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Tag Archives: 2012

INDOORS Project (Veronica Munk, ed.), “Pictures of a Reality: Sex workers talk about their life and work experiences within the indoor sex work setting in nine European cities”. Autres Regards, Marseille, October 2012.

“The aim of this book is to dismantle the idea that sex work is a uniform universe where sex workers are part of one and the same group.

This exhibition presents sex workers in their entire complex human dimension, which is composed of all sorts of opinions on the same subject, of joy and fear over their work, of happiness and doubts regarding their lives.

These are, then, the main objectives of Pictures of a Reality: to show the diversity within the sex work context, the multiplicity of its population, but also to dismantle the idea of victimisation of sex workers, demonstrating that not all sex workers were deceived or threatened, but that the world of prostitution is composed of people of all genders who are conscious of their choice. Even if it is not the best choice for some of them, it is a concrete labour alternative at a given moment in their lives.

The idea behind this book is to show that sex work is a reality, part of society, of any society, independently of whether or not that society recognises it as a matter of fact. This recognition process depends on the level of the moral and/or political discussion taking place in a given society, regarding not only sex work itself, but also topics such as migration and the labour market.

Pictures of a Reality was developed as an instrument against stigma, discrimination and clichés, as a tool to break taboos regarding sex work, sex workers, and the indoor prostitution setting in Europe. This was achieved because, for a change, sex workers were the ones talking about themselves and their environment, without ‘taboos’ or distortion. They were the ones to show us the reality: their reality.

Reality has, however, multiple faces, as individuals will have different perceptions of any given situation. Therefore, to show a wider dimension of this reality, to contrast these perceptions, the book also presents the opinion of ‘other’ professionals, persons who are directly or indirectly involved with sex workers.

Sex workers’ declarations are there to reduce and deconstruct myths about them, by painting a picture of what they really are. However, through all the differences, one aspect is common to all sex workers in all nine European cities: their demand for rights and respect.”

Full text available here.

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Sanjeev Singh Gaikwad, Amrita Bhende, Gaurav Nidhi, Niranjan Saggurti and Virupax Ranebennur, “How effective is community mobilisation in HIV prevention among highly diverse sex workers in urban settings? The Aastha intervention experience in Mumbai and Thane districts, India” Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health 66(suppl 2): ii69-ii77, 2012.

Abstract:

Background This paper examines the association between degree of confidence in collective efficacy and self-efficacy for condom use and empowerment among heterogeneous female sex workers (FSWs) in two metropolitan Indian cities with high HIV prevalence.

Methods The study utilises data from the Behavioural Tracking Survey, a cross-sectional behavioural study with 2106 FSWs recruited from 411 intervention sites in Mumbai and Thane. The key independent measures used determine the degree of confidence in collective efficacy (belief in the power to achieve goals and address problems together) and outcome measures included: self-efficacy for condom use with occasional clients and condom use with regular partners, self-confidence in handling a crisis situation and public speaking ability. Univariate and multivariate statistical methods were used to examine the study objectives.

Results Of the analytical sample of 2106 FSWs, 532 (25.3%) reported high degree of collective efficacy for achieving certain goals and 1534 (72.8%) reported collective efficacy for addressing specific problems. FSWs reporting a higher collective efficacy as compared with those reporting lower collective efficacy were as follows: more likely to negotiate condom use with occasional clients (60.3% vs 19.7%; adjusted OR (AOR) ¼6.3, 95% CI 4.8 to 8.4) as well as regular partners (62.8% vs 20.2%; AOR ¼6.4, 95% CI 4.9 to 8.4); confident in facing troublesome stakeholders (73.5% vs 38.8%; AOR ¼4.3, 95% CI 3.3 to 5.6), confident in supporting fellow FSWs in a crisis (76.1% vs 49.6%; AOR ¼2.9, 95% CI 2.2 to 3.7), received help from other FSWs when a client or partner was violent (73.9% vs 46.3%; AOR ¼3.5, 95% CI 2.7 to 4.5) and had stood up to the police or madams/brokers to help fellow FSWs in the past 1 year (5.8% vs 3.3%; AOR ¼2.7, 95% CI 1.5 to 4.9).

Conclusion The results suggest that the strategy of collectivisation in HIV prevention programme has much broader benefits than merely the promotion of safer sex practices. Future HIV prevention interventions in India and elsewhere may include collectivisation as the core strategy within HIV prevention programmes.

Full text available here.

Stephanie M. Berger, “No End in Sight: Why the End demand Movement is the Wrong Focus for Efforts to Eliminate Human Trafficking” 35 Harvard Journal of Law & Gender 523 (2012).

Full text available here.

Abstract:

There is no dispute that human trafficking is a pervasive problem. The International Labor Organization and the United States State Department estimate that there are more than 12 million people in “forced labor and sexual servitude” worldwide. The State Department estimates that between 14,500 and 17,500 people are trafficked into the United States annually. Sex trafficking, specifically, undoubtedly occurs in the United States — all one needs to do is read the local newspaper to find horrific accounts of women and children enslaved and abused in major cities across the country. However, there is no way to know exactly how many trafficking victims in general and sex trafficking victims specifically exist in the United States, in part due to the United States’ problematic conflation of human trafficking and prostitution. This conflation has enshrined the ideals of abolitionist feminists, who believe that prostitution is inherently coercive and abusive, and has refused to acknowledge the pro-work position that views prostitution on a spectrum including both forced and voluntary sex work. Abolitionist ideals have most recently taken hold in End Demand efforts, which focus on criminalizing, punishing, and shaming men who buy sex as purported solutions to both prostitution and human trafficking. This Article takes a pro-work position and aims to demonstrate the potential harms of End Demand policies. It also proposes more productive methods for addressing human trafficking in the United States.

Author: Jodi Beniuk

Citation (MLA): Beniuk, Jodi. “Indigenous Women as the Other: An Analysis of the Missing Women’s Commission of Inquiry.” The Arbutus Review 3. 2 (2012): 80-97.

Abstract:

In this paper, I discuss the ways in which Indigenous women are Othered by the proceedings of the Missing Women‘s Commission of Inquiry (MWCI). First, I give a basic overview of Beauvoir’s theory of women as Others, followed by Memmi’s analysis of the relationship between the colonized and the colonizer. I use these two theories to describe the way Indigenous women are Othered both as Indigenous peoples and as women, focusing on the context of the twenty-six who were murdered in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES). The original murders were the result of the cultural reduction of Indigenous Women to their bodies. The negligent police investigations, as well as the misogynistic attitudes of the police, also demonstrate how Othering can operate within these institutions. I claim that the violence against women in the DTES was due to their status as Other. Notably, the MWCI, which is supposed to be a process that addresses the Othering-based negligence of the police, also includes instances of Othering in its structure and practice. From this, I conclude that we cannot rely on Othering institutions or legal processes to correct Othering as a practice. In the context of the MWCI, I suggest building alliances that support those who face this Othering as violence in their everyday lives.

Key terms: Othering; Indigenous Women; Downtown Eastside Vancouver

Read the full article here: http://journals.uvic.ca/index.php/arbutus/article/view/11643/3283

Hila Shamir, “A Labor Paradigm for Human Trafficking” (November 6, 2012). UCLA Law Review, Vol. 60, No. 1, 2012.

Abstract:

Although human trafficking has gained unprecedented national and international attention and condemnation over the past decade, the legal instruments developed to combat this phenomenon have thus far proved insufficient. In particular, current efforts help an alarmingly small number of individuals out of the multitudes currently understood as falling under the category of trafficked persons, and even in these few cases, the assistance provided is of questionable value. This Article thus calls for a paradigm shift in anti-trafficking policy: a move away from the currently predominant human rights approach to trafficking and the adoption of a labor approach that targets the structure of labor markets prone to severely exploitative labor practices. This labor paradigm, the Article contends, offers more effective strategies for combating trafficking. After establishing the case for the labor paradigm, the Article suggests how it can be incorporated into existing anti-trafficking regimes. The Article proposes five measures for implementing anti-trafficking policies grounded on the labor approach: prevent the criminalization and deportation of workers who report exploitation; eliminate binding arrangements; reduce recruitment fees and the power of middlemen; guarantee the right to unionize; and extend and enforce the application of labor and employment laws to vulnerable workers. Finally, the Article analyzes why this paradigm has yet to be adopted and responds to some of the main objections to a paradigm shift.

Full text available here.

Fitzgerald, Sharron. Vulnerable Bodies, Vulnerable Borders: Extraterritoriality and Human Trafficking. Fem Leg Stud (2012) 20:227–244

Abstract: In this article, I interrogate how the UK government constructs and manipulates the idiom of the vulnerable female, trafficked migrant. Specifically, I analyse how the government aligns aspects of its anti-trafficking plans with plans to enhance extraterritorial immigration and border control. In order to do this, I focus on the discursive strategies that revolve around the UK’s anti-trafficking initiatives. I argue that discourses of human trafficking as prostitution, modern-day slavery and organised crime do important work. Primarily, they provide the government with a moral platform from which it can develop its regulatory capacity overseas. It is not my intention to suggest that the government’s anti-trafficking plans are superficial, and that extraterritoriality is the sole driver. On the contrary, I argue that complex interrelationships exist and while the government’s interest in protecting vulnerable women from sexual exploitation may seem to be paramount, I assert that in fact it intersects with other agendas at key points. I consider how government action to protect vulnerable women in trafficking ‘source’ and ‘transit’ countries such as development aid and repatriation schemes relate to broader legal and political concerns about protecting the UK from unwanted ‘Others’.

Full text available here.

Authors: Young Women’s Empowerment Project, 2012

Citation (MLA): Young Women’s Empowerment Project. Denied Help! How Youth in the Sex Trade & Street Economy are Turned Away From Systems Meant to Help Us & What We Are Doing to Fight Back. Bad Encounter Line 2012: A Participatory Action Research Project. Chicago, 2012.

Summary:

We wanted to show how girls bounce back and heal from individual and institutional violence. We wanted this information so that we can collectively build a social justice campaign to respond to broad systemic harm. From this, YWEP’s first youth developed, led, and analyzed research project was born.

Our research questions were:

1. What individual and institutional violence do girls in the sex trade experience?

2. How do we heal/bounce back from this violence?

3. How do we resist/fight back against this violence?

4. How can we unite and collectively fight back?

We answered these questions using 4 tools: we did focus groups with our membership and outreach workers, we created a fill in the blank zine so that girls could document the ways they heal and fight back, we used ethnographic observation by paying attention and writing down the experiences of our outreach contacts, and we asked new questions in our workshops about how girls take care of themselves and avoid violence.

Read the full report here: http://ywepchicago.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/bad-encounter-line-report-20121.pdf