Religious leaders from a half-dozen faiths have signed on to a new Vatican initiative to end modern-day slavery by 2020, declaring that human trafficking, forced labor and prostitution are crimes against humanity.I find the inclusion of prostitution very interesting. In both cases it's coupled with forced labor without an Oxford comma, so I'm not sure if the intent is to couple "forced prostitution" with "forced labor," or if it is prostitution per se that is being condemned as a crime against humanity. The Pope's actual remarks suggest it may only be forced prostitution, but it isn't clear there either.
Pope Francis and the Anglican archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, were joined Tuesday by the Hindu guru Mata Amritanandamayi, known as Amma, as well as Buddhist, Jewish and Shiite and Sunni Muslim representatives for a signing ceremony of a joint declaration against modern slavery....
Francis has made eliminating human trafficking and modern-day slavery one of the key priorities of his pontificate, instructing the Pontifical Academy of Sciences to focus on it in their academic conferences and studies... . "Here he came into contact with the drug situation, the situation of the excluded — and naturally the most dramatic form of exclusion is slavery, which is forced labor and prostitution," [Bishop] Sanchez Sorondo said in an interview ahead of the ceremony.
It's an interesting question, because St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine both found that prostitution -- though gravely immoral -- probably ought not to be illegal. I dissent from that particular point of argument, but it is a position supported by thinkers with significant authority.