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Full Decriminalisation of Prostitution – What is the Root Problem?

The following valuable information will give us good insight and knowledge around the topic of Prostitution. After all, we are called to be the salt and light in this world – this means – in all areas of life.

The best solution to a problem is to find the root cause and deal with it appropriately. The root cause of Sex Trafficking is the “sex buyer”. Without the people who choose to buy others for sex, there will be no Prostitution and no Sex Trafficking.

Sex buyers inflict great harm to those whom they use and pay for sex. Here are some key reasons from the National Center On Sexual Exploitation, as to WHY sex buyers have to be stopped:

  • Case studies and research have revealed that sex buyers inflict serious physical and psychological harm to the individuals whom they purchase for sex. It often includes sexual assault, rape and murder. Data from five countries has revealed that men, who reported ever buying sex, were more likely to report that they’ve engaged in sexual violence, compared to men who have never purchased sex. In a study comparing sex buyers and non sex buyers, it was reported that the sex buyers committing more crimes, including violence against women, assault, crimes with weapons, crimes against authority, burglaries, and substance abuse-related crimes.
  • Enforcing laws against sex buyers holds the right people accountable. Prostitution law enforcement practices, traditionally, have been biased against those sold into Prostitution, versus sex buyers. Shifting law enforcement’s limited resources from arresting people in Prostitution, toward arresting sex buyers, corrects this imbalance and holds those responsible for inflicting abuse and harm, accountable.
  • The demand for “sex workers” is minimised when sex buyers are penalised, and this also helps reduce Sex Trafficking. Sex buyers do not want their behaviour found out! They use various different methods to ensure that they remain anonymous and avoid arrest. An analysis of data from 150 countries, found that countries with legalised Prostitution, have more cases of international Human Trafficking. Prostitution is legal in Germany and their number of people in Prostitution is estimated to be 60 times higher than that of Sweden. Germany’s number of Trafficking victims have been calculated to nearly 62 times more than that of Sweden – where sex buying has been illegal since 1999.
  • Sex Traffickers are difficult to deter, due to market incentives created by sex buyers. The full spectrum of Sex Traffickers – including friends, family members and those in positions of power – are motivated by money. Every cent in the global sex trade originates from sex buyers. Every victim is purchased by a sex buyer and typically multiple sex buyers, per day. A very small portion of pimps and Traffickers are ever arrested. They are also likely to be replaced as long as the demand remains strong.
  • Sex buyer deterrence tactics are well documented and widely implemented. At least 15 types of distinct demand reduction tactics have been used, in more than 2400 US cities.
  • Demand reduction requires effort. When implemented rigorously and consistently, demand reduction efforts are effective at curbing Prostitution.
  • Demand reduction is cost-effective. A comprehensive program, combatting sex buying, which provided support for people in Prostitution in the UK, reduced costs to the criminal justice system by 55%. A US national assessment of demand reductions efforts noted that most anti-demand tactics are cost neutral and that some generate revenue through fees and fines.
  • Stopping sex buying is the primary prevention. Within Criminology, “primary prevention” efforts are those directed at modifying the physical and social conditions, which provide opportunity for crime. Robust efforts aimed at curbing demand for paid sex such as maintaining, strengthening, and enforcing laws that deter sex buying, creates a culture that prevents harm before it happens. Prevention is always key!
  • Sex buying is not representative of all men – buying sex is not inevitable. While many men have purchased sex, most have not! A survey done with 8201 adult men from across the US, only 6% bought sex within the past 12 months, while only 20% did so at least once in their lifetime. Among currently-active-sex buyers, 64% indicated “I would like to stop buying sex.”  The transactions of high-frequency buyers accounted for nearly 75% of the Prostitution market. Only about 6% of those men who purchased sex illegally, reported ever being arrested for it. The characteristics and motivations of sex buyers are not a mystery.

Many people frown upon “Prostitutes”. My hope is to bring you valuable information that will open your heart and mind to the truth. My prayer is that you will see the System of Prostitution in a new light and that you will also look upon those within the system with new eyes and new understanding.

Please pray that South Africa will not fall into a pit of destruction, by fully decriminalising Prostitution.


“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute”

– Proverbs 31:8 (NIV)

With love in Christ

Tershia de Klerk

Adapted from “10 Reasons to Oppose Full Decriminalisation of Prostitution” by The National Center on Sexual Exploitation

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