Sex work is the provision of sexual services at a fee or in exchange for some goods. In simpler terms, it is the decriminalization of prostitution. The act is criminalized in most countries and regarded as prostitution. Decriminalizing sex work is the withdrawal of all the penalties against sex work (Joulaei et al., 2021). Supporters of sex work state that removing the sanctions limiting sex work creates a comfortable and safer sex worker. They claim that one advantage of decriminalizing sex work would be a strategy or a procedure for fighting sex trafficking. The opposers of decriminalization of sex work state that it would not cause any increase or decrease in sex trafficking but instead would put the sex workers at more risk. It is the withdrawal of all the rules that limit and govern sex work. Lastly, it is the entitlement of sex work or prostitution as a non-criminal behavior, although the law does not permit it. The notion of decriminalization is provided by the sex work industries in favor of their profit but not for the workers.
On the flip side, the legalization of sex work means the permitting of sex work by the law. This entails withdrawing all legal prohibitions by the law against sex work. This means that an individual who practices sex work cannot be brought to a court of law and prosecuted. Some countries, including the Netherlands, have entirely removed the laws prohibiting prostitution (Freeman, 2019). This means that, just as a typical business is licensed, prostitutes are certified, although this causes significant discrimination once the community members know the worker. The two concepts are sometimes confused; however, legalization discourages the prosecution of sex workers while decriminalization allows the prosecution of the workers.
Freeman, J. (2019). Legalization of sex work in the United States: An HIV reduction strategy. Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics, 32, 597.,1-17.
Joulaei, H., Zarei, N., Khorsandian, M., & Keshavarzian, A. (2021). Legalization, decriminalization, or criminalization; could we introduce a global prescription for prostitution (Sex Work)?. International Journal of High-Risk Behaviors and Addiction, 10(3). Web.