Every year billions of dollars are generated by the global sex industry, a term covering a wide range of activities, from prostitution in its various forms, trafficking and sex tourism, to pornography, adult entertainment and advertising. The exact worth of the industry is impossible to gauge, in part because much of it is, at least in some countries, illegal. A vast network of law and regulation to regulate the sex industry has developed at every level of government, from local ordinances to international treaties. Some of this, particularly those aspects dealing with children, human trafficking and sex slavery, is uncontroversial; it deals with activities that are widely agreed across nations and cultures to be wrong. The United Nations Convention on the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others, signed in 1949, declared that forced prostitution was incompatible with human dignity. The controversy over commercial sex focuses on two issues: should prostitution be legal when it involves women who appear to consent to working as prostitutes, and should the distribution and consumption of pornography by adults be legal? Pornography and prostitution are regulated separately, but both have been substantially liberalized in developed countries over the past three decades. Both raise issues of consent and the status of women: the great majority of prostitutes are women, and the great majority of consumers of pornography
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