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  • Writer's pictureGahsh

Decriminalizing Sex Work: A Potential Solution to NYC's Brothel Problem

In a shocking and deeply concerning report published by the New York Post on July 29, 2023, the streets of Corona, Queens, have become overrun by brazen brothels operating in broad daylight. This open-air market for sex, advertised on YouTube and unchecked by law enforcement, highlights the urgent need for a new approach to addressing this issue - the decriminalization of sex work.


As the report details, nearly a dozen brothels have established themselves along Roosevelt Avenue near Junction Boulevard, openly soliciting clients in full view of pedestrians, including children and shoppers. Sex workers offer services at shockingly low prices, and they even recruit neighborhood children to distribute explicit business cards. The situation in Corona is described as a "perfect storm for prostitution." Vulnerable migrant women, unable to find legal employment, are flooding into the city. Simultaneously, local district attorneys have chosen not to prosecute sex workers. This combination of factors has created an environment where sex work thrives, even in plain sight.


One particularly alarming aspect is the blatant advertising of the "Roosevelt Avenue red-light district" on a YouTube channel for Spanish speakers. This video, titled "Market of Sweethearts," guides viewers on how to negotiate with sex workers, further normalizing and perpetuating the issue.

Decriminalizing sex work could be a viable solution to this problem for several reasons:


1. Increased Safety: When sex work is decriminalized, sex workers can access essential protections and services without fear of arrest. This includes access to healthcare, legal recourse in case of exploitation, and the ability to work in safer environments.


2. Reduction in Trafficking: Decriminalization allows for better regulation and oversight of the sex industry. This can help reduce the influence of human traffickers who exploit vulnerable individuals.


3. Community Safety: By regulating sex work, authorities can ensure that it takes place in controlled and safe environments, away from public spaces and neighborhoods. This would alleviate concerns of residents and parents.


4. Focus on Real Criminals: With sex work decriminalized, law enforcement can shift their focus to targeting those who engage in coercion, trafficking, or exploitation, rather than arresting sex workers themselves.

new york lawmakers bill decriminalizing prostitution

However, it's important to emphasize that decriminalization does not mean a free-for-all. It involves implementing regulations and safeguards to protect sex workers and their clients while maintaining public safety.

The situation in Corona, Queens, should serve as a wake-up call for policymakers and advocates. The current approach is not working, and the consequences are visible on the streets. It's time for New York City to consider a more progressive approach by decriminalizing sex work, as it has the potential to address many of the concerns raised in the New York Post article.


In the words of City Councilman Francisco Moya, "We need to get enforcement in here to clean up Roosevelt Avenue...because no community should have to be faced with the quality-of-life issues that we’re facing here each and every day." Decriminalization could be a crucial step toward achieving this goal and ensuring the safety and well-being of all residents in affected areas.

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