Prostitution—which is currently only legal in several Nevada counties in the U.S.—is a hotly debated topic, both here and around the world. Surprisingly, Amnesty International, the U.N., Human Rights Watch, and the World Health Organization are for legalized prostitution, arguing that the best way to protect the safety of prostitutes is to legalize the industry. “The available evidence indicates that the criminalization of sex work is more likely than not to reinforce discrimination against those who sell sex, placing them at greater risk of harassment and violence, including ill-treatment at the hands of police,” according to a draft policy issued by Amnesty International last year.
The UN released a report in 2012 that recommends countries get rid of laws against prostitution, which they dubbed “consensual sex work.” Doing so, they argued, would recognize sex work as an occupation and would therefore force it to be regulated in a way that “protects workers and customers.”
Last year, many celebrities like Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, and Lena Dunham signed a Change.org petition in an attempt to get Amnesty International to change its proposal to decriminalize prostitution. The letter argued that decriminalizing sex work “sides with buyers of sex, pimps, and other exploiters rather than with the exploited.”
It’s doubtful the issue will get resolved anytime soon, but it’s certainly interesting to see where both genders stand.