From the article:
While precise figures remain difficult to obtain given human trafficking’s underworld existence, in 2002 USAID estimated that between 700,000 and 4 million persons are trafficked each year into slavery. That number does not include cases of trafficking within a country’s borders, only across them. Furthermore, not only is human trafficking the fastest-growing criminal industry, it is tied with the illegal arms industry as being the second-largest global criminal industry.
rather than eliminate sexual trafficking, the evidence has consistently revealed that legalizing prostitution fosters it.
Of course most of us want to end sexual slavery, but the commercial sex industry—which is the very lifeblood of trafficking—is increasingly tolerated. Prostitution is seen by plenty as a legitimate, if suboptimal, form of “work,” and pornography is taken to be harmless. And yet the commercial sex market and sex trafficking are symbiotically related; the latter simply would not exist without the former. Women and girls are trafficked into brothels, strip clubs, and massage parlors. They’re photographed and filmed servicing men. Customers—including men who simply click on free porn on the web—do not and cannot distinguish between trafficked women, prostitutes, and porn stars.
In other words, sexual demand is not as stable as you might think; it can be stimulated. Just consider what happened in Australia when its government decriminalized prostitution and took control of the industry: “in New South Wales where brothels were decriminalized in 1995, the number of brothels in Sydney had tripled to 400-500 by 1999, with the vast majority having no license.”
in a recent study of trafficking and prostitution across nine countries, researchers found that out of 785 sex workers, “89 percent…wanted to escape prostitution but did not have other options for survival.”
Free choice here is largely a myth.