Every year the United Nations hosts the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), a two-week long event where people from around the world gather to discuss issues that impact women. This year, CMC Missioner and Cabrini Action and Advocacy Coalition representative Melanie Paccillo attended several auxiliary events relating to human trafficking.
One of these events discussed the issue of prostitution on an international level. On this panel were Rachel Moran, founding member of Survivors of Prostitution-Abuse Calling for Enlightenment,; Vendita Carter, founder and executive director of Breaking Free; Ingelborg Kraus, PhD, a German psychologist and trauma expert who founded a website discussing the link between prostitution and trauma; and Melissa Farley, Ph.D., founder and director of Prostitution Research and Education. Moderating the panel was Taina Bien-Aime, executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women. There was discussion on the Nordic Model, which decriminalizes the selling of, but criminalizes the purchasing of sex. Thus, this law targets the demand. Doctor Kraus furthered the discussion by outlining the devastating impacts the legalization of prostitution has had in Germany. She noted that, with prostitution legalized, there are no support or healing services for those who have been exploited. Rachel Moran noted that the Nordic Model has been, “the only reasonable strategy for a millennium.”
When asked what the greatest barrier is to ending prostitution, Rachel Moran stated that it is the status quo. She said, “[you] think you can’t do anything, but everything you say out loud where people can hear you, no, that’s not okay, it’s another piece to this movement.” Dr. Farley added, “Prostitution is to society what incest is to the family.”
CSW is an exciting time, as men and women from all over the world come together to collaborate and find solutions to international problems. The panel discussions were enlightening and inspiring, bringing to mind the words Pope Leo XIII said to our foundress, “to work, Cabrini!”