Is it time to decriminalize prostitution? Two New York bills answer yes in unique ways

One bill hopes to repeal the crime of selling sex and expand social services; the other would legalize the entire sex trade.

Credit: Chandan Khanna/Getty Images
  • Today in the majority of the United States, it is a crime to sell sex, buy it, or promote its sale.
  • The Sex Trade Survivors Justice & Equality Act would decriminalize prostitution in New York state while maintaining punitive measures against buyers and pimps.
  • Opponents suggest this law would only push the illegal sex trade further underground and seek full decriminalization for everyone involved.
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    How QAnon is monetizing child trafficking victims

    What good is a conspiracy theory you can't profit from?

    Photo: Eric Rosenwald / Shutterstock
    • With over 2,000 items on Amazon and 6,600 items on Etsy, QAnon-related swag is now a big industry.
    • Many top QAnon devotees are using this conspiracy theory to promote supplements, t-shirts, and pendants.
    • This baseless theory is doing more harm than good to the child victims it purports to help.
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    "Cocaine of the sea" — the illegal fish trade of the Mexican cartel and Chinese mafia

    "Sea of Shadows" is a documentary you can't afford to miss.

    National Geographic
    • "Sea of Shadows" tells the story of an illegal fish trade between the Mexican cartel and Chinese mafia.
    • The fish bladders, bought for $5,000 from local fisherman, are sold in China for over $100,000 to make an unproven medicine.
    • Director Richard Ladkani talks about the intensity and danger of making this film, as well as the hopeful ending.
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    When will we begin to take child sex trafficking more seriously?

    Regan Williams, co-founder of Seen and Heard, wants adults to listen to children.

    Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images
    • Regan Williams, CEO of Seen and Heard, is on a mission to help foster youth develop necessary social and career skills through the performing arts.
    • Williams says 300,000 American children are commercially trafficked every year.
    • Children in our society are ignored except when they're famous or sexualized, which is part of the reason sexual abuse is not covered.
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    Elephants are now being hunted for their skin, being turned into 'ruby'-like jewelry

    With the ivory trade on the decline, poachers have been capitalizing on a new, disturbing trend.

    Beads made from elephant skin. Image courtest of Elephant Family
    • At the start of 2018, China banned all ivory products within its borders. As one of the largest markets for ivory, this represented a significant win for conservationists.
    • However, just as the ivory trade declined, a new demand for elephant skin emerged.
    • The skin is used in medicine and to make jewelry. What options are there for combating this dangerous new trend?
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