Knowledge about trafficking in human beings has several implications for various social service and justice professionals. The aim of this study was to examine the knowledge of social service and justice professionals regarding the characterization of this phenomenon and anti-trafficking policies in Portugal. Four hundred and forty-six social service and justice professionals completed an online Human Trafficking Knowledge survey. The results revealed that Portuguese professionals have, in general, a good level of knowledge about trafficking in human beings, revealing higher-level scores for issues, such as trafficking in human beings’ idiosyncrasies and purposes in Portugal, trafficker profiles, criminal behaviour, victim profiles and victimization dynamics. On the other hand, participants scored lower in trafficking in human being’s trajectories and specificities within Portugal. This knowledge appeared to be influenced by variables, such as professional experience, previous contact with trafficking and training in trafficking in human beings. National policies must promote professional formal training about trafficking in human beings in different areas.
Many studies have demonstrated the prominent role legal frameworks and local policies play in the shaping of prostitution, by informing to a large extent the conditions governing the exercise of the sex trade, while promoting a certain definition of this activity and its protagonists. However, the role of private organizations delegated the mission of providing social or medical assistance to people selling sex should not be overlooked. These organizations are still under-researched, despite the fact that they often occupy a pivotal position between those involved in the sex trade, public authorities, and the general population. Our contribution aims to provide an overview of the relevant landscape of third sector organizations in both Belgium and France and, more specifically, retrace the genesis of associations that have implemented programs to prevent sexually transmitted infections. We will also examine their relations with the public authorities and the legitimacy they enjoy in each country, before highlighting their potential influence on the structuring of representations and regulation of prostitution.
Anasti, Theresa. 2018. „Survivor or Laborer: How Human Service Managers Perceive Sex Workers?“ Affilia, Mai, 0886109918778075. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886109918778075.
Regardless of primary population served, human service organizations are likely to come into contact with individuals who have been currently or formerly involved in the sex trade. In the United States, social workers have had a fraught history with this population, either treating them like delinquents or like victims in need of rescue. Sex worker activists in the United States continue to decry the negative treatment provided by individuals in the helping professions, even as harm reduction, the practice of reducing the harm of risky behaviors, has entered the service provision lexicon as an antidote to abstinence-only services. This article uses qualitative interviews with managers of human service organizations in the city of Chicago to determine how they think about their work with sex workers and how they perceive the proposed solutions to “fixing” the sex trade: abolitionism and decriminalization. Findings show that despite the dominant discourse of abolitionism in the United States, most of managers in this project believe full decriminalization of sex work will best assist their sex worker clients. Future research needs to understand how this finding holds in different settings and how this affects current efforts to advocate for decriminalization.
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.
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.
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