Ending the Demand

CATW is a leading architect of the end demand strategy to end human trafficking. In 2011 the Department of Health and Human Services reported that human trafficking is tied with illegal arms trafficking as the second leading source of criminal earnings in the world. The UNODC reports that global demand for prostitution and forced labor generates 32 billion dollars annually.

CATW and our partners carry out programs to educate men and boys about the harm of commercial sexual exploitation to women and girls, themselves and their communities.


  • To promote the Nordic Model, the world's first law to recognize prostitution as violence against women and a violation of human rights. It criminalizes the purchase of commercial sex by criminalizing the buyers and offering exit services and assistance to those exploited through prostitution. The Nordic Model originated in Sweden (1999) and has been passed in the Republic of Korea (South Korea, 2004), Norway (2009) and Iceland (2009).
  • To combat sex trafficking and prostitution by discouraging the demand. To discourage the men who buy women and children for commercial sex through various measures, including educating of boys and men away from the consumption of pornography and prostitution, and the vigorous support of laws that punish the demand for commercial sex.
  • To publicize a chart of "global good practices," illustrating police and community actions taken against commercial sex buyers. Many police departments have creatively used local legislation to arrest, charge, and prosecute the men. Some have seized men's cars. Others have utilized techniques of 'naming and shaming' in which men's names are published in newspapers or on the Internet when they are caught in the act of soliciting women and girls in prostitution. Other police forces have aired surveillance videos of male buyers caught in the act of soliciting women and girls in prostitution.

CATW and Albanian partner the Women's Media Group developed the project, No to Sex Tourism: Yes to Cultural Tourism. The project advocates against sex tourism and initiatives that favor decriminalization of the sex industry by promoting the region's cultural tourism and natural beauty, including its coastlines, mountains and wild landscapes.

CATW-Australia holds conferences, advises policymakers and meets with legislators throughout the region and in Western Australia advocating against legalization of the sex industry. CATWA promotes the Nordic Model by calling attention to the harms of prostitution and publishes works about the effects of legalization and the role of organized crime in the sex industry.

CATW partners with numerous women's groups and human rights advocates throughout Canada to fight the legalization of prostitution and urge the Ontario Superior Court to reverse its decision to void Canada's anti-prostitution laws. CATW is advocating for legislation against the demand for commercial sexual exploitation by vigorously supporting the passage of the Nordic Model.

CATW implements an Educational Model designed to combat the demand for commercial sexual exploitation tailored to young men and boys in schools and community organizations. This Model is designed to educate young men and boys about the construction of traditional masculinity and the consequences of the demand for commercial sex while promoting an alternative conception of male sexuality based on gender equality.

CATW-LAC is implementing a concentrated End Demand effort to educate young men and boys about traditional masculinity and the critical role they can play to reduce the demand for commercial sex. CATW-LAC's Educational Model educates young men and boys to not consume prostitution and pornography and to challenge the construction of traditional masculinity. We also educate young men about the consequences of the demand for commercial sex while promoting an alternative vision of male sexuality based on gender equality. This concentrated efforts builds on the success of this work carried out through the LAC region.

CATW and Albanian partner the Women's Media Group launched the Southern Mediterranean Anti-Sex Tourism Campaign. Initiated in Albania, the campaign, "No to Sex Tourism, Yes to Cultural Tourism" focuses on the encroaching sex tourism in the country, promotes awareness of women's rights, and advocates against initiatives that favor decriminalization of the sex industry.

The Temple Committee Against Human Trafficking (Montreal) collaborates with ATZUM Task Force on Human Trafficking in Israel. The Temple Committee supports a Nordic Model inspired bill proposed by Member of Knesset Orit Zuaretz, which would criminalize the buying of sex. The Temple Committee and our network of North American partners, have opposed the closing of the Sa'ar Police Unit which specializes in prostitution cases. Our recent letter campaign provided enormous support for MK Zuaretz and the future of the Sa'ar Unit. That future is yet undetermined; however, we believe that our influence and the hard work of our Israeli partners will ensure that this unit continues to operate with a focus on prostitution. Whenever we are called upon, we collaborate with our Israeli partners in advancing the abolitionist movement to end prostitution in Israel just as we do at home.

IROKO provides awareness-raising programs in Italy and educational support to projects in Nigeria to raise awareness on how the demand for commercial sex contributes to violence against women. These ongoing programs are in collaboration with other organizations in Italy and targets the general public in the northern part of Italy, especially in the provinces of Turin, Genoa and Bergamo.

The Women's Front (WF) is an independent women's organization in Norway, founded in 1972. The Women's Front works with international organizations against genital mutilation, trafficking and prostitution. WF supports women's projects run by local women's organizations in Africa, Latin America and in Asia, providing funding and political support for women's reproductive rights, economic independence and survival strategies. WF advocates on the international and national political levels, campaigning for criminalizing of the buyers of sexual activities, presenting papers about prostitution, human trafficking, legalization and the harms of the global sex industry. In 2009, Norway joined Sweden in passing ground- breaking legislation, the world's first law to recognize prostitution as violence against women and a violation of human rights. The Nordic Model criminalizes the purchase of commercial sex and offers women and children an exit strategy.

CATW conducts camps on gender issues, sexuality and prostitution addressing the vulnerability of young women to sexual exploitation and reducing the number of perpetrators among men. Graduates formed Youth and Students Advancing Gender Equality (YSAGE). YSAGE, CATW-AP's youth arm, is a national advocacy organization campaigning against prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation and inequality. YSAGE multiplies CATW-AP's efforts in the Philippines to educate the public, especially youth on gender issues but most importantly gender inequality, as manifested particularly in sexual exploitation.

CATW-South Africa/Embrace Dignity in Cape Town presented a petition to the South African Parliament, before the debate of the law on trafficking in the second half of 2010. The petition was an effort to curb the trafficking of prostituted women during the World Cup Games.

Through CATW's Global Campaign for a Sex Trafficking Free Internet, CATW led the protest in front of Craigslist's corporate headquarters in San Francisco, California that resulted in Craigslist shutting down the "Adult Services" section of their website that was facilitating sex trafficking in the US and internationally. Since Craigslist removed their "Adult Services" sections, www.Backpage.com, a US based corporation, has become the traffickers website of choice. CATW continues to work to create a sex trafficking free internet through our campaign to hold Backpage.com owned by Village Voice Media Holdings LLC, accountable for the untold number of human beings whose rank exploitation continues to be carried out through the ads hosted on this platform.

In 2009 CATW launched a campaign against Home Box Office (HBO) and their "reality" show Cathouse. Cathouse, a show set in a Nevada brothel glamorizes prostitution, legitimizes pimps as entrepreneurs and managers and normalizes the demand for commercial sex. CATW continues to fight against the cultural normalization of commercial sexual exploitation.