States Parties shall take all appropriate measures, including legislation, to suppress all forms of traffic in women and exploitation of prostitution of women.
Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979)
As this article remains rather short, it does not detract from its import nor its moral weight and ethical relevance; the areas where the fundamentalist religious and the moderate religious seem aligned – and not, unfortunately, the liberal and political left including purported conservatives and libertarians who use the badge “Classical Liberal” without knowing the first thing about it – comes in the form of the open, vigorous, and consistent calling out of the degradation and humiliation of the female form and of women themselves in activities such as prostitution and pornography, which come associated or linked to trafficking of women and exploitation in prostitution.
This is a public good by my lights. Women deserve better; families and societies should work with those willing to work hard for the protection of women in these rather unsavory circumstances. Within the context of the CEDAW or the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the emphasis for this article becomes, once more, the state or the governments and their duties and responsibilities to the public. In particular, the ethical obligations to the women of the country.
If women are undergoing trafficking due to an individual or familial desperation and unequal circumstances, or if the women are vulnerable and actually undergoing prostitution in an exploitative setting, then the rights to equality and freedom are being violated for the women.
Their health and wellbeing can be at risk at the same time. This is, quite obviously from the data, the rhetoric, and the coverage in the international documents, more of a problem for the women and girls of the world than of the men and the boys. It creates numerous problems in the areas of equality because of the discrimination based solely on the basest of levels, which is the bodies of women.
- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the Preamble, Article 16, and Article 25(2).
- Convention Against Discrimination in Education (1960) in Article 1.
- The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966) in Article 3 and Article 13.
- International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966).
- Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979).
- Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1984).
- The Declaration on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (1993).
- Beijing Declaration(1995).
- United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000).
- Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (2000).
- The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa or the “Maputo Protocol” (2003).
- Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence or the Istanbul Convention (2011) Article 38 and Article 39.
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