Lately, some Wisconsin communities have announced successful "prostitution stings." Why stings? Because prostitution is a victimless crime so there are no victims to file a police report.
Libertarians hold strong views when it comes to sensitive issues such as drug use and prostitution that may or may not be popular with the rest of the world. They see prostitution as a form of self expression and something that the government and even established religion cannot and should not touch.
Libertarian Views on Prostitution:
The general consensus among libertarians is that prostitution is a victimless crime, an activity between two consenting adults. The act of having sex should not be the subject of regulation, even if the act does not involve love or if it involves the exchange of money. Prostitution is done with consent, and therefore is an activity that signifies a person’s expression of his ownership of his body and the things he or she wants to do with it as long as the act does not infringe on the basic rights of others. In fact, it is strong libertarian beliefs such as these that are fueling the drive to repeal regulations on sex by consenting adults.
Prostitution as Trade:
Libertarians take it another step further by viewing prostitution as the voluntary sale of goods or exchange of services. The concept of self ownership applies here as well, since you cannot sell or offer for rent anything that you do not own. Individuals have the right to offer their own labor services without any interference from the state or from organized religion. As long as the transaction is voluntary, there is no reason why government should intervene. Any interference would constitute a violation of the personal liberties of the persons whose rights are being restricted.
Prostitution as a Victimless Crime:
Libertarians see prostitution as a victimless crime which means that it is basically not a crime at all, since no one is seen fit to suffer legal consequences of the act. It is based on this view that libertarians see prostitution as an issue that is beyond government or religious regulation. Criminal penalties on prostitution may be doing society more harm than good. One study revealed that the state spends two thousand dollars when one prostitute is arrested. Multiply this with the exact number of prostitutes arrested all over the country, and you have enough money to run other areas of government more efficiently.
Government Restrictions the Reason for Illicit and Black Market Prostitution and Human Trafficking
Libertarians believe that legalizing prostitution will help prevent the proliferation of illegal and black market prostitution which places this occupation far from the reach of beneficial forms of regulation such as those that seek to control the quality of services being offered and laws that promote the health of sex workers and their protection from various forms of abuse. The promotion of healthier practices among sex workers would be easier to do when the profession is regulated, something that is impossible to do when the profession is facing strict prohibition in many states. If and when prostitution becomes a legal activity, there is a greater chance of cooperation from this sector since they also receive benefits from legislation. These include protection of their rights as legal workers, promotion of their health and quality of services, and representation in government.
Legalization of prostitution is also an avenue towards eliminating human trafficking, which is can be aggressive, violent and deadly. Trafficking is one of the worst evidence of how criminal organizations disregard the rights of women to make their own decisions regarding their own bodies by coercing them to engage in prostitution not for their own gain or out of their own will but for the benefit of the criminal organization. Trafficking also involves minors in prostitution which is a far more severe violation than those seemingly committed by prostitutes who willingly conduct business on the streets.
Government Imposition of Morality Through Restrictions on Prostitution Is Itself Immoral:
Libertarians see that restrictions on prostitution are not hinged on law or the risk of danger towards society, but solely on morality. This is dangerous ground, because this is an act of controlling the morals of a population through government regulation.The means itself of the government in its effort to curb prostitution is immoral because it encroaches on the basic rights of a person to his or her own body and to engage in voluntary acts with his own free will.