Argument: Prostitution is a victimless crime

Issue Report: Prostitution


…What makes prostitution a ‘victimless crime’ in the sense that no one is necessarily harmed by it is that there are consenting adults involved.”[1]
  • Harry Browne, 1996 and 2000 Libertarian Party Candidate for President. The Great Libertarian Offer. 2000. – “It’s not difficult for a free society to keep violent crime to a minimum — with little intrusion on individual liberty and at relatively low cost. But governments also prosecute ‘victimless’ crimes. These are acts that (1) are illegal, (2) involve no intrusion on anyone’s person or property, and (3) about which no injured party files a complaint with the police. These acts include such things as prostitution, gambling, and drug use. They are activities in which all parties participate voluntarily….
Either individuals are responsible for their own acts — including their choices of relationships — or the government is responsible for everything you do. There is no middle ground. Giving government the power to outlaw consensual activity allows the politicians to impose any laws they want on you. And they will use that power.”[2]
  • “Decriminalize Sex Work”. San Francisco Bay Guardian. Jan. 28, 2004. – “San Francisco alone spends tens of millions of dollars a year cracking down on victimless crimes like gambling, drug use, and prostitution. The cops arrest sex workers; the Sheriff’s Office has to process them and pay an average of $94 a day to keep them in jail. The District Attorney’s Office has to pour resources into prosecuting the cases, and since many of the people arrested don’t have the money for private lawyers, the Public Defender’s Office has to defend them.
[…]Law enforcement efforts haven’t made a dent in the city’s sex work industry and never will. But careful decriminalization, combined with strict regulation, could and would end much of the exploitation that takes place in the underground economy.”[3]
  • Sue Bradford, Member of New Zealand’s Parliament. Speech to Parliament. Dec. 12, 2005 – “We believed, and still do, that it was completely wrong to go on living with an archaic law which criminalised generations of sex workers, mainly women, for a victimless so called crime in the name of antique moralities shared by only some of the population.”[4]