Catherine Powell Points to Pandemic’s Impact on Survivors of Sex Trafficking

Catherine Powell (’94), Fordham University Law Professor, posted a blog for the Council on Foreign Relations discussing her former law professor Catharine A. MacKinnon’s roundtable on how the pandemic has deepened vulnerabilities for sex trafficking survivors and how debates over decriminalizing prostitution inform international policymaking on sex trafficking (“A Conversation with Catharine A. MacKinnon: Prostitution as Sex Work or Sexual Exploitation?” July 22). “The majority of people in prostitution are women who, even before the impact of the pandemic, were already among the most marginalized in society. Many of these women are impoverished, undocumented, or homeless, and struggle with significant challenges accessing social services and health care. . . . While COVID-19 itself does not discriminate, it has magnified underlying structural inequalities, impacting marginalized communities around the world. . . . It is time governments and multilateral organizations act to protect those who are most vulnerable.”