"This really legitimises the sex trade and allows it to advertise very publicly,
to expand the market of services. It creates a demand for more victims," Hughes
Networks of human traffickers prey on homeless women and children, as well as
illegal immigrants, often offering them promises of jobs in Mexico City or the
United States but instead forcing them into prostitution.
Prostitution is illegal in Mexico but is widely tolerated everywhere from grimy
street corners to swanky brothels. Police can easily be bribed to turn a blind
eye to sex workers.
Legalizing it is the latest liberal idea by the Party of the Democratic
Revolution (PRD) -- which runs the capital's government and has a majority in
the city assembly - since it legalized gay civil unions and abortion earlier
Some PRD lawmakers also oppose the move, however.
"Personally, I'm opposed ... to legalizing something that could harm society,"
Victorio Ruben Montalvo, a PRD deputy in the national Congress and a speaker at
the conference, told Reuters, noting it was not yet a done deal.
"You have to understand that this is still just an initiative, which hasn't yet
been debated," he said.
The two-day conference was hosted by Mexico's Center for the Study and
Investigation of Social Development and Assistance in conjunction with the
Speakers included representatives of the United Nations and the Organization of
American States, and public officials from Mexico, Central America and the