Resources: Sex Work, Migration, & Mobility

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Letter to the U. S. Department of State. This letter, signed by nine researchers from around the globe and addressed to Ambassador John Miller, provides a response to the facts listed in the Department of State's Fact Sheet on Prostitution and Trafficking, released in 2004. In this letter, the signatories discuss the problems with the fact sheet and it's conclusions,

Contents includes:
• Quoted statistics on numbers and types of persons trafficked that cannot be confirmed in legitimate studies of trafficking.

The Annotated Guide to the new UN Trafficking Protocol is a tool to assist advocates in the development of a human rights framework for national anti-trafficking laws and policies. In December 2000, the UN adopted international instruments to fight transnational organized crime and additional agreements or protocols to combat trafficking in persons, smuggling and firearms.

Recommended Principles and Guidelines on Human Rights
and Human Trafficking
Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for
Human Rights to the Economic and Social Council.

You can download this 16 page PDF resource above. This resource is in English.

This article examines national news reports on prostitution of Russian women in northern Norway between 1990 and 2001. Applying critical discourse analysis, the author shows how this particular type of cross-border, rural prostitution is represented as sexual transaction, as a sociopolitical problem (of public order, public health, social/moral breakdown and stigma), and as a symbolic issue used to legitimize stricter border controls. Images of prostitutes, pimps and customers are also discussed.

One might think that there would be no objections to reaching out to help trafficked persons. However, as this interview with Jo Doezema of the Network of Sex Work Projects reveals, even well-intended efforts to help one group can sometimes cause harm to another group. In this case, attempts to rescue trafficked girls from brothels can trample on the rights of voluntary sex workers. In addition, some groups inappropriately label all sex workers as trafficked persons, believing mistakenly that no one would willingly enter or stay in this occupation.

In this article, the author makes the case that the state's proposals for addressing trafficking enable the state to posit itself as responsible for protecting "Canadians" while carefully avoiding any responsibility for the well-being of women who are trafficked; demonize smugglers as the cause of trafficking; and override the concerns and interests of women who are trafficked by making deportation the only "solution" to their presence in Canada.

This review, rather than addressing the dearth of literature on trafficking prior to 1990, reviewed primarily academic works, research reports, and various organizational publications available on the internet to identify the main parameters of the issue of trafficking and organized crime, as well as suggest some areas in which future research is needed.

This article details the passage and possible use of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), passed in the fall of 2000 in the United States of America. Unlike previous legislation, which tended to focus exclusively on the sex industry, the Act’s definition of trafficking has a wider scope, and also includes workers in sweatshops and other types of Employment.

You can download this 42 page PDF resource above. This resource is in English

This article documents the experiences and working conditions of women who travel periodically from their countries to Istanbul to undertake sex work, and discusses the policy debates failure to address the poor living conditions of migrant sex workers by addressing abusive and restrictive immigration policies, and by decriminalising undocumented sex work.

This document is a collection of a number of papers presenting a broad overview of current research and data on trafficking in particular regions of the world. Nine of the articles focus on specific regions, and three of the articles explore issues relating to research methods. The papers, in total, give readers an opportunity to not only see the current state of research on global trafficking, but to also consider the suggestions by some authors for areas in need of more study.