In a bold Ted Talk talk, drug policy reformist Ethan Nadelmann makes an impassioned plea to end the “backward, heartless, disastrous” movement to stamp out the drug trade. The similarities between criticism of the Drug War and the harms incurred by anti-sex trafficking initiatives are striking, and underline how prohibition and abolitionist movements ultimately do more harm than good. Sex worker advocates often point to failed prohibition measures (Drug war, ban on abortion, denial of gay rights, alcohol) as examples of how abolitionist stances on human behavior serve only to expand criminal black markets, increase harmful stigma, and feeding the prison industrial complex with otherwise non-violent offenders.
As you watch this video, swap out the references for the War on Drugs with the War on Sex Work. You will be surprised at the parallels drawn between the two.