U.N. panel recommends legalizing prostitution, drug use worldwide.
A 150-page report issued by the United Nations-backed Global Commission on HIV and the Law says that nations around the world should legalize prostitution and "decriminalize the voluntary use of illegal injection drugs" to fight HIV, CNS News reported Monday.
Although the 15-member panel met in 2010, it is just now issuing its final report.
In that report, the commission recommends repealing all laws against “adult consensual sex work,” as well as clearly distinguishing in law and practice between sexual trafficking and prostitution.
Specifically, the panel wants to:
- “Decriminalise private and consensual adult sexual behaviours, including same-sex sexual acts and voluntary sex work.”
- “Reform approaches towards drug use. Rather than punishing people who use drugs but do no harm to others, governments must offer them access to elective HIV and health services, including harm reduction programmes and voluntary, evidence-based treatment for drug dependence.”
- “Work with the guardians of customary and religious law to promote traditions and religious practice that promote rights and acceptance of diversity and that protect privacy.”
According to the panel, laws against prostitution are considered "bad."
"But the law can also do grave harm to the bodies and spirits of people living with HIV," the report says. "It can perpetrate discrimination and isolate the people most vulnerable to HIV from the programmes that would help them to avoid or cope with the virus."
The report also says that by "dividing people into criminals and victims or sinful and innocent, the legal environment can destroy the social, political, and economic solidarity that is necessary to overcome this global epidemic."
In 2009, the U.N. Secretary General said he supports getting rid of all laws against prostitution.
CNS cited Dr. Janice Crouse, director of the Beverly LaHaye Institute at Concerned Women for America in Washington, D.C., who said the idea of legalizing prostitution worldwide is nothing new.
“They like to legitimize the whole industry that way so that it can be regulated and so that it can be considered a ‘legitimate option’ for women and give it more respectability. But, the sad fact is in every instance where prostitution has been legalized, illegal prostitution has flourished,” she told CNS.
“The pimps all want prostitution legalized; they like that. The sex traffickers want it legalized because they gain far more traction with their own illegal activities anytime that is the case – it’s happened in Germany, it happened in Amsterdam, it’s been shown over and over again.” she added.
“It’s fascinating to me the way they (the report’s authors) dance around to avoid addressing the issue of behavior and to avoid the issue of consequences of promiscuity,” Crouse said.
“This is an example; they don’t want anything that would suggest to anybody that they ought to curb their sexual behavior. They don’t want anything to curb anybody’s enjoyment of sexual activity without consequences and all of this is an attempt to mainstream behaviors and then deal with the consequences -- and that plan does not work.”
The study was funded in part by the governments of Canada, Australia, the United States (through USAID) and Norway. It was also partially funded by the Ford Foundation and George Soros' Open Society Foundations.