Reality check: There are more slaves in the world today than were taken from Africa in the four centuries of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade--over 27 million. Of those, two million are children exploited in the commercial sex trade.
While prostitution is the oldest profession, the proliferation of the trade surely must be connected to the consumerization of our globalized capitalist culture. In such a framework, people become commodified and any sense of ethical imperatives seem to be lost.
Postmodern authors such as Foucault have argued that discussions around ethics and rules of governmanetality (how he refers to the exercise of government power) are going to figure prominently in the years ahead. Clearly the future is now!
Hans Kung, the Roman Catholic theologian has been working on a universal ethical process that would fit the modern world. Kung, along with a variety of activists and scholars, have joined together to form the Center for Global Ethics.
Certainly the philosophy of Kant deserves to be mined further. His ethical imperative which was essentially the view that human beings cannot be viewed as instrumental but must have an intrinsic value deserves further elaboration.
Sex education, should also be less focused on hygiene and practices and more on how intimate relationships play a integral role in the formation of identity. Critical theory could be deployed as a pedagogy to assist students to reject the commodification of their bodies in a consumeristic culture.
There are many ways to be part of the change and each in our own small way should find ways to change the commodification and exploitation of human beings.