Khan, Ummni (2015):  “Johns” in the Spotlight: Anti-prostitution Efforts and the Surveillance of Clients. Canadian Journal of Law and Society 30, pp 9-29, doi:10.1017/cls.2014.27

Full article available here (Open Access)

Abstract

This essay examines surveillant practices that subject sex trade clients (“clients”) to socio-legal control. In particular, I employ the concepts of the gaze, voyeurism, and exhibitionism to unpack the surveillant dynamics, and consider how power and pleasure are harnessed, produced, and thwarted in the increasing scrutiny of the sex trade’s demand side. I further examine my own research of the regulation of clients within this analytical framework. Following David Lyon’s insights on the scopophilic dimensions of surveillance (2006), I argue that the instrumental goals of surveillance are interconnected with a voyeurism that gratifies the pleasures of looking at, categorizing, defining and making sense of, clients. Yet, bearing in mind the multi-directionality of the gaze, I also analyze the controlled exhibition of sex work signifiers, as information is not just gathered, but also displayed and performed.

Résumé

Cet article examine les pratiques de surveillance qui assujettissent les clients de l’industrie du sexe (les « clients ») à un contrôle sociojuridique. En particulier, j’emplois les concepts du regard, du voyeurisme et de l’exhibitionnisme afin de révéler les dynamiques de surveillance, et d’examiner comment le pouvoir et le plaisir sont canalisés, produits et entravés par l’examen de plus en plus minutieux de la demande dans le commerce du sexe. Dans ce cadre analytique, j’approfondie ma propre recherche sur la réglementation des clients. En m’appuyant sur les idées de David Lyon portant sur les dimensions scopophiliques de la surveillance (2006), je soutiens que les objectifs fondamentaux de la surveillance sont liés au voyeurisme, donnant ainsi plaisir à regarder, classer, définir et donner un sens aux clients. Toutefois, compte tenu du caractère multidirectionnel du regard, j’analyse également l’exhibition contrôlée des signifiants propres au travail du sexe, puisque l’information n’est pas seulement recueillie mais aussi exposée et représentée.

Jeal, Nikki, and Chris Salisbury. “Self-Reported Experiences of Health Services among Female Street-Based Prostitutes: A Cross-Sectional Survey.” The British Journal of General Practice 54.504 (2004): 515–519.

SUMMARY

Background: Previous studies show that women working in prostitution do not use routine health services appropriately. Little is known about the nature and frequency of service contacts or barriers to access. This information is needed if use of current services by this group is to improve.
Aim: To identify barriers reducing access to health services by street prostitutes, and to identify current patterns of use.
Design of study: Cross-sectional survey.
Setting: Inner-city Bristol.
Method: Seventy-one female street-based prostitutes were interviewed about their experiences of health services.
Results: The women had frequent contacts with healthcare providers. The general practitioner (GP) was the main source of all types of care. Although 83% (59/71) were registered with a GP, 62% (36/59) had not disclosed their work. Only 46% (33/71) had been screened for sexually transmitted infection in the previous year and 24% (17/71) were vaccinated against hepatitis B, a national recommendation for sex workers. Only 38% (25/65) had had cervical smears according to screening guidelines. Opportunistic screening and care was important. While pregnant with their last child, only 30% (14/47) booked in the first trimester and attended all antenatal appointments, with 13% (6/47) receiving no antenatal care until admitted in labour. Appointments, waiting times, and fear of judgement and other patients staring, were considered significant barriers to service use. The model suggested by the women was an integrated service providing basic living needs alongside health care.
Conclusion: Non-disclosure and poor attendance for follow-up make appropriate care difficult, and may contribute to poor health. Despite frequent service contacts, opportunities for care are being missed.
Keywords: cross-sectional survey; health services accessibility; interviews; prostitution; sexually transmitted diseases.

Full text available here.

A tale of two cities: Shifting the paradigm of anti-trafficking programmes. Smarajit Jana, Nandinee Bandyopadhyay , Mrinal Kanti Dutta , Amitrajit Saha. Gender & Development Vol. 10, Iss. 1, 2002

Abstract:

This article examines the issue of trafficking from the perspective of some sex worker organisations in India and Bangladesh. It argues that inequality between classes, genders, and nations is the root cause of trafficking, and that the solution to the problem lies in a political struggle for the rights of marginalised people. To substantiate these arguments, this article draws on the life stories of trafficked people, and on the preventative anti-trafficking initiatives of sex workers’ organisations. In order to understand the ways in which trafficking violates people’s rights and restricts their control over their lives we need to focus on the outcomes of trafficking rather than debating the processes through which trafficking takes place. Those who have been trafficked should not be perceived as passive victims of their circumstances, manipulated by others, but as human agents, who can – and often do – fight to gain control over their lives. The article offers a brief introduction and some guidance to some of the challenges that NGOs will face in their advocacy work on trafficking issues.

Full article available here.

Brendan M. Conner, In Loco Aequitatis: The Dangers of “Safe Harbor” Laws for Youth in the Sex Trades, Stan. J. C.R. & C.L.(forthcoming 2016).

Abstract

The accompanying Article provides the first critical analysis of safe harbor laws, which rely on custodial arrests to prosecute or divert youth arrested for or charged with prostitution related offenses under criminal or juvenile codes to court supervision under state child welfare, foster care, or dependency statutes. This subject is a matter of intense debate nationwide, and on January 27, 2015 the House of Representatives passed legislation that would give preferential consideration for federal grants to states that have enacted a law that “discourages the charging or prosecution” of a trafficked minor and encourages court-ordered treatment and institutionalization. Nearly universally lauded, the sound bite of safe harbor’s proponents has obscured the truth of its potential impact: increasing arrests, extending the length of involuntary commitment, and ratifying a pattern of endemic law enforcement harassment and brutality. This Article offers new perspectives on the debate and examines challenges presented to legislators considering adoption of safe harbor laws.

Full article available here.

Molland, S., 2011. “I am helping them”: “Traffickers”, “anti-traffickers” and economies of bad faith. The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 22, pp.236-254.

Abstract:

For several years, aid programs in the Mekong region have taken an increasing interest in cross-border mobility and human trafficking and its relationship with development. More recently, there has been an increasing interest in the identification of trafficked victims and the investigation, arrest and prosecution of traffickers. Whereas anti-trafficking programs ubiquitously define themselves as being in a battle with traffickers, this article argues that although they are not homologous social actors, both engage in acts of bad faith. The article elaborates this argument by drawing attention to the recruitment process within the Lao sex industry as well as to the way in which aid programs attempt to identify trafficked victims. It concludes that imaginary aspects of development underpin a simultaneous disjuncture yet enable the social reproduction of the life worlds of ‘traffickers’ and ‘anti-traffickers’ alike.

‘Reproachable Victims’? Representations and Self-representations of Russian Women Involved in Transnational Prostitution.
Jacobsen, CM; Skilbrei, ML
ETHNOS
Volume: 75
Issue: 2
Pages: 190-212
Article Number: PII 923292721
DOI: 10.1080/00141841003764013
Published: 2010

Abstract:

The article investigates how the concept of victimhood is constructed within debates on transnational prostitution and trafficking, and how representations of victimhood intersect with representations of the person/self, class, ethnicity, gender and nationality. Using research findings based on observation and interviews with women from post-Soviet societies involved in prostitution in Norway, we discuss how the women embrace, resist or rework dominant representations of migrant prostitution and attendant notions of victimhood, as well as how they relate to multiple notions of the person/self, femininity and nation through their handling of the stigma of prostitution.

Full text available here.

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