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Tag Archives: Migrant sex workers

Hoefinger, Heidi, Jennifer Musto, P. G. Macioti, Anne E. Fehrenbacher, Nicola Mai, Calum Bennachie, and Calogero Giametta. 2020. ‘Community-Based Responses to Negative Health Impacts of Sexual Humanitarian Anti-Trafficking Policies and the Criminalization of Sex Work and Migration in the US’. Social Sciences 9 (1): 1. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9010001.

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System-involvement resulting from anti-trafficking interventions and the criminalization of sex work and migration results in negative health impacts on sex workers, migrants, and people with trafficking experiences. Due to their stigmatized status, sex workers and people with trafficking experiences often struggle to access affordable, unbiased, and supportive health care. This paper will use thematic analysis of qualitative data from in-depth interviews and ethnographic fieldwork with 50 migrant sex workers and trafficked persons, as well as 20 key informants from legal and social services, in New York and Los Angeles. It will highlight the work of trans-specific and sex worker–led initiatives that are internally addressing gaps in health care and the negative health consequences that result from sexual humanitarian anti-trafficking interventions that include policing, arrest, court-involvement, court-mandated social services, incarceration, and immigration detention. Our analysis focuses on the impact of criminalization on sex workers and their experiences with sexual humanitarian efforts intended to protect and control them. We argue that these grassroots community-based efforts are a survival-oriented reaction to the harms of criminalization and a response to vulnerabilities left unattended by mainstream sexual humanitarian approaches to protection and service provision that frame sex work itself as the problem. Peer-to-peer interventions such as these create solidarity and resiliency within marginalized communities, which act as protective buffers against institutionalized systemic violence and the resulting negative health outcomes. Our results suggest that broader public health support and funding for community-led health initiatives are needed to reduce barriers to health care resulting from stigma, criminalization, and ineffective anti-trafficking and humanitarian efforts. We conclude that the decriminalization of sex work and the reform of institutional practices in the US are urgently needed to reduce the overall negative health outcomes of system-involvement. View Full-Text

Sexual Commerce: Troubling Meanings, Policies, and Practices” – Special Issue of Sexuality Research and Social Policy 16(2), June 2019.

Crowhurst, Isabel. 2019. ‘The Ambiguous Taxation of Prostitution: The Role of Fiscal Arrangements in Hindering the Sexual and Economic Citizenship of Sex Workers’. Sexuality Research and Social Policy 16 (2): 166–78. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13178-018-0368-3.

Crowhurst, Isabel, Niina Vuolajärvi, and Kathryn Hausbeck Korgan. 2019. ‘Sexual Commerce: Troubling Meanings, Policies, and Practices’. Sexuality Research and Social Policy 16 (2): 135–37. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13178-019-00390-4.

David, Marion. 2019. ‘The Moral and Political Stakes of Health Issues in the Regulation of Prostitution (the Cases of Belgium and France)’. Sexuality Research and Social Policy 16 (2): 201–13. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13178-018-0333-1.

De Lisio, Amanda, Philip Hubbard, and Michael Silk. 2019. ‘Economies of (Alleged) Deviance: Sex Work and the Sport Mega-Event’. Sexuality Research and Social Policy 16 (2): 179–89. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13178-018-0319-z.

Garofalo Geymonat, Giulia. 2019. ‘Disability Rights Meet Sex Workers’ Rights: The Making of Sexual Assistance in Europe’. Sexuality Research and Social Policy 16 (2): 214–26. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13178-019-0377-x.

Kuhar, Roman, and Mojca Pajnik. 2019. ‘Negotiating Professional Identities: Male Sex Workers in Slovenia and the Impact of Online Technologies’. Sexuality Research and Social Policy 16 (2): 227–38. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13178-018-0330-4.

Outshoorn, Joyce. 2019. ‘Ward, Eilís and Gillian Wylie (Eds.), Feminism, Prostitution and the State. The Politics of Neo-Abolitionism’. Sexuality Research and Social Policy 16 (2): 251–53. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13178-018-0369-2.

Petrunov, Georgi. 2019. ‘Elite Prostitution in Bulgaria: Experiences and Practices of Brokers’. Sexuality Research and Social Policy 16 (2): 239–50. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13178-018-0353-x.

Pitcher, Jane. 2019. ‘Intimate Labour and the State: Contrasting Policy Discourses with the Working Experiences of Indoor Sex Workers’. Sexuality Research and Social Policy 16 (2): 138–50. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13178-018-0323-3.

Stapele, Naomi van, Lorraine Nencel, and Ida Sabelis. 2019. ‘On Tensions and Opportunities: Building Partnerships Between Government and Sex Worker-Led Organizations in Kenya in the Fight Against HIV/AIDS’. Sexuality Research and Social Policy 16 (2): 190–200. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13178-018-0337-x.

Vuolajärvi, Niina. 2019. ‘Governing in the Name of Caring—the Nordic Model of Prostitution and Its Punitive Consequences for Migrants Who Sell Sex’. Sexuality Research and Social Policy 16 (2): 151–65. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13178-018-0338-9.

Dadhania, Pooja, Deporting Undesirable Women (October 2, 2018). 9 UC Irvine L. Rev. 53 (2018); California Western School of Law Research Paper No. 18-15. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3259599
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Immigration law has long labeled certain categories of immigrants “undesirable.” One of the longest-standing of these categories is women who sell sex. Current immigration laws subject sellers of sex to an inconsistent array of harsh immigration penalties, including bars to entry to the United States as well as mandatory detention and removal. A historical review of prostitution-related immigration laws reveals troubling origins. Grounded in turn-of-the-twentieth-century morality, these laws singled out female sellers of sex as immoral and as threats to American marriages and families. Indeed, the first such law specifically targeted Asian women as threats to the moral fabric of the United States due to their perceived sexual deviance. Subsequent laws built upon these problematic foundations, largely without reexamining the initial goal of safeguarding American morality from the ostensible sexual threat of noncitizen women. This dark history casts a long shadow, and current laws remain rooted in these archaic notions of morality by continuing to focus penalties on sellers of sex (who tend to be women), without reciprocal penalties for buyers (who tend to be men). Contemporary societal views on sellers of sex have changed, however, as society has come to increasingly tolerate and accept sexual conduct outside the bounds of marriage. Although societal views surrounding prostitution remain complex, there is an increased understanding of the different motivations of sellers of sex, as well as a recognition that individuals forced into prostitution are victims who need protection. Prostitution-related immigration laws should be reformed to no longer penalize sellers of sex, both to bring immigration law in line with modern attitudes towards sellers of sex and to mitigate the discriminatory effect of the archaic and gendered moral underpinnings that initially gave rise to and continue to show in these laws.
Walker, Rebecca, und Treasa Galvin. 2018. „Labels, victims, and insecurity: an exploration of the lived realities of migrant women who sell sex in South Africa“. Third World Thematics: A TWQ Journal 3 (2): 277–92. https://doi.org/10.1080/23802014.2018.1477526.
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Based on research work among cross-border migrant women who sell sex in South Africa, this paper examines the ways in which the label ‘victim’ of human trafficking ignores the complex realities of human mobility. We argue here that as state legislative and policy measures, in relation to human trafficking, justify the securitisation of borders and the curtailment of migrant rights, an accompanying hegemonic discourse serves to deny the agency of migrant women sex workers. As a result, the linkages between human trafficking and migration are experienced by migrant women sex workers through new layers of vulnerability and insecurity.

Lainez, Nicolas (2018), The Contested Legacies of Indigenous Debt Bondage in Southeast Asia: Indebtedness in the Vietnamese Sex Sector. American Anthropologist. doi:10.1111/aman.13105

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The modern‐slavery paradigm promotes analogies between contemporary trafficking and the transatlantic, white, and indigenous slave trade. The analogy some scholars use to address debt bondage in past and present Southeast Asia prompted me to consider the hypothesis that the debts incurred by Vietnamese sex workers with moneylenders, procurers, and migration brokers are a remnant of indigenous slavery. However, the ethnographic and legalistic study of debt in the Vietnamese sex sector across Southeast Asia in relation to debt‐bondage traditions provides limited support to the transhistorical thesis. Nonetheless, it throws light on the creditor–debtor relationship and shows that sex workers need credit to finance production and social reproduction in a region undergoing rapid capitalist development, and that because of their exclusion from financial, labor, and labor migration markets, they access it through personalized arrangements that generate strong obligations and dependencies with the potential for restrictions of freedom, in a social structure that promotes patronage, vertical bonding, and dependency.

Cruz, Katie. „Beyond Liberalism: Marxist Feminism, Migrant Sex Work, and Labour Unfreedom“. Feminist Legal Studies, 22. März 2018, 1–28. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10691-018-9370-7.
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In this article, I use a Marxist feminist methodology to map the organisation of migrant sex workers’ socially reproductive paid and unpaid labour in one city and country of arrival, London, UK. I argue that unfree and ‘free’ (sexual) labour exists on a continuum of capitalist relations of (re)production, which are gendered, racialised, and legal. It is within these relations that various actors implement, and migrant sex workers contest, unfree labour practices not limited to the most extreme forms. My analysis reveals that many migrant sex workers have very limited ‘freedom’. This is in stark contrast to the classical liberal claim of sex worker rights activists and academics that the vast majority of migrant sex workers are free, and therefore not coerced, exploited or trafficked. I then consider whether the emerging labour approach to trafficking could help achieve ‘freedom’ for migrant sex workers. Advocates argue that anti-trafficking efforts must, and can, be refocused on extending minimum labour and social protections to all vulnerable workers. I argue that this approach is disconnected from material interests and history. Rather, migrant sex workers, sex worker rights activists, and all migrant and citizen workers and activists globally must collectively organise against ‘labour unfreedom’ and hence for meaningful control over their labour and lives.
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Pintin-Perez, Margarita, Martha Luz Rojas Wiesner, und Rupaleem Bhuyan. „The symbolic violence of tolerance zones: Constructing the spatial marginalization of female Central American migrant sex workers in Mexico“. Women’s Studies International Forum 68 (Mai 2018): 75–84.

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In this paper, we explore how the spatial ordering of sex-work in southern Mexico naturalizes the presence of migrant women in designated “tolerance zones”. Drawing on a feminist approach to ethnographic research in the city of Dominguez, Chiapas, we critically analyze the symbolic powers concealed and enacted through the official discourse of “tolerance” in public health regulations on commercial sex and embodied everyday life of migrant women from Central America. We engage with feminist debates regarding geographies of sex work and oppression to illustrate how tolerance zones mediate and maintain the marginal status of female sex workers who, despite their irregular migration status, are constructed (and view themselves) as bodies in “need of tolerance”. Our analysis of spatial practices that govern tolerance zones illustrates how the discourse of tolerance becomes a vehicle for symbolic violence, naturalizing unequal social relations of power in the lives of migrant Central American women.

Gergely Fábián, Lajos Hüse, Katalin Szoboszlai, Thomas Lawson, und Andrea Toldi. „Hungarian female migrant sex workers: Social support and vulnerability at home and abroad“. International Social Work, 7. Dezember 2017, 0020872817742692. https://doi.org/10.1177/0020872817742692.
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An exploratory/descriptive study of 33 migrant Hungarian prostitutes who travel to Switzerland for sex work was conducted in Zurich by Hungarian social workers in cooperation with Swiss social workers. A new methodology (Hungarian Street Work Interpersonal Support) was developed to compare support networks both at home and while working abroad. Vulnerability and potential risk were mapped, finding networks at ‘home’ being supportive and non-risky with the opposite occurring ‘abroad’. Little use was made of protective relationships (police and social workers) in both locations. The primary motivation for engaging in migrant sex work was to provide for their children at home.

This article focuses on sex work relations in the Mangue, one of Rio de Janeiro’s red light districts in the 1920s. It follows multiple simultaneous trajectories that converge in Rio’s changing urban landscape: League of Nation’s investigators (some of them undercover), local Brazilian authorities, particularly the police, and Fanny Galper, a former prostitute and madam. It argues that the spatial mobility of the persons involved in sex work is part of broader debates: On the one hand, these experiences of mobility are closely connected to the variegated attempts at surveillance of sex work that characterized Rio de Janeiro in the 1920s and the specific racialized organization of the women’s work as prostitutes. On the other hand, the actors analysed in this article also participated, in different ways, in the production of meanings in broader debates on the international circulation of policies intended to regulate and surveil prostitution. These encounters offer the opportunity to explore some of the intersections between this international circulation of policies, local social dynamics of European immigration, and the racialized history of labor relations in Brazil.

Full article available via academia.edu

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The present paper deals with Chinese transnational sex labour migration in the city of Douala, the economic capital of Cameroon and the country’s major city. Based on ethnographic research conducted in the prostitution milieu of Douala between 2008 and 2012, and on information collected from both scholarly and popular literature, this contribution shows how the development in this African city of what can be called Chinese sexoscapes has induced the reconfiguration of the local geography of commercialised sex work, which for so long was dominated by native sex workers. The paper also demonstrates how many disgruntled Duala sex workers dealt with the so-called Chinese sex invasion of their city by relocating their business to popular entertainment areas commonly characterised in Cameroon as rue de la joie (street of enjoyment). The research argues that this local geography of sexualities has become a site for asserting ethnic, racial or national identity, and especially a space of both inclusion of people profiled as autochthon populations and the exclusion of those branded foreigners.