DECRIMINALIZING SLAVERY: WHY JURISDICTIONS SHOULD FOCUS ON CRIMINALIZING JOHNS

55 Am. Crim. L. Rev. Online 59

Anna Fasano* 

“Sex Trafficking” is modern-day slavery, with traffickers using a variety of control methods to force women and children to perform sex work for the financial gain of the traffickers. The sex trade exacts a physical and psychological toll on its victims, placing them in harm’s way and exposing them to health risks. Despite this, many sex workers face prosecution, while the johns who purchase sex commonly face no legal or career consequences. The sex trade has undergone multiple changes as traffickers utilize modern technology such as online advertising platforms and cryptocurrencies that, when properly tracked and stored, can make it easier to create a record of johns who intend to purchase sex. The changes to the sex trade present an opportunity for prosecutors and other policy makers to shift their enforcement and deterrence mechanisms from the supply to the demand side of sex trafficking. 

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