Research Paper: Prostitution and of Human Rights

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Prostitution and Human Rights

In Dominican Republic, prostitution is legal. The country has decriminalized Prostitution, and it views prostitution as legitimate work besides accepting prostitutes as working people. Legalization of prostitution in the Dominican Republic followed the understanding that criminalizing prostitution would only serve to drive the prostitution business into hidden economy that would make sex workers vulnerable to additional exploitation and marginalization that would leave sex workers without recourse to medical and legal protection. Freedom of occupational choice, safety and health protection, besides prosecution of perpetrators of violence against sex workers were central to the struggle of legalizing prostitution in Dominican Republic. Although prostitution is legalized in Dominican Republic and other countries such as Jamaica, it increases vulnerability of prostitutes to violence, abuse and financial mistreatment by customers and third parties. Prostitution is cruelty against women and contravenes the most fundamental human rights to integrity, dignity and sexual autonomy, and decriminalizing prostitution normalizes and regulates activities, which entail human rights infringements.

Melinda's Story

You cannot have humiliation and violence as part of 'job description' and believe that you have a job. Barry, an author, seeks to know the working conditions and experiences inside prostitution of women who view prostitution as a career choice (24). Prostitution is not a choice, but a strategy of survival. Prostitution is not a natural occurring prospect that women may want to exploit, but socially constructed out of male domination and subordination of women. Melinda had been a prostitute in the United States for several years when Barry contacted her for interview. Melinda entered into the business of prostitution when she was only fifteen years old. While waiting for a bus, a man approached her and promised to pay her fifty dollars for a date. Being a woman and in the street qualified her to be called a prostitute. She accepted the offer and learnt that being a date meant buying sex when she was taken to a hotel room. At only fifteen years, she became a sex object and she turned out to be a prostitute, a trend that she could not abandon (Barry 24). Melinda became vulnerable to sexual exploitations and she could not fight back. She became a sex object and she ascertains that some of her clients were violent to her while other behaved like sleazes. She confirmed that most customers do not respect prostitutes and would have all manner of sex as long as they have paid for the services. She confirmed that that there were times when her clients anally and orally raped her. Most clients, she said, take prostitutes as bodies to use for sex and they treat them defectively.

Prostitution, adultery and promiscuity alongside their accompanying exploitation and diseases instigate untold human alienation and misery. The degradation of the sexuality of human beings has instigated concerns through history. The sexual inclinations of some people in the society have made them seek sexual services from others in exchange for money. Those who offer sexual services are viewed as second-class people or sex slaves. Although the larger society may be right in referring to prostitutes as people who devalue themselves and people who do not recognize and protect their civil liberties, in the modern society with an example of Dominican Republic, prostitution is a legal business. In this regard, to sanction prostitution legally recognizes prostitute as legal societal members. Even in states where prostitution is legalized, their clients constantly mistreat prostitutes, an aspect that violates human rights. Besides, mistreatment, prostitutes dress immorally and use drugs and alcohol to be to handle their clients. They disrespect their bodies through exposing them to different people in the name of earning a life or seeking pleasure. All these aspects amount to violation of human rights, personal security, bodily integrity and human dignity.

I am particularly interested in this topic because it is a contentious topic that leaves people wondering whether prostitution should be made legal or not, and the fact that I come from Dominican Republic where despite legalization of prostitution, prostitutes are exploited, physically and emotionally injured, hence violation of human rights. I will challenge legalization of prostitution as a way of promoting every human privilege standards that mandates the dignity of a person and equality for all.

Violations of Human Rights through Prostitution

The human privileges of sex workers are threatened through immense and developing exploitation of women with or without consent. Whether or not prostitutes are paid for their services, when they are reduced to a body, objectified to sexually satisfy another, with or without consent, violation of human rights has occurred. A human being is the bodied self that human rights are meant to safeguard and that human growth supports. Nevertheless, in legal context, consent is the defining aspect that determines whether violation has taken place. As a result, the completeness of human experience and human self is lowered to will, consent, intent, as though these are the aspects that are entailed in violation. Human will is the cornerstone of liberal law and theory, which makes an individual in Western idea of rights (Di Nicola 89). As such, liberal legal supposition does not view oppression in prostitution, which entails violation of human rights.

Prostitution violates women's human rights and is responsible for subordinating women. Prostitution is a form of sexual exploitation just like incest, battering, genital mutilation and rape (Di Nicola 89). Sexual exploitation refers to the practice through which women are sexually overpowered through abuse of violation of physical integrity and sexuality as a way of obtaining power and domination including gratification, advancement and financial gain (Falconberg 476). . There is no disparity amid forced and free prostitution with respect to violation of human rights. This is because women do not engage in prostitution out of free will, but because of social and financial pressures. As a result, prostitution is a manifestation of violence against females and the denunciation of prostitution, which involve contravention of the right to self-determination, must hold within itself the respect for the self-determination of adult person who are engaged in prostitution voluntarily

Prostitution deprives prostitutes their potential and completeness of humanity. Sexual subjugation, via its biological determinisms, halt female' forward movement and hence tries to obliterate the prospects of their change, progress and growth (Di Nicola 89). Sexually subjugated women stop to be treated as if they subsist in time, and to different extent, they internalize a temporality contained by immanence. These are the situations through which the subordinated women are efficiently robbed of the potential and completeness of their humanity. To men, women are not just a diverse body, but sexed body. As a result, it is not coincidental that when females start to claim their own history, men reinvoke them as sexed body with reprisal. The retribution saturates the society with pornography and get in women's bodies through sexual mistreatment.

Prostitution and the evil that accompany it are incompatible with values and dignity of human beings. The human body is link to a person's inner world and the social outer world, society and self, and the body is the differentiation material location (Barry 1). The human body is the link to the world outside self by which one understand self as a distinct and separate human being. The body transcends itself and encases human experience as 'hu-manness' is sustained and attained through interaction with other people and with the world. The image of one's body goes beyond the body borders, "In the construction of the body-image there is a continual testing to discover what could be incorporated into the body…..The body is a social phenomenon" (Barry 1). This statement implies that to affect a person's image, affects the individual somatically. In this regard, the body cannot be viewed as a discrete object that can be used for sexual gains. Prostitution by consent or force, leads to exploitation of human body given that a prostitute puts her body for sale.

Prostitution reduces the worth of human being. Prostitution is the act of engaging in licentious sexual relations for fiscal gain. Persons who through consent get involved in prostitution do not respect their civil liberties and dignity as respectable human beings (Cameron and Collins 275). Prostitution as highlighted in Melinda's story involves some dubious actions, which causes disturbing and physical harms. Koltra, an author, affirms that men seeking the services of prostitutes physically and emotionally injure these women (181). While prostitution may be a source of income and pleasure, its repercussions instigate social and health problems. While prostitution in countries like Dominican Republic is a good and a quick source of income and tax revenues, it instigates health infections and economic issues as huge amount of revenue is directed to finding solutions to address the health issues. In this regard, prostitution despite generating huge amount of revenue causes life-threatening diseases such as HIV / AIDS, and even death.

Prostitution causes risk of work-related mortality. According to Bishakha and Dianne, human rights lawyers and writers, over ninety percent of prostitutes want to escape… [END OF PREVIEW]

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