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May 2017
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Whilst we cannot say with certainty that it is the oldest job in the world (as the saying goes), there are reports of prostitution in the Babylonian law code dating back to 2000 years before Christ. Offering sexual performances for payment was and is a very common practise in both the West and East and, in some contexts, it has seen an increase in recent years. In fact, prostitution has been legalised and regulated in some countries, with the organisation of apartments or neighbourhoods which it is confined to, however, in the majority of states and cultures, although there are laws preventing it and that, above all, penalise exploitation, it is routinely flaunted.

The phenomenon
UNICEF has estimated that, every year, 1,000,000 women are trafficked for sexual exploitation and that 35% of them are underage.
In order to talk about today’s phenomenon, it is necessary to talk about the three groups involved: the pimps, the prostitutes and the customers.

These people are the most reprehensible (and usually condemned only in theory) in terms of laws against prostitution. Unlike in times gone by, today, pimps work in groups or criminal groups which usually lead people into prostitution against their will with physical and psychological violence. The sad phenomenon of illegal immigration (almost always induced by deception, if not forced) of girls and young women (as well as young men and transsexuals) from countries from Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Africa and South America who are forced to prostitute themselves represents one of the main sources of illegal income (often associated with drug dealing).

There are three types of prostitute:

  1. those who dedicate themselves with a relative margin of choice;
  2. those, like drug addicts (both female and male), who do it in order to get money for drugs;
  3. those who are forced by unscrupulous pimps. 

Evidently, the suffering experienced in each of the three groups is variable, however it lies in the background in a more or less intrusive way in each group.

If prostitution is so common, it is evident it is because there is a great demand for it.

A recent survey by a group from Turin, Italy, who opened up a telephone line for those who want to kick the habit of frequenting prostitutes, the slogan of which was let’s talk freely, showed that:

the age band of customers is very wide, ranging from 16 to 80 years old;
16% of 19 to 24 year olds have had sexual relations with a prostitute;
43% of customers ask to have unprotected sexual relations;
70% of customers are married;
the most common reasons that cause someone to turn to a prostitute are solitude and difficulty establishing significant relationships with women.

The risk ran by customers, often voluntarily, to contract SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES must also be mentioned here. Drug addicts, homosexuals and transsexuals are the most infected groups of prostitutes.

It is must mentioned, however, that prostitutes are also at risk; it has been reported that the group of customers most likely to transmit infections are clients aged 40-50 years old.


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