One argument, is that the criminalisation of sex work has detrimental effects on trafficked persons, who are wanting to leave the industry. The stigma that is still attached to sex work, makes it harder for victims to exit the industry. Many feel ashamed and worry they will be punished for the work they have been involved in. Criminalising the sex industry can cause not just voluntary workers, but also trafficked sex workers, to go ‘underground’ which means they have less support and are likely to be exploited even further (Weitzer, 2007, p. 453).
In contrast, there is the prospect of legalising prostitution (as it is in Australia). However, a criticism of legalising prostitution, is that it would make trafficking people for sexual exploitation, worse than it already is. It would increase the number of humans being trafficked and in turn, exploiting more women. It is argued that without legislation in place to prevent sexual exploitation, attitudes towards women will remain backwards (as sexual objects). Legalising prostitution under the right conditions, can reduce human trafficking. One example of this can be seen in Denmark; where legalising prostitution reduced human trafficking. If the government is the organisation in charge of regulating the sex industry, human traffickers have less power and control over the victims. When sex work is criminalised, it attracts large organised crime syndicates, which create huge amounts of profits (Weitzer, 2007, p. 457). Although legalising prostitution can reduce sex trafficking, it is not