It seems to me that the logic used by many law makers across the globe goes something like this: “People want X because it gives them pleasure. X is being offered by criminal groups so it must be bad. Hence make sure X is illegal and everybody will be happier even though we deny them of what they want and aid criminals at the same time. It’s all for their own good.” This logic is reflected by the recent news the Finnish minister of justice has proposed that we ought to ban buying sex. In its current state the law prohibits buying sex from human trafficking victims. However, as the minister rightfully pointed out, currently it can be somewhat difficult for an individual buyer to determine whether or not the person he/she is purchasing sex from is indeed a victim of human trafficking.
There’s a saying about prostitution being the oldest profession on earth. Why? Because people enjoy having sex and hence it has also been bought and sold for since the beginning of economies. As George Carlin famously pointed out: “Selling is legal. Fucking is legal. Why isn’t selling fucking legal?” It’s true that human trafficking is a problem related to street prostitution. Gangs force women to sell themselves as payment for their trip. This violates the basic right of bodily integrity and therefore is – and should always be – condemnable and punishable. But it’s not the selling of the sex that is the core of the issue, it’s the human trafficking.