It’s come to this.
On Friday, Attorney General Eric Holder issued a memo to everyone in the Department of Justice reminding them that they should not become customers in the commercial sex trade — and not just because of the threat of extortion or blackmail, either.
“Regardless of whether prostitution is legal or tolerated in a particular jurisdiction,” Holder wrote, “soliciting prostitutes creates a greater demand for human trafficking victims and a consequent increase in the number of minor and adult persons trafficked into commercial sex slavery.”
While there’s some debate, a 2012 study largely reinforces Holder’s point. “On average,” its authors write, “countries with legalized prostitution experience a larger degree of reported human trafficking inflows.” And they have a scatterplot to demonstrate it.