Anti-Human Trafficking Sting Leads to Arrests
A recent anti-human trafficking sting in San Diego and National City resulted in 48 arrests, according to NBC San Diego. While the intention of the anti-human trafficking sting was to catch those involved in human trafficking, some sex workers were also caught up in the operation.
Sex worker advocates argue that the criminalization of sex work actually makes it easier for human trafficking to occur, as it drives the industry further underground and puts workers at risk. Kaytlin Bailey, Founder and Executive Director of Old Pros, was quoted by NBC saying, “The fastest way to trap somebody in a life of prostitution is to arrest them for it. The only way to reduce violence and exploitation is to increase the negotiating power of victims, but we cannot help people we are hunting.”
This sentiment is echoed by many sex worker advocates who believe that decriminalization is the key to reducing the exploitation and violence that can occur within the industry. When sex work is decriminalized, workers are able to negotiate safer working conditions and have greater access to legal protections.
Unfortunately, many countries and jurisdictions continue to criminalize sex work, perpetuating the cycle of violence and exploitation. It is important to remember that not all sex workers are victims of trafficking and that criminalization only serves to harm those who engage in consensual sex work.
It is heartening to see advocates like Kaytlin Bailey speaking out against harmful laws and policies that perpetuate harm towards sex workers. By shining a light on the harmful effects of criminalization and advocating for decriminalization, we can work towards a future where sex workers are able to work safely and with dignity.