The Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women has published issue 8 of the Anti-Trafficking Review 'Where's the Evidence?'. This issue "explores the role of evidence, research and data in anti-trafficking work and how they influence our understanding of trafficking and responses to it. Seven thematic articles and four debates examine the evidence that is used - or rejected - in the formation of national anti-trafficking policies, as well as the role of monitoring and evaluation and statistics."
NSWP and NSWP members often criticise anti-trafficking policies and initiatives because they violate the rights of sex workers and conflate human trafficking and sex work. The conflation of sex work and human trafficking legitimises the 'end demand' model, otherwise known as the 'Swedish model', which criminalises the clients of sex workers. This model has been shown to severely violate the human rights of sex workers, as outlined in NSWP's Advocacy Toolkit: The Real Impact of the Swedish Model on Sex Workers.
For many years, sex work has been conflated with trafficking in laws, policies, and international guidance as well as by the media. The concept of consent and understandings of exploitation are at the heart of this conflation. The conflation of trafficking and sex work fuels racial profiling, and migrant sex workers are often the targets of anti-trafficking initiatives. While immigration authorities deny any racism in the implementation of anti-trafficking work, the consequences of their actions discriminate against sex workers based on their racial appearance.
To fight exploitation and abuse in the sex industry, sex workers must be empowered to fight for their rights. Sex workers are best placed to address issues that arise in their workplaces. In NSWP's briefing paper Sex Work is Not Trafficking, NSWP makes the following recommendations to policy makers:
- Discontinue targeting migrant sex workers in raid and rescue missions.
- Create expert working groups - consisting of people in sex work, construction and fishing industries and domestic workers - to carry out in-depth analysis of trafficking situations, and develop possible solution which move beyond short-term law enforcement initiatives.
- Acknowledge and respond to different situations nationally, regionally, and locally.
The contents of 'Where's the Evidence?' include:
- Editorial: The politics of evidence, data and research in anti-trafficking work by Sallie Yea
- Stopping the Traffick? The problem of evidence and legislating for the ‘Swedish model’ in Northern Ireland by Susann Huschke and Eilís Ward
- A Formidable Task: Reflections on obtaining legal empirical evidence on human trafficking in Canada by Hayli Millar Tamara O'Doherty and Katrin Roots
- Intensifying Insecurities: The impact of climate change on vulnerability to human trafficking in the Indian Sundarbans by Nicole Molinari
- Acting in Isolation: Safeguarding and anti-trafficking officers' evidence and intelligence practices at the border by Jennifer K. Lynch and Katerina Hadjimatheou What's Wrong with the Global Slavery Index? by Anne T Gallagher
- Constraints to a Robust Evidence Base for Anti-Trafficking Interventions by Benjamin Harkins
- Monitoring and Evaluation of Human Trafficking Partnerships in England and Wales by Ruth Van Dyke
- Building the Infrastructure of Anti-Trafficking, Part II: Why measurement matters by Fiona David
- Playing the Numbers: The spurious promise of global trafficking statistics by David A. Feingold
- Global Trafficking Prevalence Data Advances the Fight against Trafficking in Persons by Courtland Robinson, Casey Branchini and Charlie Thame
- Global Trafficking Prevalence Data Distorts Efforts to Stop Patterns of Human Trafficking by Mike Dottridge
You can download the entire issue of 'Where's the Evidence?' here.