Prostitution and Public Life in Four European Capitals

Daniela Danna, Prostitution and Public Life in Four European Capitals (2007) Rome: Carocci, available to download here.

Abstract: The book examines the most recent evolution of prostitution world in four European capital cities, following the changes in laws in the last years. In Paris in 2003 a street prohibition was introduced, against both clients and soliciting persons; in Stockholm in 1999 buyers of sexual services have been criminalized, in Amsterdam in 2000 prostitution has been configured as a trade but only to Dutch or E.U. citizens. In Madrid from 1995 to 2003 there has been a period of depenalization of organizing prostitution indoors, preceded and followed by a de facto tolerance towards the “cludes de alterne” and the other venues where prostitution takes place. All these cities have problems similar to those of Italian cities where foreign women migrating from impoverished countries have come to offer sex in the streets, with the social stigma and rejection that encountered their arrival in public spaces. Worries about the “trafficking of human beings” has also been a major component of law changes that in these countries have been proposed and approved. The research presented in the volume shows how the different policies converge towards common practices: waves of anti-foreign women repression, subsequent re-organization (in worse conditions) of street prostitution, difficulties in making contact with victims of trafficking, de facto tolerance.

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