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In the many places where prostitution is outlawed, sex workers have decreased incentive to report abuse for fear of self-incrimination, and increased motivation to seek any physical protection from clients and law enforcement that a madam/pimp might provide.The madam/pimp–prostitute relationship is often understood to be abusive and possessive, with the pimp/madam using techniques such as psychological intimidation, manipulation, starvation, rape and/or gang rape, beating, confinement, threats of violence toward the victim's family, forced drug use and the shame from these acts.Pimping rivals narcotic sales as a major source of funding for many gangs.Gangs need money to survive, and money equates to power and respect.For example, some pimps have been known to employ a "pimp stick", which is two coat hangers wrapped together, in order to subdue unruly prostitutes.Although prostitutes can move between pimps, this movement sometimes leads to violence.Recent empirical research of madams/pimps, however, suggest that these assumptions about abusive relationships represent stereotyped oppression narratives that may only represent a small percentage of the relationships between madams/pimps and sex workers.This, combined with the tendency to identify pimping with African-American masculinity, may provide some of the explanation for why approximately three-fifths of all "confirmed" human traffickers in the United States are African-American men.
Where prostitution is decriminalized or regulated, procuring may or may not be legal.
It states: Whereas prostitution and the accompanying evil of the traffic in persons for the purpose of prostitution are incompatible with the dignity and worth of the human person and endanger the welfare of the individual, the family and the community Article 1 The Parties to the present Convention agree to punish any person who, to gratify the passions of another: (1) Procures, entices or leads away, for purposes of prostitution, another person, even with the consent of that person; (2) Exploits the prostitution of another person, even with the consent of that person.
Article 2 The Parties to the present Convention further agree to punish any person who: (1) Keeps or manages, or knowingly finances or takes part in the financing of a brothel; (2) Knowingly lets or rents a building or other place or any part thereof for the purpose of the prostitution of others.
In Canada, there was a legal challenge to prostitution laws, which ended in the 2013 ruling of Bedford v. In 2010, Ontario Superior Court Judge Susan Himel overturned the national laws banning brothels and procuring, arguing that they violated the constitution guaranteeing "the right to life, liberty and security"., the Canadian government began working on replacing those regulations with ones that do not violate the Canadian constitution.
The United Nations 1949 Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others requires state signatories to ban pimping and brothels, and to abolish regulation of individual prostitutes.