Climate Change Causes Prostitution?
Religion & Liberty Online

Climate Change Causes Prostitution?

Or at least that is what some House Democrats claim. Despite the fact that scientists have yet to conclude that climate change due to human impact on the environment is a proven reality, these Democrats are convinced that it not only exists, it forces women into prostitution.

David Harsanyi at Human Events has this to say:

[N]othing causes more transactional sex than poverty, and few conditions bring more poverty to women around the world than limiting capitalism and free trade. One wonders if a poor woman in say, Bangladesh, would be happier and healthier with a car, an air conditioner and processed food rather than that light carbon footprint they now carry? I wish they had a choice.

It is difficult to imagine that driving rain, warmer weather or an ice storm would force a woman into prostitution. It is poverty that provokes women and families to make desperate choices. It is also the increase in human-trafficking, one of the most lucrative forms of criminal activity world-wide. The Guardian illustrates:

Malti, 22, and Sita, 35, were promised well-paid jobs in the Middle East. Neither reached the Gulf. Instead they were stripped of their valuables, travel documents and phones and held with 18 others in one room in a rundown apartment in the Indian capital for four months. Denied any outside contact, they were freed only when police, acting on a tip-off, raided the “human warehouse” where the women were being kept.

The pair are victims of a new wave of abuse as more and more women from India are recruited by unscrupulous agents for jobs in the Middle East.

There were 3,517 incidents relating to human trafficking in India in 2011, says the country’s National Crime Records Bureau, compared to 3,422 the previous year. Most involve women, often from very poor backgrounds, being seized forcibly or misled into lives of harsh domestic labour or sex work within India. But increasingly police and campaigners are uncovering illegal operations which channel women to countries such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain or the United Arab Emirates.

The piece goes on to state that poor, illiterate women are most at risk for trafficking.

Poverty robs people of choices, dignity, and freedom. In the very worst circumstances, people literally become slaves due to poverty. It is poverty alleviation (with initiatives such as PovertyCure) that we should be focusing on, rather than tracking carbon footprints of the poor.

Elise Hilton

Communications Specialist at Acton Institute. M.A. in World Religions.