In her May 8 column, Cynthia Dill posed the question: Should prostitution be legalized? Her answer implicitly endorses the full decriminalization policy proposed by Amnesty International and other watchdog organizations. This policy would decriminalize everyone involved from the marginalized (mostly) women and girls who are the merchandise, to the buyers and middlemen who exploit them.

Instead, Dill should be asking why this supposedly well-paying and attractive trade must rely on victims of poverty, prior abuse and coercion to meet men’s demand for paid sex.

Contrast Amnesty International’s acceptance of prostitution with the recommendations made by attendees at the Carter Center’s World Summit to End Sexual Exploitation, held in May 2015 in Atlanta.

They state: “Commercial sexual exploitation is gender-based violence and a public health crisis made possible by unethical and ungrounded male entitlement, which disproportionately affects the most vulnerable among us. We oppose language and law that allows for the dehumanization of people who have been commercially exploited.”

They endorse the Nordic model, first implemented in Sweden and since adopted by several other countries, which works to discourage the demand for commercial sex by penalizing the buyer, while decriminalizing prostituted individuals and providing them with support services, including pathways for those who want to exit prostitution.

In her memoir, “Paid For,” Rachel Moran describes her life in prostitution as well as why the policies in line with the Nordic model are an effective way to end a global trade that reduces countless women to disposable objects and undermines the humanity of all women.

Like Ms. Dill, I would like to know where the presidential candidates stand on this basic human rights issue. I do know that I will not be supporting Amnesty International while it continues to advocate a misogynist full decriminalization policy that legitimizes the selling and buying of people.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.