Mexico City To Decriminalize Sex Work
Last Friday Mexico City’s congress voted to remove language in their Civic Culture Law which allows police to fine and arrest sex workers when receiving complaints from neighbors.
According to Reuters reporting, Mexico City representative Temistocles Villanueva declared that these changes recognize that people had the right to engage in sex work.
Per Reuters: “It’s a first step that has to lead to regulation of sex work, to fight human trafficking and strengthen the rights of sex workers,” he said. “Exercising sexuality in our country is still a taboo topic that few of us dare to talk about.”
Some politicians and groups in Mexico are against this change, arguing that the decriminalization of sex work will only make sex trafficking worse in the area, but many groups such as Amnesty International, the World Health Organization, UNAIDS, the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW), Human Rights Watch, Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union, have called for policy makers to decriminalize sex work as a way to curb human trafficking.
Why? Because if people aren’t afraid of getting fined, arrested, or abused by police, they are more likely to come forward and ask for help. However, these human rights groups have recognized that in addition to decriminalizing sex work, it’s necessary for governments to establish and strengthen anti-trafficking and assault laws.
In contrast, the United States has made its own arguably misguided efforts to prevent sex trafficking with the 2018 passage of FOSTA and SESTA. FOSTA and SESTA essentially hold internet publishers responsible for any sex work arranged through their websites. This has resulted in Craigslist ending their Personals section, the seizure of Backpage, and the increased censorship of Facebook and Instagram.
Many sex workers, activist, advocates, and even the Department of Justice have argued that FOSTA and SESTA does not and will not help decrease human trafficking. It’ll only drive predators further underground (instead of online, where they can be found). Additionally, the absence of space on the internet for sex workers to vet and get clients means that sex work will be less safe and less lucrative, making those who choose to engage in consensual sex work less safe.
Stay positive! XOXO