Criminal, Victim, or Ally? Examining the Role of Sex Workers in Addressing Minor Sex Trafficking

Bergquist, Kathleen Ja Sook. “Criminal, Victim, or Ally? Examining the Role of Sex Workers in Addressing Minor Sex Trafficking.” Affilia 30, no. 3 (August 1, 2015): 314–27. doi:10.1177/0886109915572844. 
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The absence of representation from the sex industry in efforts to address the commercial sexual exploitation of children is striking. “Voices” that get heard are generally limited to survivor testimony, while those who are currently in “the life” are excluded, despite the fact that many enter into prostitution underage and would have been defined as child sex trafficking victims under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. This article explores the silencing effect of conflating prostitution with sex trafficking, the ways in which sex workers might contribute to addressing the commercial sexual exploitation of children as “allies,” and the ethical responsibility of social workers in anti-trafficking work.
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