Same As It Ever Was: In Support of the Rights of Sex Trafficking Victims

146 Pages Posted: 11 Mar 2019

Date Written: 2018


This article examines the factors that lead historians to conclude that early 20th century Progressive reformers created a panic over a perceived sex trafficking problem that never really existed. It then examines how those same factors drive contemporary sex worker rights advocates to object to treating individuals in the sex trade as victims. The article then turns to the demand for sexual access, and the harsh physical, mental, and social harms that individuals in the sex trade suffer, even under the best circumstances. Finally, the article outlines United Nations and United States prostitution and sex trafficking policy recommendations aimed at reducing the number of individuals drawn into and kept in the sex industry, reducing the harms suffered by individuals in or leaving the industry, and reducing the market for the purchase of sexual access to others.

Keywords: law and policy, human trafficking, sex trafficking, trafficking, prostitution, sex workers, Mann Act, Trafficking Victims Protection Act, TVPA, United Nations Trafficking Protocol

Suggested Citation

Donovan, Elizabeth M, Same As It Ever Was: In Support of the Rights of Sex Trafficking Victims (2018). Quinnipiac Law Review, Vol. 36, No. 4, 2018. Available at SSRN:

Elizabeth M Donovan (Contact Author)

Ave Maria School of Law

1025 Commons Circle
Naples, FL 34119
United States

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