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Antonio Carvelli and Alexander di Nicotera came to London via Liverpool in April 1910, travelling first class on the steamer SS Frisia from Buenos Aires, and accompanied by five young women. The pair took flats in north Soho, and showed the women the route they were to walk to solicit sex. After installing these women on the West End streets, they travelled to Paris, where they found three more young women and returned with them to London, sending them out to Piccadilly as well. Dressed in nice suits and collars, with pistols tucked into their coats, they followed the women at a distance, and regularly took money from them. They frequented the cafes and pubs of Soho and dined late into the night at popular West End restaurants. The pair were finally arrested three months later, in July 1910, after a month-long police observation, and were charged with ‘procuring or attempting to procure’ four women to become ‘common prostitutes’.1 It was a stereotypical case of what was known as white slavery.  Read more here…

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Van Meir, Jessica. 2017. “Sex Work and the Politics of Space: Case Studies of Sex Workers in Argentina and Ecuador.” Soc. Sci. 6, no. 2: 42.
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Abstract
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While many studies examine how different legal approaches to prostitution affect sex workers’ living and working conditions, few studies analyze how sex workers’ physical workspaces and the policies regulating these spaces influence sex work conditions. Based on interviews with 109 current or former sex workers, 13 civil society representatives, 12 government officials, and 5 other actors in Ecuador and Argentina, this study describes sex workers’ uses of urban space in the two countries and compares how they experience and respond to government regulation of locations of prostitution. Argentina and Ecuador took different approaches to regulating sex work space, which appear to reflect different political ideologies towards prostitution. Sex workers expressed different individual preferences for spaces, and government limitation of these spaces represented one of their major concerns. The results illuminate how sex workers’ workspaces influence their working conditions and suggest that governments should consider sex worker preferences in establishing policies that affect their workspaces.

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Jessica Van Meir’s Blog with reflections and notes on her research.

Fassi, Marisa N. “Sex Work and the Claim for Grassroots Legislation.” Culture, Health & Sexuality 0, no. 0 (January 8, 2015): 1–11. doi:10.1080/13691058.2014.990517.
Abstract

The aim of this paper is to contribute to understanding of legal models that aim to control sex work, and the policy implications of these, by discussing the experience of developing a grassroots legislation bill proposal by organised sex workers in Córdoba, Argentina. The term ‘grassroots legislation’ here refers to a legal response that derives from the active involvement of local social movements and thus incorporates the experiential knowledge and claims of these particular social groupings in the proposal. The experience described in this paper excludes approaches that render sex workers as passive victims or as deviant perpetrators; instead, it conceives of sex workers in terms of their political subjectivity and of political subjectivity in its capacity to speak, to decide, to act and to propose. This means challenging current patterns of knowledge/power that give superiority to ‘expert knowledge’ above and beyond the claims, experiences, knowledge and needs of sex workers themselves as meaningful sources for law making.

A partir del análisis de una experiencia centrada en la elaboración de un proyecto de ley de base propuesto por sexoservidoras organizadas en Córdoba, Argentina, el presente artículo intenta contribuir tanto a la comprensión de los modelos jurídicos que pretenden controlar el trabajo sexual como a la comprensión de sus implicaciones políticas. El término proyecto de ley de base hace referencia a la respuesta jurídica derivada de la participación activa de los movimientos sociales locales. Por ello, incorpora en el mismo el conocimiento vivencial y los reclamos de estas agrupaciones sociales. La vivencia descrita en este artículo excluye todo enfoque que conciba a las sexoservidoras como víctimas pasivas o como perpetradoras pervertidas; por el contrario, las concibe en términos de su subjetividad política, de su capacidad de hablar, de decidir, de actuar y de proponer. Ello implica un cuestionamiento dirigido contra los patrones actuales de conocimiento/poder que, frente a los reclamos, las vivencias, el conocimiento y las necesidades de las propias sexoservidoras en tanto fuente de conocimientos principal para el proceso a legislar, otorgan superioridad a los ‘conocimientos de expertos’.

Cet article a pour objectif de contribuer à l’amélioration des connaissances sur les modèles juridiques de contrôle du travail du sexe et sur leurs implications politiques, en évoquant le processus d’élaboration, par des travailleuses du sexe vivant dans la ville argentine de Cordoba, d’une proposition de projet de loi communautaire. Le terme « loi communautaire » employé ici renvoie à une réponse juridique qui résulte de l’engagement actif des mouvements sociaux locaux et qui, par conséquent, intègre les connaissances expérientielles et les revendications de ces mêmes mouvements dans la proposition. L’expérience décrite dans cet article exclut les approches selon lesquelles les travailleuses du sexe sont des victimes passives ou des déviantes. Elle se base plutôt sur une conception des travailleuses du sexe reconnaissant leur subjectivité politique, cette subjectivité renvoyant à leur capacité de parler, de décider, d’agir et de proposer. Cette approche remet en question les modèles courants de connaissances/pouvoir qui octroient une certaine supériorité à la « connaissance experte » et positionnent celle-ci au-dessus et au-delà des revendications, des expériences, des connaissances et des besoins des travailleuses du sexe, c’est-à-dire les éléments légitimes sur lesquels doit s’appuyer l’élaboration de lois sur le travail du sexe.