Human trafficking is a global issue affecting everyone. Many scholars have attempted to implement different policies to further develop methods of eradicating the problem. The nature of human trafficking as a problem is constructed through societal internalized beliefs. The views of society towards sex workers often stigmatize and negatively depict them in society. As many perceptions of sex workers have negative thoughts and portrayals, it is imperative to understand the foundation of the issue. Many women and children are victimized due to social disparities. International Organizations try to advocate for the protection of sex workers not in the circumstances of agreeing and encouraging sex work. Policies are advocated to protect sex workers as humans.
The Contagious Diseases Act was proposed in 1802, commencing the registration of street prostitutes who were mandated to report semi-weekly examinations for hygienic purposes. By 1868 the Contagious Diseases Act was enacted and regulated resulting in a “state-supported prostitution” (Butler, 1995, p. 91). The imposed regulation was recognized by society critically monitoring hygienic conditions of prostitutes. Consequently, this imposed policy humiliated other women not involved in sex work. The Contagious Diseases Act was intended to cater to the need and protection of military men (Butler, 1995). This act protects men from contaminating venereal diseases through surgical examination of sex workers. However, the implementation of this policy denied the rights of liberation of women. It had forced women with or without disease to be examined and certified. A bi-weekly examination process was vital, as the Moral Police would deem a woman as a prostitute. Women were registered and awarded a certification for being disease-free. This policy had raised many issues in feminism of free or forced prostitution.
The policy defines trafficking as professional prostitution which constitutes: “a woman who has freely chosen the work of a prostitute and set herself up in the business. The commercialization of prostitution: It’s ordinary, everyday sexual exploitation of women, which was not confronted by abolitionists unless it was forced” (Butler, 1995, p.103). The creation of the Contagious Diseases Act served soldiers ignoring women’s rights. Evidentially through this policy it is visible women were seen as objects. Women were seen as insignificant and safety concerns were not considered for sex workers.