Resources: 2002

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This is an essay on the construction of place as it relates to the motivations for women to leave the places of their birth in search of new places to live and work.

The Bangkok Call for Justice for Women Migrant Workers

Partners in Change, Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW) November 6-8, 2002, Bangkok

The Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW) along with several of its network members recent held a 3-day event on 6-8 November, 2002 in Bangkok. This event, Partners in Change, brought together a number of people from across Asia who have been working from their specific locations to articulate and affirm the human rights framework. This was a unique gathering in that many of our participants belong to the so called 'marginalised groups' — trafficked women, domestic workers and sex workers. However, all of them have rejected 'permanent victimhood', organised themselves, questioned the attitude of mainstream society and policy makers towards them, and claimed their rights as human beings. Partners in Change celebrated and analysed those courageous efforts, and discussed future collaborative strategies.

Prevention and fight against trafficking in human beings — A European Union strategy since 1996

RAPID The Press and Communication Service of the European Commission
Tuesday, September 17, 2002

Each year, at world level, hundreds of thousands of women and children are being moved across international borders by trafficking rings. The European Union has been actively engaged since 1996 in developing a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach towards the prevention of and fight against trafficking in human beings. Here are a few examples of the way this strategy has been implemented over the last four years, going backwards in time.


We Are Under Attack

The time: 11 p.m., August 29, 2002

The place: Tollygunj, a red-light area in Kolkata, India

The incident: Local mastans (anti-socials), who masquerade as the neighbourhood big brothers, severely beat up Rekha Lodh, a sex worker. They said she needed to be punished for having had a public altercation with her current husband. In the middle of the night Rekha and her two young children are thrown out of her room and locked out. The reason — she needed to be taught a further lesson, the beating alone was not enough.

Abuses against sex workers and erosions of HIV prevention efforts resulting from anti-trafficking initiatives

The following is direct testimony from a Pondicherry-based NGO, Society for Development, Research & Training (SFDRT) describing exactly how anti-trafficking programmes are rolling out IN PRACTICE. Whatever the theory of anti-trafficking, UNAIDS, ILO, UNDP, USAID and others must see that in practice anti-trafficking initiatives are a direct threat to sexual health programmes and to the human rights of sex workers and migrants. – November, 2002.

It is indeed an additional burden to work with HIV/AIDS preventive programme with that of trafficking issues but at the same time it is quite evident that those of whom are working on STD/HIV/AIDS are the best to work on anti-trafficking issues too. With an example sited below where in the staff of SFDRT with four other NGOs were invited by the top officials of the police dept. in Pondicherry for a topic on anti-trafficking and NGOs support.

The anti-sex work anti-trafficking agenda: a threat to sex workers' health and human rights

Statement from the Network of Sex Work Projects (Booth 98) at the XIV International Conference on AIDS, Barcelona, July 2002

While a number of anti-trafficking organisations recognise sex work as a legitimate profession, those organisations that seek to repress sex work and sex workers are gaining the upper hand. These include internationally active, highly funded organisations such as the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW). CATW recently published a 'hit list' of organisations receiving US funding, accusing them of 'promoting prostitution'. This hit list includes well-known and well-respected organisations providing essential HIV care and prevention services to sex workers in a number of countries.

XIVth International AIDS Conference

Barcelona, Spain 7-12 July 2002

By Shane Petzer

Some 15 000 delegates participated in this bi-annual event. Amongst hundreds of organisations represented at the Conference, the NSWP hosted a number of events and presented work in a variety of forums throughout the duration of the Conference which contributed to the Conferences¹ overall success.

The European Union and its Member States generally acknowledge the positive value of international migration when it takes place in a regulated and predictable manner. They are alarmed, however, by irregular migratory movements. Indeed, in the face of the perceived threat posed by this phenomenon, States have introduced a series of measures to deter or prevent migrants from gaining unauthorised entry into their territories. The blanket enforcement of such measures makes it increasingly difficult for refugees and asylum-seekers to secure access to international protection. With this concern in mind, UNHCR must stress that the Action Plan contained in the Commission Communication on a Common Policy on Illegal Immigration and subsequently adopted by the Member States strike a proper balance between migration control priorities and refugee protection imperatives.

This paper is a response to and analysis of the perspective of abolitionist feminists from a sex worker rights-based perspective.