Forced prostitution

Forced prostitution, also known as involuntary prostitution, is prostitution or sexual slavery that takes place as a result of coercion by a third party. The terms "forced prostitution" or "enforced prostitution" appear in international and humanitarian conventions such as Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court[1] but have been insufficiently understood and inconsistently applied. "Forced prostitution" refers to conditions of control over a person who is coerced by another to engage in sexual activity.[2]

Forced prostitution is a crime against the person because of the violation of the victim's rights of movement through coercion and because of their commercial exploitation.

Legal situation

Forced prostitution is illegal under customary law in all countries.[3] This is different from voluntary prostitution which may have a different legal status in different countries, which range from being fully illegal and punishable by death[4] to being legal and regulated as an occupation.

While the legality of adult prostitution varies between jurisdictions, the prostitution of children is illegal nearly everywhere in the world.

In 1949, the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others. This Convention supersedes a number of earlier conventions that covered some aspects of forced prostitution, and also deals with other aspects of prostitution. It penalises the procurement and enticement to prostitution as well as the maintenance of brothels.[3] As at December 2013, the Convention has only been ratified by 82 countries.[5] One of the main reasons it has not been ratified by many countries is because it 'voluntary' is broadly defined in countries with a legal sex industry.[3] For example, in countries such as Germany,[6] the Netherlands,[6] New Zealand,[7] Greece[8] and Turkey[9] and other countries some forms of prostitution and pimping are legal and regulated as professional occupations.