Objection to the term consensual

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

What your article on the State Dept.’s Human Trafficking report overlooked:

How much of the “consensual prostitution” in Costa Rica is actually voluntary? Few young girls anywhere dream about the day when they can become a prostitute. Poverty, addictions and literal sex-slavery are what force most of them into it, even here in Costa Rica.

You also overlook the fact that the majority of voluntary prostitutes you’re likely to meet in Costa Rica are not Ticas, but rather economic immigrants from other poor nations here in Central and South America and the Caribbean. It was poverty and lack of educational opportunities that drove them here to practice their profession, and by any definition those who use them are engaging in human trafficking. Putting lipstick on this terrible worldwide situation by calling it consensual doesn’t change what it fundamentally is.

David Wyllie
San Rafael, Alajuela
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