a sexual violence
The system of prostitution is a form of exploitation of inequalities.
- Prostitution is a part of a long patriarchal tradition of making women’s bodies available for men’s benefit (droit du seigneur, rape, sexual harassment, “conjugal duties”…).
- Prostitution exploits multiple forms of inequality: men’s domination over women, rich over poor, North over South, majority groups over minorities.
- Minority, discriminated and migrants groups are over-represented in prostitution all over the world.
The system of prostitution is a violation of human dignity.
- By placing the human body and sex into the realm of the marketplace, the system of prostitution reinforces the objectification of all women and their bodies. It is a direct violation of the physical and moral integrity of prostituted persons.
- Prostitution reinforces the domination of men over women, in particular the attitude that women’s bodies are available and accessible, which is present in other forms of violence against women such as rape, sexual harassment and intimate-partner violence.
- Prostitution is an obstacle to establishing truly free, respectful and egalitarian sexuality in society.
- The system of prostitution fuels and perpetuates trafficking in human beings for sexual exploitation.
The system of prostitution is a violation of human rights.
- The UN Convention of 2 December 1949 adopted by its General Assembly states in its preamble that “Prostitution and the accompanying evil of the traffic in persons for the purpose of prostitution are incompatible with the dignity and worth of the human person”.
- The UN 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) ask states parties to “take all appropriate measures, including legislation, to suppress all forms of traffic in women and exploitation of prostitution of women”.
- Prostitution is indeed incompatible with articles 3 and 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which state that “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person” and “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.