Contributor(s)Miller, Isaac Jonathan (Author)
de Marneffe, Peter (Thesis Director)
McGregor, Joan (Committee Member)
School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies
Barrett, The Honors College
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Abstractabstract: Abstract. The term “sex trafficking” can mean many different things, depending on who uses it. To some, it may be synonymous with prostitution. To others, it may equate to slavery. And some may find that sex trafficking differs from both slavery and prostitution. But I find that the term “sex trafficking” is used improperly when referring to phenomena that may not entail the violation of rights of any individual involved. For this reason, various definitions of “sex trafficking” may inappropriately conflate sex trafficking with prostitution. In this essay, I argue against such a conflation through supporting a rights-based approach of defining “sex trafficking,” in which every instance of true sex trafficking necessitates a violation of someone’s rights. First, I begin by laying the foundation of my discussion with definitions and various government and non-government uses of the term “sex trafficking.” Then, I argue for the rights-based approach. I proceed to explore how the rights-based approach relates to consent, force, coercion, deception, and competence. Then, I compile my findings, synthesize a definition, and elaborate on a few questions regarding my definition. Using the term “sex trafficking” correctly, as I argue, means that we necessarily use the term in a context of a violation of rights.